Saturday, January 28, 2006

"For Young Readers"

Elizabeth Ward reviews Louis Sachar's Small Steps for her column "For Young Readers" in the Washington Post. Ward has great advice for considering Small Steps: "The trick is to forget the brilliantly original Holes and take the new book on its own, more conventional terms. As such, it is both funny and affecting, even if it smacks a tad of the recovery workshop. But then, under its quirky surface, so did Holes."

In addition, Ward reviews three books for Black History Month. Like Small Steps, all three books are aimed at the 10 and above crowd and include,
  • Shelia P. Moses, The Return of Buddy Bush--the sequel to The Legend of Buddy Bush, "a novel based on the true story of a young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in Rich Square, N.C., in 1947."
  • Julian Houston, New Boy, a fictionalized account of the author's experiences at "the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he was among the school's first black students" during the beginnings of the civil rights movement.
  • Ann Bausum, Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. This non-fiction title focuses on the experiences of two participants in the Freedom Rides. Ward writes, "This superb book -- meticulously researched and packed with photos -- focuses on the Rides, and the fear, loathing and violence that attended them, through the double lens of their lives."