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Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen
Devils in Daylight by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
Gideon Falls, Volume 2: Original Sins by Jeff Lemire
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Internment by Samira Ahmed
A Killer Edition by Lorna Barrett
Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein
When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Miscellaneous
August 2019 Sources
August 2019 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 23)

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for August 2019

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Gertie's Leap to Greatness: 09/08/19

Gertie's Leap to Greatness

Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley follows the trend of a middle grade protagonist trying to be the BEST at something to get the attention or love from an absent family member. Here it's Gertie who lives with aunt and father who wants to get her mother's affection before she moves out of town with her new family.

The weird thing about this book's set up is that the mother has been separated from Gertie's family since Gertie's birth. Gertie has known where her mother moved in town and even knows of her mother's new family. She's ok with the situation until her mother puts her house up for sale.

Now being the best — Gertie choses to be the best student / teacher's pet — is going to be her way of convincing her mother to stay in town. It's an odd disconnect between the situation (absent mother leaving) and the proposed solution (being the top student).

Of course in this sort of story, it can't just be a matter of the main character working hard to get the top. There has to be a foil. For Gertie, it's a transplanted Californian named Mary Sue Spivey. With a name like that in a book like this, you know Mary Sue is going to be perfect — annoyingly so. And she is.

Mary Sue besides being a better student than Gertie, is also a gentrified environmentalist. She is the embodiment of white middle class and completely at odds with Gertie's situation — with a father who spends most of his time working on an oil rig.

Frankly the conflict between Mary Sue and Gertie over the oil rig is the most interesting aspect of the book. It would have been a stronger story if Gertie had been the best student in the class just for the sheer joy of it, and then been pushed out by someone from a better school.

Three stars

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