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Month in review

Reviews
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story by P.D. Eastman
The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle
By Motor to the Golden Gate by Emily Post
Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack
Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper
Demon, Volume 3 by Jason Shiga
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
The Fog by Kyo Maclear
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon
Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
Once Upon a Thriller by Carolyn Keene
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers by Harold Davis
Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Say No to Murder by Nancy Pickard
Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Stone Warriors by Michael Northrop
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Under the Dragon's Tail by Maureen Jennings
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 30)
September 2017 Sources
September 2017 Summary

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



Short: 10/28/17

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a middle grade examination of what it means to be short. It opens with Julia Marks complaining about being the shortest person in her family. She's the one who has to sit in the middle back seat. She's the one who can't reach things off of shelves. And on and on.

She also doesn't feel like dealing with life or anything really because she misses her dog, Ramon. He lived out his life and died earlier in the year. Julia was hit the hardest by his death and she's still grieving.

It's an opening I can relate to. I'm not short, exactly. Technically I'm average. But I'm the shortest one in my family. That changed as my grandmother aged and the loss of bone density and spine compression lost her enough inches to end up my height. She resented being as short as I am naturally. Like Julia, I learned to come to terms with my height.

For Julia, the process begins over summer when her parents enroll her and her younger brother into a drama camp where the kids will be the Munchkins at the community college performance of The Wizard of Oz. Julia, besides being short also stutters when she's nervous. Being in a musical is the last thing she wants to do this summer.

And then she meets Shawn Barr, the man directing the play. He's short. He's shorter than she is. But he's self confident. He's in control. He inspires respect. Julia is inspired enough to earn two roles — Munchkin and Winged Monkey.

Like Counting by 7s, Sloan populates her book with memorable and diverse characters and then brings them together by circumstance. I loved watching how Julia expands her world by finding new talents in herself and in the people around her.

I happened to listen to the audio book, read by Tara Sands. Her voice is now how I think of Julia Marks when I remember the book. Sands gives Julia an upbeat voice similar to either Sadie or Peridot from Steven Universe. Peridot, especially, is a short character who uses technology to expand her height and her reach — so it's easy to start by picturing her instead of a 12 year old human girl. That said, I found that I had to listen to the novel either when I was alone or with headphones because I grew tired of the Peridot jokes.

Five stars

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