Friday, July 18, 2008

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

"In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind."

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Summary: In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Grces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Publisher: Harcourt; 471 pages

10 comments:

Mary said...

The ACPL does not yet own this book. In fact, it is not scheduled to be released until October of this year. However, we received such a glowing, excited response to it from a CHI staffperson who read the ARC that I thought we should get it on the list as quickly as possible. It's on the extreme upper edge of the Newbery age-range. I'll be interested in other people's responses to this author's debut novel.

Jen said...

Oooooooooooh I will watch for this one to become available in the office!

Mary said...

I initially thought this book would be fun to compare to SAVVY, but as I began to read it; I found myself absolutely compelled to finish it. I could not wait to see what happened with Katsa and Po. And The storyline is fascinating, the characters are believable, the emotions are real. I always think of myself as not much of a fantasy-lover, and then I encounter a book like this and am forced to re-evaluate.

Sue said...

I read the ARC and absolutely loved this book. It's the only thing I've read this year so far which has enthralled me from the first page to the last. However, I really think it is YA because of a couple of scenes: well, one in particular, which in my view puts it completely outside of the upper elementary range, regardless of the reading level of the child. I'll be interested to read other people's ideas about this.

Mary said...

We need to remember that, according to the Terms and Criteria of the Newbery Award,"children are defined as persons of ages up to and including fourteen, and books for this entire age range are to be considered." Fourteen year olds could be in high school. Would you think this is a book that is appropriate for a kid in high school?

k8t said...

I also loved, loved, loved this book--the main characters are totally believable, and their relationship is nicely balanced. However, that relationship is also pretty adult in nature, so I would say 14/freshman in high school would probably be the youngest I would recommend Graceling to. The author handles male/female relationships (both friendships and romantic relationships) beautifully, but I don't think that younger kids would be able to understand some of the relationship issues that come up. Also, as I understood the story, the main characters are all adults or just on the cusp of adulthood, so a lot of what they're dealing with would resonate with older teens (and adults!!)

Lisa said...

Fabulous! I am completely impressed with this book. However, I do have to agree that this is out of Newbery range. The characters are older with mature views of the world and relationships that, in my opinion, would not be fully understood or appreciated by 14 year olds. This is certainly for older teens and adults. This is also the first book I would hand to a person looking for a mature, confident and independent heroine who finds romance without losing herself. Excellent!

Mari said...

I hope this book will be considered for the Printz award. I think some middle schoolers will read and enjoy it, but that it is probably intended for a high school audience.

It's a very well written story and one of my favorites of the year, but I'm not yet certain that it's the most literary well-written YA book of the year.

Jen said...

This book got off to a slow start for me, but the interplay of the two main characters, the depth of characterization in general but in Katsa especially, was thrilling. It was intriguing to see her begin to understand herself better.

I was really glad about the ending as well.

Teresa said...

I stayed up until 3 a.m. in order to finish it, even though I thought their decision to become lovers moved it out of the Newbery range (while the details are certainly not explicit). I read romance novels with more detail when I was 13. Granted, none of those were books that were suggested or recommended to me by librarians or teachers or parents. I would like to discuss this issue further, either here or at our face-to-face meeting.

After having read this book, I completely understand why there is an overlap of 12 to 14 in the Newbery and Printz.