Saturday, December 20, 2014

Week in Review: December 14-20

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Barbara Robinson. 1972. HarperCollins. 128 pages. [Source: Bought]
Brown Girl Dreaming. Jacqueline Woodson. 2014. Nancy Paulsen Books.  336 pages. [Source: Library]
Angel Tree. Daphne Benedis-Grab. 2014. Scholastic. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Winterfrost. Michelle Houts. 2014. Candlewick. 272 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
The Golden Dreydl. Ellen Kushner. Illustrated by Ilene Winn-Lederer. 2007. Charlesbridge. 126 pages. [Source: Review copy]
A Quilt for Christmas. Sandra Dallas. 2014. St. Martin's Press. 256 pages. [Source: Library]
A Darcy Christmas: A Holiday Tribute to Jane Austen. By Amanda Grange, Carolyn Eberhart, and Sharon Lathan. 2010. Sourcebooks. 304 pages. [Source: Library]
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. Robert E. Barry. 1963. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Uncle Vova's Tree. Patricia Polacco. 1989. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Too Many Tamales. Gary Soto. Illustrated by Ed Martinez. 1993. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Angelina's Christmas. Katharine Holabird. Illustrated by Helen Craig. 1986. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
The Trees of the Dancing Goats. Patricia Polacco. 2000. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Morris' Disappearing Bag. Rosemary Wells. 1975. Penguin. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
Max's Christmas. Rosemary Wells. 1986. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Wombat Divine. Mem Fox. Illustrated by Kerry Argent. 1995/1999. HMH. 32 pages. [Source: Library]      
Revolutionary (Anomaly #3) Krista McGee. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Christmas Bus. Melody Carlson. 2006. Revell. 176 pages. [Source: Bought]

This week's favorite:

I choose The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It is my favorite, favorite Christmas book. And it's a book I've read dozens of times through the years. It is a book that I just adore! It's familiar and funny and touching too. Brown Girl Dreaming was a FANTASTIC read. It was. It was a compelling, absorbing read. (Probably the first book that I've read that so intimately describes growing up Jehovah's Witness.) And it is easily one of my favorite verse novels that I've read this year. But it can't really take the place of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in my heart.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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