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Month in review

Reviews
The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison
Athena by George O'Connor
Bagelmania by Mountain Lion Books
Bird by Zetta Elliott
Busy Woman Seeks Wife by Annie Sanders
The Clock Without a Face by Gus Twintig
The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli
Doctor Who: The Ripper by Tony Lee
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Fullmetal Alchemist 11 by Hiromu Arakawa
Going Around the Sun by Marianne Berkes
How to Survive a Killer Seance by Penny Warner
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton
The Pepins and Their Problems by Polly Horvath
Pieces for the Left Hand by J. Robert Lennon
Pining to Be Human by Richard Bowes
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson
Pride and Prejudice (audio) by Jane Austen
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Slog's Dad by David Almond and Dave McKean
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas
Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh by R.L. LaFevers
The Train by Georges Simenon
Twin Spica 03 by Kou Yaginuma
Under the Night Sky by Amy Lundebrek
The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas
xxxHolic 05 by CLAMP

Misc
Mount TBR 2012 What are you reading? (November 07)
What are you reading? (November 14)
What are you reading? (November 21)
What are you reading? (November 28)

Previous month

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 Dancing Pancake: 11/17/11

cover art

The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli is a novel told in verse about eleven year old Bindi trying to cope with her life being turned upside down. Her parents are separated and she and her mother are moving into an apartment over a restaurant which her mother is running the restaurant with a family friend.

While I enjoyed the free verse style of story telling, the plot seemed rather derivative. There seems to be a glut of stories about single parents (usually mothers) running catering companies (or restaurants) while the fathers off having midlife crises. I'm thinking most specifically of the Regular Guy series by Sarah Weeks and Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff (review coming).

Besides the family drama plot, The Dancing Pancake has a bittersweet side story about a homeless woman named Grace. She usually has enough to order something from the fledgling Dancing Pancake restaurant but they usually give her something extra. Bindi, trying to find her own place in this new life she's living, befriends Grace and tries to do favors for her. Some of them Grace likes and others she doesn't. This part of the book is a far more interesting but understated discussion on homelessness and mental illness that the After School Special main plot.

Fans of Sharon Creech's novels in verse (Love That Dog and Hate That Cat) will probably like The Dancing Pancake.

Three stars.

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