It seems like most of my recent posts have been reading-related. I promise to write more often about other things next year. For now, I beg your patience as I dig deeper into my library and try to sort out more of the unworthy books.
Here are my opinions on four books from the children’s section of my library.
The Monsters of Morley Manor by Bruce Coville
This book is action-packed and fun. It has monsters, aliens, body snatching, magic, ghosts, and even a love triangle. My only complaint is that it’s not great. I don’t think the author was aiming for great. He was going for pure entertainment value and in that he succeeded. The Monsters of Morley Manor is enjoyable but it’s not a keeper.
Rare Beasts by Charles Ogden
I bought Rare Beasts because of its cover. The cover art is grotesquely appealing and topped with an embedded hologram. The whole book has the look and feel of quality. I also love the characters of Edgar and Ellen, evil little twins whose minds are bent on mayhem. They have so much promise, but the story does not. I couldn’t finish it. People just don’t act the way the author makes them act. To sum it up: great look, great characters, great writing, bad story.
The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
The Thief of Always is a quick read and that’s fitting for a parable about the importance of time. As you can infer from the title, it’s about a thief who steals time. When he’s caught, he says something so simple but so powerful that I will remember it forever. This book is worth the time I spent on it and worth keeping to read again someday.
The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton
I didn’t give this book a grade because I didn’t read more than half of it. Set in Concord, MA and written with reverence for Concord’s famous former residents—Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott—The Diamond in the Window ought to be the kind of book I would love. The author attempted to impart some of Concord’s history, but I didn’t like the way she chose to do it, nor did I find the mystery compelling. After trying unsuccessfully to read this book twice, I think I’d better give it away and hope that it finds a new owner who will love it.