Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Miss Emily

Miss Emily
By Burleigh Muten, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Expected publication March 25, 2014 by Candlewick Press

Miss Emily is always concocting something fun for her young friends and the newest adventure is no exception. The circus is coming to town and Miss Emily and her band of creative thinkers are going to be there to meet the train as it arrives.

Unfortunately, I don't have terribly much to say about this book. I won this book on LibraryThing. I had requested it because I'd seen it at ALA in Philadelphia but hadn't managed to snag a copy, so when I saw it listed on LibraryThing, I figured, "why not?" I won a copy and it arrived quickly (kudos to the publisher on that - some I've won in the past have taken months to arrive).

Emily Dickinson seems to be having a renaissance. I can think of more than a handful of children and teen books in the last two years that have been about her or featured her in some way. I can't say I'm a particular fan of Dickinson; though I read a lot of poetry in my teen years, I'm not sure hers ever really spoke to me. What makes me most unsure about this book is the intended audience. Candlewick lists it for ages 7-10; how likely is a seven-year-old to be familiar with Emily Dickinson? Granted, one does not need to know or love Dickinson to read this book; after all, it is simply a story of one adventure Miss Dickinson takes with her young neighbors and relatives. But some of the story will make more sense to a reader with a better sense of Dickinson and her life and her work.

That being said, I didn't really enjoy this. It's written in verse, which is to be expected I suppose, but the verse didn't really strike me as particularly well-done. Additionally, I found the story itself quite boring, though I can imagine it might have more appeal for a younger reader. All in all, I didn't find anything to be quite as fully developed as I might have liked.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

No comments:

Post a Comment