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To Be Read Challenge Book Reviews

This page contains an archive of book reviews submitted by participants of the To Be Read Challenge.


By Carol Shields

The well-drawn, quirky characters and the literary mystery at the heart of this odd novel drew me in, and the razor sharp wit and criticism of the industry of literary criticism held me fast. Though this novel is probably not for everyone, I found it to be funny, witty, and engaging. Catalog link

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Louisa May Alcott

By Susan Cheever

From the first time I read Little Women, probably more than 40 years ago, it has been one of my favorite books. I’ve learned bits and pieces about the author over the years, but this is the first biography of her that I’ve read. It is well-written and the author makes a real effort not […]

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The City of Ember

By Jeanne DuPrau

This book is often listed as one of the forerunners of the YA dystopian genre, and while I liked it, the story, characters, and world building didn’t blow me away. I’m not sure how enthusiastically I would even recommend it to my students. Catalog link

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Out of Oz

By Gregory Maguire

This is the final book in the series that began with Wicked. Luckily for me there is a timeline at the beginning of this book to remind me of what happened in the previous volumes. I found myself referring back to it often as I was reading the book. It’s hard to write much about […]

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Uncle Remus

By Joel Chandler Harris

I wonder if an uncle remus existed, and if any of his descendents got any royalties on the sale of these stories. Mostly, though, as I read I heard my father’s voice interpreting the writing in his deep Spartanburg, SC drawl. He died ten years ago, but read aloud Uncle Remus stories to me at […]

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The Virgin Cure

By Amy McKay

Horrifying premise–syphilis can be cured by sex with a virgin. Reality check — One way to escape poverty is to go to work. If uneducated and poor, then probably servitude. Another way to survive is to sell one’s valuables, a young woman’s virginity has value. Set in New York in the 1870’s McKay’s novel explores […]

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