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Month in review

Reviews
50 Underwear Questions by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Adventures in Cartooning: Characters in Action by James Sturm
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson
Blameless by Gail Carriger
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers by Lilian Jackson Braun
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson
The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley
Daffodil by Noël Kingsbury
The Dark Wind by Tony Hillerman
Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
Flowers for Mrs. Harris by Paul Gallico
Gulp by Mary Roach
How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg
Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein
Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Mr. Flux by Kyo Maclear
Rooftop Cat by Frank Le Gall
Scholastic Dictionary of Spelling by Marvin Terban
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
Song for Papa Crow by Marit Menzin
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 by Gail Carriger
This Perfect Day by Ira Levin
Super Boys by Brad Ricca
Trash Can Days: A Middle School Saga by Teddy Steinkellner
The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A.E. van Vogt
Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer
Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
Where Do The Animals Go When It Rains? by Janet S. Crown

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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




Mr. Flux: 09/29/13

cover art

Mr. Flux by Kyo Maclear is one of those books that makes me say, "huh?" On the one hand, it's the story of Martin who has a serious problem facing change of any sort and the man who swoops in like Mary Poppins to fix him. On the other hand, it's a weird introduction to the Fluxus avant-garde art movement of the 1960s.

With Odd Duck and now Mr. Flux, there seems to be an epidemic of children stuck in ruts. Children's books seem to have a theme du jour, and I guess it's now "change is good."

Looking at just the plot of Mr. Flux coming to the boring town rescue Martin, his family and his neighbors, the book is pretty standard fair. There's a kid with a problem. It's further enforced by his environment. It takes an outsider to solve the problem and leave the kid and his town in better shape for it.

But there's the whole Fluxus thing. The Fluxus movement was started by George Maciunas and had members such as Yoko Ono and George Brecht. And here's where I start scratching my head. This is a book for third graders. Granted, I knew who Yoko Ono was in third grade, but back then she was hard to avoid. The modern day kid isn't going to know who she is or get the subtle call outs to the art movement and its participants. Nor am I sure their parents will get the connection — maybe their grandparents.

If the point is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fluxus movement, then perhaps a different audience should have been targeted. I can see Mr. Flux fleshed out to a graphic novel length and aimed at young adults.

Three stars

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