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Reviews
The American Highway by William Kaszynski
Blizzard by John Rocco
The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King
Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
Don Eddy: The Art of Paradox by Donald B. Kuspit
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
Finding Someplace by Denise Lewis Patrick
Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
The Flying Squad by Edgar Wallace
George by Alex Gino
Ghoul Interrupted by Victoria Laurie
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1: 1970s-1981 by Ed Piskor
In the Driver's Seat by Cynthia Golomb Dettelbach
Last Message by Shane Peacock
The Lincoln Highway by Michael Wallis
Magic Thinks Big by Elisha Cooper
A Murderous Yarn by Monica Ferris
My Name Is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada
Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith
Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
The Spider by Elise Gravel
A Spirited Gift by Joyce Lavene
A Stitch in Time by Monica Ferris
Tommy Can't Stop! by Tim Federle
Unraveled Sleeve by Monica Ferris
Up, Tall and High by Ethan Long
The Vacation by Polly Horvath
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Woundabout by Lev A.C. Rosen

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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



Woundabout: 11/10/15

Woundabout by Lev A.C. RosenWoundabout by Lev A.C. Rosen is a delightful tween urban fantasy story about a brother and sister being forced to move in with their aunt after the death of their parents in an explosion at the family capybara farm.

When I say parents, you might be imagining a dead mother and a death father. Here, though, it's two fathers: Pop and Dad. It's a minor but important detail. In so many same sex parenting stories the emphasis is put on the family being different or the children feeling weird or being treated weird for their family situation. Here, though, the family situation is treated as completely normal by how downplayed it is. The standard orphan trope is used to start off the book with a pair of illustrations: one showing two men and the children standing before the entrance to the farm, and another of just the two men smiling at the camera. It's a short and sweet way of saying the children's loss is as heart-wrenching as any other child's would be in a similar situation regardless of who the parents were.

Two photographs from the book

Woundabout, then, is the eponymous focus of the story. It is a town run by a mayor who expects everyone to have a routine and for no one to ask questions. Woundabout is one of those places where every long term resident knows what's going on but no one dares to speak a word or admit to the knowledge.

Woundabout is stuck in its routine and it needs fresh eyes and fresh hearts to breath some life into the city. It reminds me Storybrooke in the first season of Once Upon a Time except that the residents aren't under a memory curse. In that regard the town is like Santaroga, of Frank Herbert's Santaroga Barrier.

Besides the siblings now living in Woundabout, there is another pair living just outside the town. They live with the mother and father on an organic vegetable farm. They're interesting because they have access to an otherwise closed community, something most of these secretive towns don't allow. Also important, though, is that the sister is confined to a wheelchair due to an injury sustained on the farm.

The sister is perhaps the most important character in the entire book because she is happy and has been able to move on beyond the huge upset in her life. She by herself is dangerous to the status quo of Woundabout but the accident at the Capybara farm is the catalyst needed to finally bring change to a town stuck in time.

Five stars

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