Saturday, August 22, 2009
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
I think the measure of how much I like a book could be how much I hide from my children in order to read it. And, if I have too many more days like yesterday, CPS might come and take my children away.
Flavia de Luce is 11 and when she finds a body in the cucumber patch, she's determined to solve the mystery of who he is and what he's doing there.
The writing is very good, and it's a lot like Harry Potter in that it's technically for children or young adults, but it makes no attempt to dumb anything down (I kept a list of words I had to look up, and it numbered well over 30); except one time. The word was "hesternal." I attempted to look it up but it wasn't in the dictionary. As I kept reading, Flavia says something like, "I remembered that hesternal means 'pertaining to yesterday.'"
You know a book is good when you want to start right over on page one as soon as you finish to pick up everything you missed the first time around.
The only thing I found unrealistic was Flavia's age. After being put in primary, I've met a few 11-year olds, and there is no way even the most sophisticated of them could walk/talk/think/act like Flavia. Oh well.