Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell and Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth were the 2 books that Evie at The Book Fiend and I were challenged to read for the YA Book Bloggers best Overlooked Book Battle 2011. Two excellent books!
What are these books about you may wonder? Here are the summaries from Goodreads.com:
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
“The year is 490 AD. Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the daughter of one of King Arthur’s supporters, lives with her father on Arthur’s base camp, the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine’s only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur’s older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur’s second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere– joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire?” From Goodreads.com
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
“Pretty as a peacock, twelve-year-old Leela had been spoiled all her life. She doesn’t care for school and barely marks the growing unrest between the British colonists and her own countrymen. Why should she? Her future has been planned since her engagement at two and marriage at nine.
Leela’s whole life changes, though, when her husband dies. She’s now expected to behave like a proper widow: shaving her head and trading her jewel-toned saris for rough, earth-colored ones. Leela is considered unlucky now, and will have to stay confined to her house for a year—keep corner—in preparation for a life of mourning for a boy she barely knew.
When her schoolteacher hears of her fate, she offers Leela lessons at home. For the first time, despite her confinement, Leela opens her eyes to the changing world around her. India is suffering from a severe drought, and farmers are unable to pay taxes to the British. She learns about a new leader of the people, a man named Gandhi, who starts a political movement and practices satyagraha—non-violent protest against the colonists as well as the caste system. The quiet strength of satyagraha may liberate her country. Could she use the same path to liberate herself?” From Goodreads.com
Song of the Sparrow
There were a couple of reasons that we selected Song of the Sparrow over Keeping Corner. One of which was the character of Elaine in Song of the Sparrow. She was so easy to connect with, you were able to play a role in the story along with her, you experienced her fears and her angst. Compared to the main character in Keeping Corner, Leela, as the reader you were a bystander, you were being told how she felt, we didn’t feel that we were able to experience her frustrations along with her.
Prose vs. verse… The verse written by Lisa Ann Sandell was beautiful, it flowed and was very easy and quick to read. Keeping Corner, the introduction of so many local terms made it difficult to follow at times (I didn’t discover the Glossary till I was finished the book).
Both books are well worth a read! But Song of the Sparrow moves onto the next round of the YA Book Bloggers best Overlooked Book Battle 2011
Michelle and Evie from The Book Fiend