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More Books Monday

Maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of a heavy month of reading, but I’m longing to read something rather simple and short.   My interests are running right now toward some good children’s or young adult literature.  Of course, just because it’s juvenile or YA literature doesn’t always mean it’s simple or short, but it most likely is shorter than, say, Les Miserables.  Ahem.  And I know that juvenile, and particularly YA, literature often deals with rather complex subjects, but it usually doesn’t necessitate a graduate degree in French history and a modicum of French literacy to understand. (Can you tell that I’m really enjoying Les Miserables right now?  I am.)

I spotted a book on the library shelf last week by the author Gloria Whelan, and I wanted to take it home with me then and read it.  It was not because I even know anything about the book (in fact, I’m not even sure which of her books it was), but because I know after reading Homeless Bird and Angel on the Square that a book by Whelan is pretty much a sure thing.

If I had to choose a genre of fiction to read just for fun, it would be historical fiction.  I love it, and in fact, the more obscure the historical setting, the better as far as I am concerned.  If I get to read a good story set in a time and place with which I am not the least bit familiar, I am happy.  Gloria Whelan’s Parade of Shadows looks like this type of story.  Described by Kirkus Review as an “engaging tale of the Ottoman Empire prior to World War I [. . .] with a likable and strong-willed heroine,” I think it might just fit the bill.

I’ve been fascinated with Russian history ever since my high school Russian language teacher showed us the movies Young Catherine and Peter the Great. I know these are not necessarily accurate portrayals of these Russian monarchs, but bear with me here.  They, along with a semester of modern European history in college and then teaching world history in high school, piqued my interest in all things Russian.  The Impossible Journey and Burying the Sun, companion novels to Angel on the Square, intrigue me because they are set in Stalinist Russia.

I hope to read these (and more) during a self-proclaimed “free month” of reading in March.  I think I’m due it, if I finish Les Miserables.

Have you read any of Gloria Whelan’s works?  If so, which ones are your favorites?


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for recommending Gloria Whelan! As soon as lurked here and read your review, I put a couple of her books on hold at our library. My girls are really enjoying the St Petersburg books, and we’ll be exploring the other. Please give more recommendations for historical fiction for young teens. :o)

  2. […] To read more of my thoughts on Gloria Whelan’s books, go here and here. […]

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