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Month in review

Reviews
Beast & Crown by Joel Ross
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Boundless by Jillian Tamaki
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
CatStronauts: Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington
Demon, Volume 4 by Jason Shiga
Feathertop by Robert D. San Souci
14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop
From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match by Elizabeth Eulberg
Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott
Lights, Camera, Middle School! by Jennifer L. Holm
The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds
The Losers Club by Andrew Clements
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green
Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman
Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes by Booki Vivat
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Paper Girls Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Red Leech by Andrew Lane
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle
The Scarebird by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 25 by Rosamund Kidman Cox

Miscellaneous
2017 books read and reviewed
Back Half round-up: Favorite books read and reviewed from July-December 2017 Canadian Books reviewed in 2017
Diverse Books Reviewed in 2017
First Book of the Year Graphic Novels Reviewed in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 04)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 11)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 18)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 25)
Mysteries reviewed in 2017
Road Narrative Summary
November 2017 sources
November 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


Carrying Albert Home: 12/01/17

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is a fictionalized account of the author's parents taking a road trip from West Virginia to Florida to return Albert to his native state. I read it as part of my road narrative project but rather quickly decided it wasn't relevant to the direction my research has gone.

There's a dryness that creeps into these types of books — written from the distance of nearly forgotten memories, or secondhand stories. Sometimes it works — They Came in from the Road — being an example. And sometimes it doesn't.

There's a certain absurdity worked into this story — a couple owning an alligator and then taking him back to Florida in a washtub in the backseat of their car. That visual combined with the matter of fact narration left me imagining Daniel Pinkwater reading the book in same fashion he read The Neddiad. I found that mental exercise distracting.

Things weren't helped any when the couple stops to pick up a hitchhiking John Steinbeck. Whether or not they actually picked him up is immaterial. In terms of the narrative, Steinbeck is like the historical figure of the week in the Murdoch Mysteries. Steinbeck, though, as the radicalizing force in Elsie's life, comes off as a nonfictional Melvin the Shaman.

Two stars

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