Some Thoughts

An author recently sent me a middle-grade fiction book to review. I read it and declined to review it. But I wanted to offer some thoughts on it.

The book, which I am not going to name, has the rousing approval of the reviewers of the world. It has a mainstream publisher. The reviewers find it hard to put down, and a great study in character development. One called it “an action-filled survival story aimed at middle grade readers.”

It is all those things, but it’s also very dark. It reminds me of Lord of the Flies, actually. There is such a bleak view of human nature, and not enough in the way of redemptive themes–although there is one character who prays and whose influence is for the good. In fact I cannot imagine my sons picking this up and reading it for fun. They’d read it if a teacher made them, of course, and would identify the themes, and the character development, and so on. All that is very well done.

I love books that aim for joy.

I am hoping to review books that my kids would read for fun. So I’ll let the other folks review the ones the kids would have to read for school.

1 thought on “Some Thoughts

  1. Purple Butterflies

    I whole-heartedly agree with you. I was forced to read “classics” in school that I did not joy and will never understand what made them classics. The only ones I enjoyed in school were MArk Twain’s books. I have to say that there are amazing books out there with a wonderful story to tell and amazingly written and highly entertaining and some how they escape the awards and recognition that they so richly deserve.

    DW Golden
    Soar with fairies in Purple Butterflies, a new young adult novel now available at

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