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Friday, August 19, 2016

Finally Finished Reading... Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield

Update! Update! I've looked up the winners and my two favourites won! Cloudwish and Soon, for the Older and Younger Readers respectively. Both of them books our kids, at least, have enjoyed. This one and A Single Stone got the Honour book for Older Readers.

And with it, I've read the entire Older Readers section of this year's CBCA shortlist. I decided I wasn't allowed to find out who the winners were till I'd done this. I just know that once I found out I would never have got around to finishing whatever I was reading at the time, and certainly not anything else I hadn't started. And that would have been a shame. I admit I'm missing the days when I had that wonderful student Selena to read the Older Readers list with me and discuss it. (That was the year we both loved Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon and thought it should have won). There are some great kids in my current book club, but no Selenas. Most of them read only one book at a time! How can a true booklover do that? Unless they read very quickly, of course.

I confess, I have only read one book in the Younger Readers section, Morris Gleitzman's Soon, but it was wonderful! One of the book club students is reading another book in the Younger Readers, can't recall which one, and another is reading and enjoying The Flywheel. She told me so when she came to renew the loan.

So, what did I think of Vikki Wakefield's opus? Well, it was very literary, which probably means it has won. I felt that while I got the whole "heroine develops and grows as a human being" thing, it wasn't really the kind of book I'd normally read. YA fiction is the only area in which I'll read straight contemporary fiction, though I prefer it when it's funny. But funny doesn't win awards. Really. I remember Geoffrey McSkimming complaining about that at a library conference once. I guess he'll just have to comfort himself that the kids read his books.

There were some bits in it I appreciated. I liked the whale rescue scene, although it was really only there to tell us something about the heroine, Jack - and about her mother. I appreciated the whole notion of the Mobius strip town actually called Mobius which nobody ever really leaves. Mind you, there's the ending, but I won't tell you because of spoilers. I quite liked the wisdom of older female mentors, though they didn't take on that role till late in the novel. Before that, we only saw them through Jack's eyes, and I was surprised when they suddenly appeared in a different light to her. Her growth, I suppose. I very much liked the drive-in cinema which Jack and two others are trying to restore, though I don't know how you can show a movie on the big screen using videotapes. There must be some tech stuff I've missed. If the author meant "film reels" - logical, as it turns out the owner used to own the drive-in - she never said that. She said "tapes."

But the whole idea of getting a drive-in going again is very cool.

It's not an easy book to read; it took me a couple of weeks and I'm a fast reader. As far as the kids are concerned, it will take very good readers to enjoy it. Not a book for the reluctant reader or even the average reader. It's one you have to think about as you read.

And I suspect some schools will get class sets and make this a class text, because there's a lot of material for discussion.

Now I'm going to look up the winners of this year's CBCA Awards. I'll post about that later.

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