Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine won the National Book Award this year. Usually I am not a big fan of the National Book Award winners because they tend to be "cutting edge" and deal with subjects that I don't enjoy reading about. I have read several and thought, "Really? You really liked this book and deemed it worthy of an award?" So this award I don't give much clout to. The Newbery is my favorite. I think they do a good job, anyway, I digress. This was a good book and worth of winning. It is a story about Caitlin who has Aspergers and told from her perspective as she deals with life after her older brother Devon is killed in a school shooting. It was so good at letting you see how a person like Caitlin sees things and understands them. Caitlin is trying to find Closure for her and her father--her mother had died from cancer several years prior. It was a very quick read and so worth it. Anytime we can read something that helps us better understand each other it is well worth our time. I laughed out loud at parts and had tears at others. It is a good one. Check it out.
The Ruins of Gorlan is the first book in John Flanagan's The Ranger's Apprentice series. I believe book 10 in the series is coming out this May, so I have a lot left to read in the series, but I love it and am hooked. My 10-year-old daughter has read all 9 in the series, and she loved them, and has requested number 10 for her upcoming birthday! What a great adventure series for young adults and adults! It is set in a mid-evil time period, and Will is an orphan living under the Baron's protection. It has come to the day when each of the orphans are chosen to be an apprentice of some kind. Will knows nothing about his parents, but he believes his father was a great knight that died fighting for his king, so Will hopes and prays that he gets to be an apprentice to the Battle School so he can one day become a Knight. Things do not go the way Will expected on his apprentice day. Halt is a Ranger--a member of a strange and quite group that serves the King. Some think they carry mysterious magic, but others know they are amazing and brave spies for the king. Halt chooses Will as his Ranger's apprentice, and it turns Will's life around. He learns to accept his new lot in life, flourishes there and even saves the day. I would highly recommend this series. Check them out.