I finished The Borrowers Afield last night, with 24 hours to spare before my daughter has to return it to the school library. I loved it — somehow, as a child, I missed the fact that there were Borrower sequels. My daughter gave it a thumbs up, too, but she only likes the little-people parts of these books. As far as she’s concerned, Kate and Mrs. May can go jump in the pond.
I also read Norma Charles’s new book, Run, Marco, Run over the weekend. If you have a 10- to 13-year-old boy on your Christmas list — particularly one who lives in Vancouver — this is the book to buy. It’s the story of a Columbian boy who escapes from the kidnappers who capture his dad. He stows away on a freighter bound for Vancouver, then attempts to find a long-lost family friend who can help save his father. There is constant action, which is why I think the boys will like it. Personally, though, I loved the druggie on Wreck Beach and the UBC student pulling an all-nighter.
The other book I’ve been reading is called For Us Surrender is Out of the Question, the story of a slightly innocent democracy activist who kinda sorta accidentally ends up living with a group of Karen refugees on the Thai border. She writes in a casual hipster voice completely out of keeping with the serious subject matter and juxtaposes Burmese history with her own pit toilet and cold shower experiences — all of which allows one to read the book without descending into clinical depression.