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Month in review

Reviews
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve by Gennifer Choldenko
Beyond: the Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology edited by Sfé R. Monster
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco
Border Markers by Jenny Ferguson
Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle
The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany
Chicks Dig Time Lords edited by Lynne M. Thomas
Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien
Disney Manga: Magical Dance Volume 1 by Nao Kodaka
Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Ghostbusters: Crossing Over by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
Lost in the Labyrinth by Patrice Kindl
Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg
The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
The Sign in the Smoke by Carolyn Keene
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Swap'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver? by Sharon Kahn
Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

Miscellaneous
Curating while reading
February 2019 Sources
February 2019 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 25)
The slippery slope of trying to read current
When February is three months long

Road Essays
FF00CC: orphans in the maze of the city

FF0099: an orphan in a city labyrinth: a close reading of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

FF0066: Orphans going offroad in the city

FF0033: An orphan's journey to the big city by way of the Blue Highway

Road Narrative Update for February 2019

Previous month


Rating System

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

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020



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Al Capone Throws Me a Curve: 03/04/19

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve by Gennifer Choldenko is what feels like the conclusion of the Al Capone at Alcatraz series. Moose wants to play baseball on the high school team in San Francisco but to do that he needs to make time to ride the ferry from Alcatraz where he lives because his father is a guard.

But things are complicated for him further because he has to watch his autistic older sister and the warden's danger loving daughter, Piper. Putting Piper and Natalie together away from parental supervision is sure to bring trouble.

These books all follow the same sort of recipe. First there's stuff about life on the island. Then there are San Franciscans not believing Moose (in all fairness, many from the City can't imagine life outside of the City). Then there is some contrived interaction between Moose, his friends, and the inmates (preferably Al Capone). Finally there is some crisis involving Natalie and an awkward reminder of her age vs her abilities.

The problem is that nothing changes. Moose's parents remain as stuck in their preconceived notions of how their family works and complete denial that it's not in fact working. Moose who continues to not know how to say no to people. There's Natalie who more and more reads like a caricature of an autistic person.

The short version is that the first book was both fun and fascinating. The last book isn't but might have been if it had been the only one I had read.

Two stars

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