As someone who has made their thoughts about YA very clear, it might seem strange that I enjoy reading Middle-Grade books so much. Maybe it’s because there’s a further distance between me and the intended audience? Maybe it’s because I’m still a child at heart? But I suspect that it’s because children’s writers aren’t trying as hard to fit in with their audience. One of my main criticisms of YA is the way that teenagers are represented. I can’t connect with it. I feel like Middle-Grade fiction is written to both entertain and, in some way, to explain certain aspects of life. It makes it easier for me to stomach. Does that make sense? Probably not.
As kids, my sisters and I were obsessed with any film, TV show or book about animals. Anything that personified animals was perfect. It’s something that hasn’t really left me as I got older, which is why I was so excited to see this in the charity shop. Personified rabbits who are tasked with looking after the Queen? I’m not exactly pro-Royal but that sounded like a lot of fun. I had to buy it and I couldn’t wait to read it. But would it really be as good as it sounded?
I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages. I was so excited to get it because it sounded like such a fantastic story and it looked beautiful. I was hoping to read it last year but I didn’t get a chance. That’s what happens when you set yourself a stupid reading challenge that restricts your choices. I’ve been making slow progress with my current read, so I decided to spend some time yesterday getting through this one. I hoped it would be a change from the heartbreaking Dear Edward. Well, it didn’t quite turn out like that.
I haven’t read a lot this week and I think that had something to do with the fact that I was already ahead with my reviews. I knew that I wasn’t under any pressure to get something read in time because I was already behind. Well, not behind but I had a bit of a backlog. So, I ended up reading a few shorter books that didn’t really deserve a full review. Meaning I’m back with another couple of bite-size reviews.
As is so often the case for my second book review of the week, I’m reviewing a short book because I needed to finish something quickly. It’s not necessarily a bad strategy as there are some really good short books out there but it still feels like a bad reason for picking something up. Although, I don’t think I’d ever regret picking up a Neil Gaiman. Well, I didn’t like The Ocean at the End of the Lane when I read it but I suspect I missed something there. After all, the majority of people rave about that book. I keep meaning to give it a reread but I’m still wary. But that’s beside point. This time, I went back to a classic Neil Gaiman story. One that feels so Gaiman. There’s Norse mythology, an odd (literally) protagonist, and Chris Riddell illustrations. I decided to listen to the audiobook at the same time because I needed the comfort of his narration.
When we were younger, my sisters and I really loved the 1993 film Homeward Bound. We watched it over and over again. The film had such an impact on my whole family that we all still quote things from it now. It helps that Michael J. Fox is absolutely amazing in the role of Chance but, really, we just love a good animal story. Especially about a group of them defying the odds. So, when writer Tony Lee Moral got in touch with me about his new children’s book, I definitely wanted to read it. After all, what’s better than the story of an animal defying the odds? The story of an animal defying the odds that is based on real-life.
After my last read, I had every intention of reading a proper book but I also needed to write a second book post this week. Of course, when I say “proper book”, I don’t mean to suggest that children’s books aren’t proper but that they aren’t exactly age appropriate. It has been nice revisiting my youth again though. This was another book in this series that I’d already read and it was probably the first time that I’d seen the dark and gory side to fairy tales. I was probably more aware of the Disney version where everyone lives happily ever after. It will no doubt have rocked my world to discover the disgusting origins to these well known stories. But does it still live up to my memories?