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Month in review

Reviews
The Alcatraz Escape by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Better Off Read by Nora Page
Braced by Alyson Gerber
The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Fleep by Jason Shiga
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz
Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator) Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi
The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
Murder Past Due by Miranda James
Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
Ragtag by Karl Wolf-Morgenländer
The Road is Yours Reginald M. Cleveland Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
Runaways, Volume 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell
Ship It by Britta Lundin
Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
Wandering Son: Volume 3 by Takako Shimura
White Night by Jim Butcher
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative

Miscellaneous
Canadian Book Challenge: 2018-2019
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 25)
May 2018 Sources
May 2018 Summary
On counting books: stop policing other people's reading
Thirty-one years of tracking my reading

Road Essays
Ignoring the eight percent
There are 216 road narrative stories (that I'm interested in)
Traveling between utopia and uhoria: an introduction to the use of space and time in Oz and Night Vale
Who is Dorothy?

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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


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Crossing the Tracks: 06/29/18

Crossing the Tracks

Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber is historical fiction set rural Missouri in the heyday of the model T. As her father is set to re-marry, Iris is hired out to work as a housekeeper to a country doctor and his aged mother. Iris is understandably furious and sullen about the whole thing, knowing full well that she is qualified to run one of her father's shoe stores instead. But he wants her out of sight and out of mind so that he can move on with his life with no reminders of his first wife.

Iris's first encounter with her new employer is a dark and dusty house. She begins to imagine the worse — a near corpse of a woman trapped in her living room. Instead as soon as she's instructed to open the curtains, she meets a feisty, independently minded woman, who though clearly old, isn't frail or near death.

Crossing the Tracks settles into a tale of family is the people you chose, not the ones you're born to. The old woman teaches her how to manage a house and a farm. The doctor teaches her how to drive.

The tale of Iris's growth into a self reliant person is spun in threads taken from the Persephone myth as well as road not taken road narrative. At Iris feels trapped in a far away, dusty, near-dead place that she doesn't know and doesn't want to know. As time passes, she grows to love her employers as a family she has been denied at home.

On the road narrative spectrum it progresses through:

Act I Act II Act III
     
family, home, railroad orphan, rural, railroad privileged, home, railroad

I read the book as part of my road narrative project and I will probably need to re-read it more closely. My initial live blog of favorite quotes is on Tumblr.

Her second novel is Girl in Reverse (2014).

Five stars

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