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[personal profile] justice_turtle
I have finally acquired for review one of the half-dozen Newbery Honor books not even my old home library had! ALL HAIL INTERLIBRARY LOAN. XD This would be one of the 1925 Newbery Honor Books - the year of Tales from Silver Lands. (I've also got the other Honor Book from that year on request, but it's not in yet.)

this is a very old book )

I'm not going to read all the rest of this. I gave it a fair shot, 100 pages, and I see why not even my old library of completism owned it. It was a good book at the time and for the place it was written in, but it doesn't have much interest beyond that place and time.

I still would've voted to give it the Newbery above "Tales from Silver Lands" if it had had that absolute necessity of tour-books which are intended to replace rather than supplement a trip to the place: better visual descriptions, fewer El stops. :P
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Okay, I decided not to run the Mock Newberys of the Past strictly in step with the Newberys. Which allows for more flexibility in plugging in good books as I discover them! So, YAY.

So anyway: the next Proper Newbery Nominee on this list is Smoky the Cow Horse, the 1927 winner. In googling to un-confuse myself over the similar names "Will James" (this book's author) and "Will Rogers" (not this book's author), I learned that Will James was apparently the pen name of a Canadian cowboy, real name Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault.

I'll tell you, it's a lot easier to liveblog first-time reads than re-reads; WARNING for some animal abuse and racism )

In conclusion: I would call this book pretty solidly the Black Beauty of the USA, maybe even better than that. :-) It's so good and so well-written, I'm waffling on whether to give it five stars even despite the flickers of racism. O_O
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Hrum. Wikipedia assures me that the short-stories in this book are the original creations of Mr Arthur Bowie Chrisman, a Virginia native, but the back cover is trying extremely hard to convince me - without saying it flat out - that they are traditional Chinese folktales. I am Well Dubious. Granted, Mr Chrisman probably wasn't responsible for the back cover, as this looks like... yes, it is a reprint. 1968. O_O [ETA: He actually was responsible for the back cover - it's from an interview he gave. :P]

The thing is, being a pasty white person of whiteness, I am not really very familiar with what is offensive when writing about other cultures. But I suspect this book crosses the line.

Onward and, um, throughward! ;P Lots of racism under here... WARNING for implied domestic violence and blatant misogyny, too. )... and now I am done with this book, even though there are thirteen more stories and 150 more pages.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Yay, more Padraic Colum! :D I hope this is good. Obviously the concept - "Atlantic discovery" - is a bit inherently racist in that America had been discovered a lot of times before white people did it across the Atlantic. But... I'm hoping it'll be good apart from that? :S

hold your nose and dive in )
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
I'll post a review of "The Dark Frigate" later; I'm in a bit of a hurry right now.

****

1925 had two Newbery Honor Books: The Dream Coach by Anne Parrish and Nicholas: A Manhattan Christmas Story by Annie Carroll Moore. Neither one is available to me. The next book on my reading list, therefore, is "Tales from Silver Lands" by Charles Joseph Finger. It's billed as a collection of folktales from the natives of the South American back-country, which Mr Finger apparently explored.

Here goes! ) I'M DONE NOW. Jerk.

* Reading Charles Finger's Wiki bio, though, I'm struck by how many of the writers I've read here so far aren't American-born and/or don't set their stories in the USA. Finger and Lofting were both British-born, Van Loon Dutch-born, Padraic Colum Irish; Hawes and Bernard Gay Marshall, American-born, seem to prefer England and (in Hawes's case) the Spanish Main for their settings; William Bowen appears to have no biographical information anywhere. (Perhaps he disappeared from the timestream in shame, but couldn't erase The Old Tobacco Shop from the Newbery list. TOO BAD.)

Only Cornelia Meigs, so far, is both definitely American-born and set her Newbery Honor story completely in America.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Pfffff, Dark Frigate. Charles Boardman Hawes. Don't I have homework due tomorrow? I'm sure I need to do the laundry. Pity I don't have a cat; I could vacuum it! ;D

It's a frigate. Of darkness. )

Blaaaaaaaaaah. Done. THAT WAS A LOT OF BOOK.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Mmm...kay. We get to the first book I've heard of on the list! It is not enticing. ;-)

The edition I have is a brand new Signet Classic, checked out of the library's "Popular" section. I am now side-eyeing the library fairly hard, because I have heard it rumored that the Dr Dolittle books are pretty racist. (I could get into a whole debate over what belongs in a library's "Popular" section, but I won't. Unless people want to start it in comments. *g* I'm always up for polite discussion in comments.)

Me, myself, I've never read this book at all that I know of, and only a couple of excerpts from the first book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle - I know I've read the part where he learns to talk to animals from his parrot and becomes an animal doctor (Ka-ka oi-ee, fee-fee? is Parrot-speak for "Is the porridge hot yet?"; I spent SO MANY hours as a four-year-old trying to parse the syntax there... no wonder I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings at ten, come to think on), and I've read an excerpt about the Pushmi-Pullyu but I couldn't tell you which book it was from. Honestly, I didn't know there was more than one until I started poking around Newbery Medal history and learned that the first book was published the year before the Newberys started.

Looking at some other Newbery reading blogs (I've linked a few on the comm profile now), I suspect I'm going to start running across books I know from excerpts in ancient school readers but have never read in full. Some of the synopses sound very familiar.

But for now - off we go! With *reads back of book* Dr Dolittle and young Tommy Stubbins.

snippity snip CUT )

So there you have it! Insensitive in spots, definitely colonial, but so much better than most other things I've read from this list I can't even.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
The last post brought us up to page 207, anyway. I did some math: I'm 43% of the way done!

This book has taken me over a month to review. Admittedly, part of that was being on official hiatus, but part of it was just... this is a very dense book. It's got a lot of references I don't know anything about; my search history has probably hit the point where anyone who subpoenaed it would just be utterly perplexed. (Not that it was ever very incriminating. The basic stew of "[contact info/hours/address for X]", "what time should i go to bed calculator", and "muffaletta" has just been spiced up a bit by the addition of "venice council of ten", "milled coins history", "otto emperor" etc.)

Anyway. ENTER THE RENAISSANCE!

this way to the egress, I mean Renaissance )

Halfway point! The next chapter looks to be taking us Eastward to talk about Buddha and Confucius for a bit, so I'll cut this off here... good grief. I talked that long about only thirty-odd pages? I'm going to be here FOREVER. AND A DAY. O_O

ETA: No I'm not. I flipped forward to look at the chapters about WWI, because their titles are uncommunicative, and ran across this paragraph near the end of the book:

cut for racism )

He's trying to explain World War I happening, which is an admirable if futile enterprise... but I gave you three chances not to be casually racist above and beyond the demands of whatever your publisher wanted, Hendrik Willem van Loon. You just blew the last one. I'm out of here (except for the review).

I don't say The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle is going to be any BETTER, but at least I won't have to fact-check it! O_O
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
And that's the first third of the book done with. I'm never going to finish if I don't speed up, but I really do want to do it justice... :P Part of the trouble is just that nonfiction is really dense compared to fiction. But the chronic googling of "what on earth did he just SAY?" doesn't help either. Not to mention that we're getting pretty solidly into medieval politics now!

Heigh-ho, medieval politics! Awaaaaaaay! :D )

* I mean. I'm going to quote the first chapter head for the Renaissance in full, and then stop and post. "People Once More Dared To Be Happy Just Because They Were Alive. They Tried To Save The Remains Of The Older And More Agreeable Civilisation Of Rome And Greece And They Were So Proud Of Their Achievements That They Spoke Of A Renaissance Or Re-Birth Of Civilisation".

Wow.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Apparently it's National or International Read A Book Day - I didn't quite catch the modifier - so I decided I'd post this tonight, though I meant to get to the Crusades in this section.

(On the other hand, maybe it's as well; I seem to be picking up some of Mr van Loon's speech patterns. *g*)

******

Enter the Middle Ages! For the record, everything up through the Fall of Rome has taken the first quarter of the book by number of pages (I'm on page 130 out of 482).

here we goooooo!!! :D )
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Onward the course of History takes its way! XD

...this is a really weird book. I'm partly quite enjoying it - there are bits, especially the illustrations, that are downright adorable - and partly I just can't look away. The sociopolitical tone is so off-the-wall, I can't wait to see what happens next. ;P It's like it isn't even the history of the world I know.

So. Livebloggy tiem! )

* ...I'm afraid I'm letting this book come off worse than it actually is. The trouble is that the well-done parts aren't usually very interesting, and the bad parts are HILARIOUSLY QUOTABLE. It makes for a skewed sample. :P

* Anyway, that chapter ends with a nice little paragraph on how the Church saved Civilization. I'm guessing that's the subject of the next chapter or so. Which means we're getting into the Dark/Middle Ages (they're lumped together here, more or less, as I see from the table of contents).
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
And now we reach the first-ever Newbery Medal winner: The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem Van Loon! *round of applause* ;-)

And liveblog! :D )

I'm just going to stop Section 1 of the liveblog there, because... well, because next we're getting into the Peloponnesian War and the Punic Wars, and they're long. But also because I'm kind of busy flailing a lot about Thermopylae. :D

*has neither the time nor the training to write a better history book* *keeps thinking about it anyway*
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books aren't, Newberys belong to the ALA.

...I'm going to put the full title of this book under the cut, because it's one of those that pulls a Moll Flanders and tells you half the story in the subtitle. ;-) The short title is The Great Quest by Charles Boardman Hawes. It isn't on Gutenberg, so if you want to read it you'll have to find it yourself. I don't yet know if that's worth doing.

LIVEBLOGGING THEREOF; warning for mental ableism, racism, graphic violence, bad writing, and reviewer's extreme familiarity with the more popular works of Robert Louis Stevenson )

...I can't handle this book anymore. I'm skipping. I've given it enough of a fair chance to make a judgment, in my own opinion. IT STEEEEEEEEENKS. 120 pages is a fair chance, right? Can I make it the 100-page rule instead of the 50% rule, now I'm out of Gutenberg books and the rest will be dead-tree versions? I'm going to, I think.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books are not, Newberys belong to the ALA. No profit is being made from this endeavor. Anonymous commenting is enabled, IP logging and CAPTCHA are on, anon comments are screened for review.

This week I'm reading Cedric, the Forester by Bernard Gay Marshall, a Newbery Honor Book of 1922. Do you know how hard it is to come up with clever things to say above the cut here? ;-)

liveblog is long )

Warning, this book is FULL OF PLOT TWISTS and I pretty much spoil them all. If you prefer to read well-plotted stuff unspoiled, you might want to wait for the review post... or just read the book on Gutenberg. It's worth your time. ;-) The ending is a bit weird and un-historical, but overall it is an extremely good book.
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
TRIGGER WARNING: you don't want to read this liveblog if you have a "stranger danger" trigger. Seriously, don't.

Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books are not, Newberys belong to the ALA. Anon commenting is on, IP logging and CAPTCHA are on, anon comments screened for review.

Today's book is The Old Tobacco Shop: A True Account of What Befell a Little Boy in Search of Adventure by William Bowen, but I can't fit all that in the post title.

Liveblogging under here )

In brief: lots of ableism, racism, awful people, and general facepalmery. Not worth reading at all; I'm not sure the liveblog is worth reading. :P
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[personal profile] justice_turtle
Weekends are going to be a bit heavier on posting than weekdays, I think, for obvious reasons. Sadly, I cannot find a "scheduled post" function here on Dreamwidth.

Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books are not, Newberys belong to the ALA. Commenters, keep the language G-rated, please.

This book is available on Project Gutenberg. Also it is AWESOME, go read it. :D

SPOILERS - The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles )
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
So I'm just going to work my way straight up this list, then. (I do not think I would read Old Yeller again if I didn't have to finish it to get to Miracles on Maple Hill. *g*)

Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books are not, Newberys belong to the ALA. Feel free to disagree with or add to anything I say. Anon commenting is on, IP logging and CAPTCHA are on, anon comments screened for review. I'll try to keep the language all-ages-friendly; commenters, please do the same.

Up first: The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs, Newbery Honor 1922. This book is available from Project Gutenberg.

liveblogging under the cut - SPOILERS )

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