Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quaking by Katherine Erskine

Quaking by Katherine Erskine
This is one of the ARCs I was given after midwinter, due out mid June.

After a string of books I forget almost as soon as I close the cover, it's intruiging to have one stick in my head the way this one is. This is the story of Matt, a foster child who's been bumped from one family member and developed quite the exoskeleton in response. Quaking begins with her leaving her "Loopy" aunt and being deposited at "Casa Quaker". If it mentioned their relation to Matt, I don't recall. Sam, a very large man, Jessica, and Rory, a disabled foster child, inhabit "Casa Quaker". These three people are not Matt's only challenge. She lives in a world that is sharply divided about issues like patriotism and U.S. involvement in the middle east. While the story is fairly predictable and the characters tend toward one sided exaggerations, this is still a satisfying tale.

Having a Quaker background myself, I was both more critical and more appreciative of the book than I think I would have been otherwise. I look forward to hearing a non-Quaker perspective. (A non-Quaker would probably not find, "The service begins when the worship ends" and "we are not staying for 'fellowship' or however you say 'coffee and doughnuts' in Quaker" particularly amusing. Hee!) I would probably add this to the very short list of books that will appeal mainly to Quaker teens.

ETA: There is already a discussion guide up at Penguin. Question 3 seems to belong to another book.

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