Tuesday, December 29, 2009

William S. And The Great Escape (MG)

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. 2009. William S. and the Great Escape. Simon & Schuster. 214 pages.

His birth certificate, if he even had one, probably just said Willy Baggett, but for most of the seventh grade he'd been signing his school papers William S. Baggett.

William S. has been planning his escape for most of his life. Since his mother's death, well, things have gone from bad to worse in the Baggett house. Too many people under one roof. Too many mean, abusive people. When his sister--distraught after the death of Sweetie Pie, her pet guinea pig--comes to him begging for help, then the great escape becomes more than a far-away dream; it becomes a reality. Jancy wants to run away with William S. and bring the two youngest along as well: Buddy and Trixie. Can these four kids make their way to Aunt Fiona's house? And what will await them if they do make it all that way?

William S. And The Great Escape is historical fiction. It's set in 1938. What makes this adventure story a bit more unique is the fact that William is so strongly attached to all-things Shakespeare. He carries his Complete Works of William Shakespeare around like it is the biggest treasure ever. He reads it to himself. He reads it aloud to his siblings. He quotes from it. He acts from it. He entertains with it. It symbolizes so much to him--represents a great promise of all that could be...if he wasn't stuck being a Baggett.

I enjoyed this one very much.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous,  11:35 PM  

Oh, this sounds just lovely! I've heard Zilpha Keatley Snyder much praised - and now I know which book of hers I want to read first! :) L.

Amanda 8:45 PM  

Zilpha Keatley Synder is highly undervalued in my opinion. It's good to see someone else reviewing her books.

Andrea 1:37 PM  

That sounds like a really great book. I will have to check it out.

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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
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  • apocalyptic fiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • 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.

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