Friday, July 12, 2013

The Year of the Book (2012)

The Year of the Book. Andrea Cheng. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 160 pages. [Source: Library]

The Year of the Book has a cozy feel to it, perhaps because of the hopeful outlook. Though Anna, our heroine, isn't absolutely loving all the changes that come with being in fourth grade, she has much to be thankful for. Anna gets great joy out of reading. Almost every chapter in this one includes Anna reading a new book or talking about a new book. Sometimes she's sharing memories of a book she loved, loved, loved long ago like Little Blue and Little Yellow (by Leo Lionni), and other times she's talking about her newest favorite-favorite book like A Wrinkle in Time or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I love her approach to life, if she has vacation, of course, she's going to spend it reading a new library book each day?! What else would she do?! But a love of book isn't all there is to Anna. She also loves to sew and make crafts. And it isn't hard to see that Anna cares about people deeply too. Sure, at the beginning, Anna seems like she is guarding herself a bit, hesitant to trust her old friend, Laura, since Laura has seemed so different, not quite herself since the start of the new school year. I love how open her heart is, though. How Anna takes time to care for people that may not receive a lot of attention or notice or care. There is something real about Anna and that is what I appreciated most in this tender novel.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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