Monday, August 22, 2016

Mockingbird Takes Flight

Ever hear of literary terrorism?  Me neither until I read this book.  (Should I worry that I used the T word in a public post?). Oh well....

After The Museum of Extraordinary Things, I needed a softer book, a palette cleanser.  In the end, the Alice Hoffman book proved too much for me. "Oddly fascinating" was how one book group member described it.  For me, it was lack of relief from the grueling day to day nastiness in the character's lives.  I simply needed a breather (no pun intended for of those of you who read the book.)  Heck, Shakespeare knew that after a significant battery of hate, trauma and drama he had to toss in a couple drunken gatekeepers, or a jester telling silly riddles to lighten the mood.  

Anyway.....this young adult novel is filled with good, old fashioned mischief.  A trio of junior high kids - very literary savvy junior high kids - have been given a summer reading list which includes To Kill a Mockingbird. Painful cries of fellow students echo throughout the town and our three Mockingbirdists devise a plan to make the novel as appealing as possible.

In short order, the book becomes a rare bird when the trio sets out to hide all existing copies found in their town's bookstores and library.  The plan takes off nationwide.  TV coverage.  Police intervention.  All sorts of twists and turn and conspiracy theories abound from this supply and demand prank.

In between caper planning, there's a mom with cancer, an undisciplined wiener dog, and a time love story.  

Luke, my favorite UPS guy brought me two great Arc's last week - although I wish he had held one back so I didn't have to decide which to put on the TBR pile.  Nick Butler's Hearts of Men landed there when I opted to read Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson.  I put Wilson in the Great Quirks file along with Brady Udall.  Wilson wrote The Family Fang, about grown children, Child A and Child B, who live with mental peculiarities thanks to being forced to participate in their parents' weird and often dangerous performance art pieces.  In his new novel, families take center stage again.  

All I know so far is that Dr. Grind is experimenting with a new Utopian society.  Ten children are being raised collectively by a group of adults without anyone knowing who, within the group, are the birth parents of any of thechildren.  I am guessing that suspicions and jealously will begin to arise.  Will some of the adults want to "own" specific children?  What if there's a bad seed in the group.  Or a genius?  Or an artist?  Will anyone want to claim the "average" kids?  

Maybe the book will go in a totally different direction, but so far, I am finding it "oddly fascinating".

Thanks for stopping by.