Crispin: The Cross of Lead

by Avi

For the first half of this book, I was in complete agreement with the decision to award Avi with the Newbery. Unfortunately, even though the story was still good for the other half, the hints and clues became so obvious that only a second grader could have missed the big “secret” of the book. What’s more, I didn’t feel like Crispin’s transformation was very believable. The timeframe I understood really didn’t allow for such a change, especially when the book was told in first-person and Crispin himself brushed over the details of how his character was developing.

That being said, I do think Avi picked an interesting setting for his novel, and did quite well presenting the way life would have been in that setting. If I were a second grader, I’d probably love the book. As it is…I like it. And that’s good enough.

Waiting: True Confessions of a Waitress

by Debra Ginsberg

While Waiting was not a boring book, the summary I read online beforehand – the reason I picked the book up in the first place – made it sound a lot more interesting than it really was. Ginsberg is a talented writer and her perspective is unique, but I can’t say afterwards that I particularly feel like it was an enjoyable read. Still, it was good for passing the hours away at work.

I honestly would recommend reading Nickel and Dimed first, even though only a third of the book is devoted to the author’s waitressing experience.