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Month in review

The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Jan and Stan Berenstain
The Best Christmas Ever by James Patrick Kelley
The City by Allen J. Scott and Edward W. Soja
Commander Toad and the Voyage Home by Jane Yolen
The Dame in the Kimono by Leonard J. Leff by Jerold L. Simmons
Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese
Dragonite's Christmas by Akihito Toda and Kagemaru Himeno
The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
The Fattening of America by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman
The Halloween Play by Felicia Bond
Heavens to Betsy & Other Curious Sayings by Charles Earle Funk
How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Hungry Hill by Carol O'Malley Gaunt
Imaginative Still Life by Moira Huntly
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird
The Mariah Delany Lending Library Disaster by Sheila Greenwald
Maxine an the Ghost Dog by Linda Pack Butler
Midnight Sun by Elwood Reid
Monkey See, Monkey Do by Marc Gave and Jacqueline Rogers
Murder in the Place of Anubis by Lynda S. Robinson
Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer
Rusty's Train Ride by Heather Amery and Stephen Cartwright
Ship Fever by Anrea Barrett
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Pam Adams
The Toontown Players Present Chicken Little by Margaret Snyder
The Voluntary State by Christopher Rowe
The Winter of the Birds by Helen Cresswell
Witch Week by Diana Wynn Jones
Yours Turly, Shirley by Ann M. Martin

FSF Reviews:
If Angels Fight by John Bowes
Philologos, Or a Murder in Bistrita by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Midnight Sun

Midnight SunMidnight Sun: 02/04/08

The economic boom of the oil rush brought Burke and Jack to Fairbanks Alaska. Ready to head home having grown sick of his construction job, Jack is conned into one last job by his friend Burke. The two of them will head into the Alaskan wilderness to bring back Penny at the wish of her dying father.

Coming on the heals of The Blithedale Romance, I can't help but compare Midnight Sun to Hawthorne's tale of communal living gone wrong. The cult commune that Jack and Burke find makes Blithedale look like utopia. I see a Blithedale connection in the way Jack narrates his tale of finding Penny an his time living with her until the ultimate downfall of the commune (a common theme in books like this). He sums up his time after Penny in a way reminiscent of Cloverdale's parting thoughts on Priscilla: "It didn't matter because she'd rescued me and somehow I was going to have to live with the mystery." (Midnight Sun page 270). Cloverdale's confession ends the tragic romance with "...myself ... was in love ... with ... Priscilla." (Blithedale Romance page 445).

Here though is where Jack and Miles differ as narrators: Jack never admits his feelings or emotions to himself or to his audience. He hints throughout at a connection beyond the $10,000 bounty for Penny but the closest he comes to admitting it is in that closing paragraph. Miles Cloverdale does finally come clean at the end of The Blithedale Romance.

For the most part I enjoyed Elwood Reid's style of writing and his descriptions of the Alaskan frontier. His characterization falls a little flat and there were times when Jack's narrative seems to get suck on the mundane details where I found myself either skimming or skipping a few pages. Nonetheless, I do recommend Midnight Sun.

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