This weekend I finished reading the The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles. I must say that I have not read Love, Ruby Lavender or Each Little Bird That Sings the other two books in this series by Wiles. I'm guessing I should have, considering Each Little Bird That Sings was a National Book Award finalist. Then again, I might not be as critical having not read the other books.
Am I wrong? I wasn't digging it... It just wasn't MY favorite. There were plenty of good qualities to the book. I can see the reader of this book. I know there is a reader for this book. I will surely recommend it in my room. It just wasn't MY favorite.
What is good about this book? The lesson to be learned. The book has an underlying theme of equality. Whether or not it is equality for women or racial equality, or both, I am still unsure? Or maybe I am sure, but I wanted the story to focus more on one than the other. I liked that the book could appeal to both girls and boys. I also liked that the characters had some genuine qualities that could pull you into the story. I did shed a tear or two during the story. I love stories set in small towns. (Probably because I grew up in one. Not this small, but small.) I have always liked books that tie into the Jackie Robinson Pee Wee Reece story. You could pair this up with any number of picture books about the two, such as Teammates by Peter Golenbock.
What I didn't like about the book was that I thought it was a bit too unpredictable. I think that may be the point of the plot, however. I think that has to do with the keeping the mystery of the plot going. An example was the fight that transpired between the main character, House, and his best friend, Cleebo. To me it was as if Wiles were forcing the fight to make a point. I didn't understand the fight. My brain just didn't mesh with this writing style.
I am going to go back to read Love, Ruby Lavender and Each Little Bird That Sings and maybe I will rewrite this review. For now, it just didn't grab me. BUT there are SO MANY people for whom this story did click. Here they are:
A Year Of Reading
I Read Books (cute, review Haiku)
Welcome to My Tweendom
Bookshelves Of Doom
and the list goes on and on...