Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 YALSA Hub Reading Challenge - Update #19

Whew! It's finally starting to feel like summer. I was able to slow the pace of life a bit and make time for reading and lounging. I enjoyed what I read this week. Even though the challenge is over, there are several more titles that I plan to read this summer, as well as some other books that have languished in my TBR pile for the last several months. Now it's time to switch gears to get ready for the July incarnation of Camp Nanowrimo and its writing frenzy. Literary fun for everyone--I hope you'll join me!

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Book three in The Protector of the Small quartet.

Kel has passed the big examination and become a squire. Now what? She is raring to get out into the field to train as a knight, but she worries that no one will want to take on "The Girl." And when Neal gets her dream mentor, she has to remind herself to be gracious about it. 

Lucky for Kel (and the realm), Sir Raoul sees her potential and is ready to train her. he takes her out with the King's Own, warriors who travel around keeping order. As she has in the other books, Kel has to prove herself again and again to the warriors, both friend and foe. She also falls in love. Her four years as a squire pass quickly; all too soon it is Kel's time to face the Ordeal. She must spend a night inside an ancient chamber that will force her to look deeply inside herself--to confront her fears and to decide whether or not she is fit to become a knight. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will certainly recommend it to my students. The only part that left me a bit unsatisfied was the resolution to Kel's ongoing conflict with Joren and his cronies. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but you'll know what I mean when you get there.

Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce

Last book of The Protector of the Small quartet.

Kel has finally become a knight and longs to set out in search of Blayce and his terrifying killing machines. Instead, she is given a very different assignment--commander of a refugee camp right in the middle of the war zone. With the help of two other brand new knights, Merrick and Neal, she is to keep about 400 refugees safe from invading Scanrans.

Despite little assistance from the larger army and the initial skepticism of her charges, she eventually manages to train even the children to fight and earns the respect of everyone in the camp. But then tragedy strikes and Kel finds herself on the path to her destiny.

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Amelia has it bad for Chris, a fellow cashier at the local grocery store. Sadly, she knows he'll never go out with her, as he's a 21 year old university students, while she is only 15. They gradually become friends, though Amelia continues to idolize him.

She's smart and passionate about things besides Chris, which is refreshing. Even though Chris knows that Amelia is too young for him, at least right now, he sees that she could be his Perfect Women, given a bit more time to grow up.

Buzo perfectly captures the hopefulness and awkwardness of first love, and even though not much happens in terms of the plot, the characters are a pleasure to spend time with. 

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