Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
I came across this title as I was combing the world for potential Printz picks. While this book isn’t something I would normally think of as a title in the running for Printz, I was oddly drawn into it and I enjoyed it.
If you don’t know about the Printz Award or need a refresher on the criteria, it is an award given by the American Library Association for the best example of teen literature from the previous year. You can find more information here.
Here is my selection for this month:
Title: Ordinary Girls
Author: Blair Thornburgh
Plum is a young woman obsessed with words, who keeps mostly to herself, except when it comes to her family. Her father died when she was younger and the family that was left, Plum, Plum’s older sister (Ginny), and Plum’s mother all grew closer to survive their grief. The family has been struggling with money for years, to the point that they have taken in an almost doctor of music. The family is desperate to keep their house, a character in its own right, with its special rooms and eclectic features. When things can go wrong around this family, they do. Plum is trying to do her part (even though her sister spends most of her time flailing around melodramatically wondering all her success at school was for because she will never be able to pay for college), Plum has taken to pseudo-tutoring/tutoring a cute neighbor dude. While he bullied her when she was younger and today he is pretty different from her, Plum is drawn to him. The various hijinks that happen throughout the book keep the reader laughing and moving along.
This is a modern-day take on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. While I felt there was a loose connection between the two works, this novel solidly stands on its own. The craft of writing in this book was superior, especially in the area of vocabulary. I thought the way that main character Plum describes different aspects of writing and reading to be refreshing and interesting. The characters felt uniquely themselves and their voices were strong throughout the book. I think this novel has a strong chance and I have high hopes for it.