Review: If You Could Be Mine

If You Could Be Mine
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If You Could be Mine tells the story of two Iranian girls on the cusp of adulthood. Since they were children, they have known that they love one another. Although being lesbian is illegal in modern Tehran, being born in the wrong body is not; one of the girls considers [legal] sexual reassignment surgery in hopes of preventing her beloved’s arranged marriage. Touching, moving, beautiful. I especially appreciated this realistic and unromanticized view into city life in today’s Iran.

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Review: Investigating Sherlock: An Unofficial Guide

Investigating Sherlock: An Unofficial Guide
Investigating Sherlock: An Unofficial Guide by Nikki Stafford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely for the obsessed. I am not that big a Sherlock fan. I often find the story trajectory contrived, Sherlock just tooooo facile with his mind palace. But my family are fans, and I love being with them while they watch and argue over plot lines. And, I’m reading this one because we’re doing a display (at the library) on what to read while waiting for the next season of your favorite tv series to come out on DVD.

Best part of this book: I absolutely loved the introduction of the character Mary to this show and I’m glad that she’s written about here. I adored Amanda Abbington in Case Histories and might watch her in anything. (Nikki Stafford, why is she an add-on in Martin Freeman’s chapter? Why does she not get her own section of the book?) Also worth reading are the “From ACD to BBC” bits, in which the author shows what was changed and what was woven in from the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories.

Drawback: Stafford treats the series episode by episode, in order, and provides detailed analysis but no plot summaries. Lots of spoilers, but if you don’t remember the story line exactly, reading this won’t help.

Fun bit. Written before the most recent series aired, everyone’s wrong about Redbeard.

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Review: The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In The Wild Robot, Peter Brown has given us an inventive meditation on observing nature, how to survive in the unexpected wilderness, the essence of what makes a family, and how to be a friend. And it’s all wrapped up in an adventure story that the grades 3-6 set can thoroughly enjoy. Beautiful and exciting, with a unique ending that will leave readers something to think about.

This almost makes the give to your favorite kids bookshelf but doesn’t, only because it starts with a nearly-no-survivors cargo ship capsizing, and my favorite kid (who otherwise would have loved this) has a parent who works on cargo ships!

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