Regular readers of my blog know that I really enjoy a good Victorian novel. So I have to say I’ve struggled to pull together my thoughts on Erewhon by Samuel Butler (published 1872) simply because it’s not one of the good ones. As a satirical look at Victorian society in the form of a dystopia,

Read Post

As I began reading The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway(2008), it seemed so familiar, but I couldn’t place why. I finally figured it out: it reads like a dystopian novel, where people are struggling to survive in an oppressive war environment. The characters in the book struggle just to get the basic necessities of

Read Post

I read Lois Lowry’s The Giver (1993, winner of the Newbery Medal 1994) when it was first published (I was a teenager), but the related books to it, Gathering Blue (2000) and Messenger (2004), were both written after my childhood days, so I hadn’t read them before. My book club recently decided to read Messenger,

Read Post

As my son sat watching Dora the Explorer, I thought of my recent read of Fahrenheit  451 (1953). “Say, ‘backpack!’” Dora said. “Backpack,” Raisin responded. “Louder!” Dora’s friend prompted. “Backpack!” Raisin yelled. And this is just what Guy Montag’s wife (did she garner a name? It slips my mind now) does all day long in

Read Post

In The Girl Who Owned a City (first published 1975, reissued 1995), O.T. Nelson creates an entirely unbelievable post-apocalyptic scenario for middle-grade readers. In the past month, the world population of adults has died of a rapidly spreading plague. All that remains in ten-year-old Lisa’s immediate world are other children, all under the age of

Read Post