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Adele in Sand Land by Claude Ponti
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Arnold of the Ducks by Mordicai Gerstein
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Black Ice by Andy Lane
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas
Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman
The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katharine M. Rogers
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Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
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That Book Woman by Heather Henson
This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
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Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall and Hyeondo Park

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 06, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 13, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 20, 2018)
July 2018 Sources
July 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFFFFF: The far end of the spectrum: orphans who cross the cornfield to utopia
FFFF66: Orphans going off road to reach utopia
FFFF00: The highway to utopia leads to self discovery for orphans
FFCCFF: Orphans through cornfields and time How I classify the road narrative protagonist

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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole: 08/17/18

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas is a historical fiction that goes on a science fiction tangent that becomes a philosophical exploration of time and the human condition. Put more another way, through there is no travel in the traditional sense, it qualifies as an American road narrative, on the fantasy end of the spectrum.

Stella Rodriguez wants to get the sound of her dead father's voice added to the golden record that will be sent out with Voyager. When she is turned away from NASA she is followed home by a small, shy, and hungry black hole. This set up is actually very familiar (though the details different) to Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan (1980).

The second third of the book is about Stella trying to take care of the black hole and dealing with her grief. She sees the black hole as a means to an end — a way of ridding the world of the things that upset her. But taking out one of something, takes out all those instances. A thing ceases to be and soon the consequences of her actions go beyond what she can control (as does the black hole).

The solution to the problem is to face the problem head on. It means facing painful memories and recreating the world as it should be from the pain that has been ignored. Summed up: "This sentence is really a map which is really a memory which is really a wish to go home." (p. 146)

In terms of the American road narrative spectrum, I'm placing at #FFCC66 (orphan, uhoria, off road) but it begins at #CC6633 (siblings home blue highway). It progresses through (in the second third) #FF6666 (orphan home off road) as Stella looses control over her grief and the black hole, and ends up feeding her brother to the black hole. She is only successful in undoing what she has done because she has lost everything, thus invoking orphan magic.

Act I Act II Act III Epilog
siblings home blue highway orphan home off road orphan, uhoria, off road family home blue highway
MC grieving loss of father. Wants to send message of him to space. Is closest to her brother. MC feels alone. Ends up feeding brother to black hole MC is alone. Has to go into the black hole to save life as she knows it MC now feels like part of a family, at home

Five stars

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