Recent Reads in Denver:
Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
Reading this on the flight from Philadelphia to Denver was a great experience. The book’s setting is a working class neighborhood of Philly and Anderson did a great job of catching the Philly flavor (including the TastyCakes) in her novel.
The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
How is it that the Schwa can be standing right in front of you, but you fail to see him? How does an old man can live in an apartment with 14 dogs named for all the sins and virtues? Isn’t it strange that a blind girl, Lexie, can see better than anyone else, or can she? Who is a better cook, Antsy’s mom, or Antsy’s Dad?
Do we all feel invisible at times?
Naked by David Sedaris
I read this in preparation for seeing David Sedaris speak last night. I have loved the other books of his that I’ve read and listened to. This one was really good too. However, most of my friends who have read it thought it was his funniest ever, and I found myself crying through it. The descriptions of his OCD behaviors really got to me. David Sedaris live, on stage, is awesome. He got us laughing so hard that my roommate just about threw up and I couldn’t even see for all the tears in my eyes. He is hysterical, but has so much heart. Wow!
~posted by Alli
Klise, Kate illus by M. Sarah Klise. Shall I Knit You a Hat? A Christmas Yarn. Square Fish, 2007. ISBN 978-0312371395 32 pp. $
And speaking of great new picture books, my Christmas orders came in earlier this week and you all must buy Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn by Kate Klise. Because of an impending blizzard, Mother Rabbit knits a hat for Little Rabbit. He likes it so much that he asks his mother to knit hats for all their friends for Christmas so they won’t be cold in the snow. What makes this so adorable is the hats themselves. Little Rabbit’s hat is fitted to his ears – kind of like toe socks. The other animal’s hats are giant and bizzare-looking (bells hanging off and the like). The expressions on their faces wearing their new hats for the first time is priceless as is Deer saying “My antlers have never been drier.”
Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa was Here. Puffin, 2006. ISBN 978-0142405772 pp. $9.99
I also read The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman. What an odd little gem. Anthony “Antsy” Bonano first notices the Schwa while attempting to destroy an indestructible plastic mannequin. The Schwa is Calvin Schwa, a young man who is “visibly challenged” as in no one notices him to the point that Antsy’s mother repeatedly hits him in the face while talking with her hands because she doesn’t see him there. There’s a lot going on in this book: Calvin’s story and that of his mother who disappeared nearly a decade earlier and Antsy’s relationship with his family. There’s also a cranky old man and his blind grand-daughter, 14 Afgan dogs, and a butcher with a tale to tell. Definitely one worth picking up.