>Baby is on a reading quest this summer as she is every summer. She has five books to read for a summer challenge where in the fall she gets to attend an ice cream party at school. If she reads eight she gets something else over and above that. DO NOT ask me what the extra is. I’m getting to old to remember unimportant things like rewards (unless it’s my royalties).
It also makes me sigh a little because I NEVER had to be given a reward to read a book. I devoured books from the time I was four, or was it five. *shrug* Thank God for my grandmother who handed me books left and right until eventually I was pulling from her bookshelves when I visited her house for two weeks in the summer. I remember several times begging to take a book home with me (750 miles) to return to her later. She generally let me unless it was a particular favorite of hers.
Reading YA Can Be Fun
Anyway, I looked over Baby’s sheet of books to select from, and I saw the book about Marley and Me. I’d heard good things about the book, and always thought that one day I’d get around to reading it. So that got me to thinking. What if we selected books I wanted to read. I could read them and be able to answer questions Baby has when she reads the book. So that’s exactly what we did.
The DH went and bought the five books that Baby and I agreed on taste wise, and I’ve already read one of them. I figure since this is a review, I needed to have a rating system like eveyrone else. Since I blog the same post on all my blogs to different audiences, I needed to come up with my own rating system outside of my weekly post at the GabWagon. Given that I love chocolate AND strawberries, I figured combining the two was a good rating picture. *grin* Personally, I’ll only review books with a three rating or higher. I figure for a book I don’t like, there will be enough scathing reviews from others that I don’t need to expand the dialogue in that way.
Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Bethany is a sharp 12-year-old who is dropped off by her parents at an aunt’s house. An aunt she never knew until her parents unceremoniously drop her off at Myrlie’s place. As the plot unfolds, Bethany starts learning things about her parents and herself she never knew. Like most kids she questions whether some things are her fault, whether her parents don’t love her and she internalizes all of this because she’s afraid to ask questions. With each turn of the page, a question gets answered and a new question gets raised.
What I liked about this book is Bethany’s insecurities and the way the people around her react to her. Bethany is a strong character who asks the kind of questions parents hate, primarily because as parents we want to protect our children. This is a key element in the story. Everything that happens in the story is a direct result of Bethany’s parents trying to protect her. As a parent I truly identified with that, but as a reader, I also identified with the insecurity that Bethany displays. I remember those insecurities and some of them still exist today. This isn’t an action adventure so much as it is a mystery. It’s the kind of mystery I loved to read when I was growing up.
The only thing I found weak about the book was how a politically controversial matter was dealt with in the story. I don’t want to give anything away, but the treatment of the “wrong-doing” on the part of a couple of characters didn’t work for me. But then I think for most kids, the politics aren’t going to require anything more than a neat and tidy ending. They’ve got other things on their minds than politics.
I heartily recommend this book as a fun YA book that you can share with your 10-year-old and up.
Baby is just now into Chapter 8 and really seems to be enjoying the read. I’ll post her opinion when she’s finished.