On with the reading posts…
The Curious Adventures of Jimmy McGee by Eleanor Estes
I had heard good things about Eleanor Estes, a Newbery Award winner, so I picked up this book at the closing sale of a local used book store. What a disappointment! The character of Jimmy McGee is interesting, but never fully explained or properly developed. He is “a little fellow, a plumber, a banger on pipes, a HERO.” He zoomie-zoomies all over the place, fixing things here and there, making his summer home on Cape Cod and his winter home in D.C., just like Amy, a little girl he knows. Is Jimmy just an invisible friend of Amy’s, or is he an existing magical being who just happens to live in the same places as Amy? Where did he come from? Why does he do the things he does? I just didn’t get it. And the story, largely about a doll he rescues and a bunch of animals that stay in his cave during a hurricane, is unbelievable and dull, not to mention unbelievably dull. I would not recommend this book except perhaps to fans of Eleanor Estes, because two of the characters also appear in The Witch Family, a more popular book by the same author.
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
My mother gave this book to me, perhaps thinking that it would remind me of my job, and it did. It is about a young man who gets a job as a dictionary editor. He and his coworker discover some odd citations in the files which turn out to be pieces of writing by a former employee. Each citation is numbered and tells part of a story, so the two editors start hunting for the rest of the citations so they can read the story as a whole. The answer to the mystery of why the citations were hidden in the files is revealed slowly and elegantly. I recommend this book for both dictionary-lovers and mystery-lovers.