As we ring in the New Year, we reflect back over some old and new initiatives at the CCYAL. An old initiative that we’re continuing for the 2017 year is the Student Review Board. In August, we asked students to share their thoughts on the YA and children’s books they are reading. Below is our most recent submission by Autumn at Hardin Valley. She’s reviewing Mosquitoland by David Arnold. If you know of a student that would be willing to read a current (past 18 months) book and then write a book review, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Students who participate will receive a free book from the Center collection.
In keeping with new resolutions, a new initiative we’re beginning this January is a monthly YA book club. Are you a teacher, librarian, parent, young adult, or young adult "at-heart" who reads young adult (YA) literature and wants to talk about it? Then join us in a YA book club! We'll be meeting the last Thursday of each month, beginning January 26th, from 6:00-8:00pm in the Lawson McGhee Library meeting room. Light refreshments will be provided. Our first book will be The Female of the Species, by Mindy McGinnis. We will take recommendations for other books to read, set a reading calendar, and ask for volunteers to lead future book discussions at this first meeting. Please join us! Happy reading!
Check out our Facebook page for more information and to see weekly book recommendations.
Student Book Review
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Despite being sixteen, I must first start with saying am not typically drawn to the Young Adult section of the bookstores I am so frequently in. Typically, I find myself reading classic Russian Literature or short stories published in the New Yorker. Nevertheless, the Barnes and Noble YA section drew me with the sign of buy two get one free.
Mosquitoland first caught my eye with its light blue cover and the image of Mim sitting on the roof of a bus. I had seen my English teacher recommend it to an acquaintance of mine, and trusted her literary judgement. Not to mention how Arnold made Cleveland, Ohio the goal destination for Mim in the novel. Half of my family is from Cleveland, and never before have I seen or heard of any mention of it in a YA Novel.
I was pleasantly surprised almost immediately upon starting Mosquitoland. Mim’s boldness and bravery drew me into the story. She was able to remain herself but still strong despite her life being in shambles. The integration of Beck and Walt was also a pleasant surprise. Beck, the romance interest, was not only dreamy but did not provide a typical “happy ever after” ending to the story. Walt is also a critical to why the story was so pleasant: A young, homeless man with Down syndrome is not treated in a discriminatory way, but is instead an inspiration for Mim and Beck and just as whole a character.
Mosquitoland is quite possibly one of the best novels I have ever read. I would recommend it to anyone, and especially those who are remaining themselves as life gets difficult.