Monday, January 26, 2009

Who's the Winner?

Today the American Library Association announced the book awards for 2008 , including the Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature. And I've actually read the winning book! And I liked it!
Drumroll please.....the winner is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Most reviews include the powerful first line of the story (deservedly so, it's a pretty good first line). This confusing, gripping story follows two plot lines, with little introduction. I had to keep turning back pages to put characters and events in order, or at least some kind of order. I think that's what I liked so much about the book though. What happened, what's happening, how characters are feeling and acting, it's not obvious. The reader is expected to work at the story, wrestling with the emotions and responses along with the characters.

So what's the story about? Hmmm. Taylor, abondoned as a youngster, has grown up at the boarding school down Jellico Road. She's 17 now and leader of the school, responsible for her group in the territory wars. Yep, a war between the school kids, the military cadets who spend several weeks camped out at the school, and the townies from the nearby town who don't attend the school.

If you're interested in a complicated, adventurous tale of friendship and individuality, pick up Jellicoe Road.

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