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Blowing Clear by Joseph C. Lincoln
Captain Superlative by J.S. Puller
Charlie & Frog by Karen Kane
The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks
File M for Murder by Miranda James
Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer
Giant Days Volume 8 by John Allison
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
If Someone Says 'You Complete Me,' RUN! by Whoopi Goldberg
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage
Little Red Rodent Hood by Ursula Vernon
The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
The Mystery of the Missing Mask by M.A. Wilson
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl
The Rhino in Right Field by Stacy DeKeyser
Runaways, Volume 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell
Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters by Gene Luen Yang and Matthew Holmes
Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman
Show Me a Story! by Leonard S. Marcus
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
Soof by Sarah Weeks
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
Very Rich by Polly Horvath
Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (December 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 24)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 31)
November 2018 Sources
November 2018 Summary

Best of the Year
Favorites of the second half of 2018

Thirteen favourite Canadian reads of 2018

Twelve favorite diverse books read in 2018

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Twelve favorite mysteries read in 2018

Twelve favorite Road Narrative Spectrum books read in 2018

Twelve favorite road narrative spectrum essays written in 2018

Road Essays
FF9900 Orphan Wildlands Blue Highway

FF66FF: orphan home cornfield: or who lives alone in a cornfield?

FF66CC: Orphans at home in the maze

FF6699: orphans at home in the labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for November 2018

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2 stars: OK
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Inkling: 12/25/18

Inkling

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel is a story of grief and the long hard recovery personified. The book opens with a spot of ink in a graphic novelist's sketchpad coming to life from all the recently rejected drawings and ideas.

Ethan, the son of the graphic novelist, has a group assignment at school that he can't escape. It's a comic book and he's been stuck with doing the initial storyboards and panels. The problem is, he can't draw.

So it's Ethan who at first to discover the living blob of ink. He's the one to name it. He's the one who feeds it the ink of the printed word and illustrations. It's Ethan who first exploits Inkling, getting it to help him on his homework.

Then there is Sarah, Ethan's sister. She was born with Down Syndrome. She speaks of herself in the third person. What she wants more than anything is a dog, even though she likes to scold animals. Inkling for the time being can fill that need, taking on a new name, Lucy.

The father, though, wallowing in his grief for his recently deceased wife, hasn't managed to write a new book or comic in months. He's weeks overdue on his assignment. He wants to use Inkling to write his new book because he's too scared — too depressed — to face his grief and to push through his creative block.

Beyond the story of avoiding grief through the exploitation of a magical creature, there is the horror side to the story. What happens if Inkling is fed too much? What happens if he is given nothing but violence and horror to read/consume? What happens if artists are no longer needed?

My one complaint with Inkling is in the characterization of the the publisher's daughter. She happens to be the same age as Ethan and happens to go to the same school. She even happens to be in the same class. She's also apparently spent her entire short life so far bullying Ethan. She has decided from the get-go that both Ethan and his father can't draw. Now that suddenly he appears to be able to, she has made up her mind to discover the reason for his sudden "skill."

I understand the need for a plot device to bring the father out of his funk and to get him and Ethan on the same side. But in a book with so few females, why do they all have to be the other? There is the dead mother. There is the sister with Down Syndrome. And there is the bully/antagonist.

Four stars

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