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Month in review

Reviews
Bob by Wendy Mass
Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
Dear Poppy by Ronni Arno
Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 1 by Ryoko Kui
Depth by Lev A.C. Rosen
Don't Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami by Sharon Kahn
Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call by Kelly Thompson and Corin Howell
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King
Lemons by Melissa Savage
Night of the Animals by Bill Broun
One Good Thing about America by Ruth Freeman
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
Runaways: Battleworld by Noëlle Stevenson
Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass
Whatshisface by Gordon Korman
The Witch's Glass by Holly Grant
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly
Young Frances by Hartley Lin

Miscellaneous
August 2018 Sources
August 2018 Summary
The great logic puzzle of life
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 24)

Road Essays
FFCC66: Orphans traveling off road through time
FF9966: Orphans off road in the wildlands
99FFFF-990000: Scarecrows and Minotaurs

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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Bob: 09/15/18

Bob

Bob by Wendy Mass is a middle grade American road narrative set in the Australian bush, west of Melbourne. I'm going to arbitrarily say it's somewhere near Dunkeld just because it fits the setting of being a small rural town west of Melbourne about an hour or so's drive away. Despite the location, the book fits comfortably in the scarecrow wildlands cornfield category.

The book opens with Livy, her mother, and her baby sister arriving at her grandmother's farm. She was five the last time she was here and she doesn't remember any of it, except for a vague memory of a "weird chicken."

All is explained, though, when she discovers a "zombie" in a chicken costume living in her closet. The "zombie" is named Bob and has been waiting patiently for Livy to return.

The remainder of the book is primarily focused on two things: who is Bob and why is there such a long drought? The two questions end up being related. Early on I guessed primarily from Bob's location and the way Rebecca Steed draws him that he is a lost Wandjina, or rain spirit. Technically he's a little too far east to be one but Wendy Mass comes up with a more generic term for what Bob is.

In a broader sense, Bob is a scarecrow — a protector of crops. That he's a water based one and has a memory protection aspect to his being (meaning people forget him unless they have something specific to remind themselves of him). His home and his goal, though he has forgotten it, is in the middle of the wildlands just outside of town. His home then is through the cornfield at the heart of the wildlands.

Even without such a deep reading, Bob is a delightful book. It's beautifully designed with Steed's illustrations being brought into the text in the same way as the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz edition.

Five stars

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