The Porcupine Year
Louise Erdrich’s The Porcupine Year received multiple starred reviews and showed up on a bunch of blogs when it was released in September (including Debbie Reese‘s and Fuse#8’s). And if you take a look at it on Goodreads, you see that fairrosa calls it "one of the better books of the year" and Monica‘s tagged it "award worthy." Yet it doesn’t seem to be on the tip-of-the-tongue when I ask people for their thoughts on Newbery contenders. Why not? I find the tone of this book to be one of its most distinguished characteristics. Devastating, hopeful, and funny. Where else do we see that breadth of tone accomplished so well this year? I suspect that this one comes down to a "taste" issue, because it doesn’t have the kind of plot that many readers need to find a book engaging. It does, however, speak to a particular type of kid appeal…for those readers who find most engrossing the details of how people lived. Thoughts?
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About Nina Lindsay
Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at email@example.com
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