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Month in review

Reviews
Ann Can Fly by Fred Phleger
The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
The Blues Go Birding Across America by Carol L. Malnor and Sandy F. Fuller
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
The Egyptian Jukebox by Nick Bantock
Flanimals Pop-up by Ricky Gervais
The Function of Ornament by Michael Kubo
The Illusions of Tranquility by Brendan DuBois
In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
The Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine
My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World by Gilles Bachelet
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
On a Scary Scary Night by Walter Wick
Owls by Gail Gibbons
Owl Lake by Keizaburo Tejima
Paula Bunyan by Phyllis Root
Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
Sky Burial by Xinran
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Tirissa and the Necklace of Nulidor by Willow
Three Leaves of Aloe by Rand B. Lee
Treehorn's Treasure by Florence Parry Heide
What Do You Love? by Jonathan London
Wheel of the Moon by Sandra Forrester
Where is that Cat? by Carol Greene

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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



The Birthday Ball: 04/30/11

cover art

Although I am long past my childhood, Lois Lowry has become one of my favorite authors in the last decade. She writes for a wide range of ages from preschoolers up through high schoolers. I put her books in the same category as Anita Shreve; I know each book will be very different but well worth the read.

Lowry's 2010 middle grade book is a fantasy called The Birthday Ball. It's set up a little bit like Mark Twain's The Prince and Pauper except with a female lead, Princess Patricia Priscilla. Her sixteenth birthday is arriving and she's forced to pick a future husband from the suitors who have arrived to help her celebrate. She'd rather not.

In fact she'd rather experience the village life her maid describes to her every day. So she borrows her clothes, sneaks out and enrolls herself in the local school.

When the book first started and the premise was being set up I have to admit I cringed. If The Birthday Ball were written by anyone else, I probably wouldn't have given the book enough of a chance. Once "Pat" starts going to school and making friends she begins to blossom as a character.

In terms of tone, The Birthday Ball is one of Lowry's lighter fares. It's silly like The Willoughbys but it does have a positive message for young girls.

Four stars. Review copy via NetGalley.

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