Nicole\’s got a library blog (again)

Review: Finn by Matthew Olshan
July 4, 2006, 12:36 am
Filed under: book review, fiction, Young Adults

[I finished Finn  by Matthew Olshen a few nights ago and would like to get into the habit of writing review’s for the YA books that I complete]

Olshan, Matthew. Finn: a novel. Bancroft Press. ISBN: 1890862142. 188 pages

Her father is dead and we don’t know too much about how she feels about it. Her mother is a bit of a lying vagrant. She lives with Dad’s parents who are wealthy, send her to a nice school and she pretty much likes it. Chloe becomes the image of the adventurer icon Huckleberry Finn and gets thrown into a journey that tests who she really is.

The story, as it parallels the characters and plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a fantastic tale that incorporates the struggles of various disenfranchised groups most notably through Silvia, the Mexican illegal immigrant maid of Chloe’s grandparents. The plot does an honorable job of exposing the circumstances that illegal immigrants face.  Chloe, or the modern Finn is thrown into reconciling a situation of her own all while aspiring to guide Silvia to a safe place to birth her baby.

Chloe’s tough girl attitude does not detract from her being feminine and strongly emotional. This potentially sends a strong message to young women reading the book who experience mistreatments and misappropriated opportunities through the eyes of the heroine.

I do wish that Silvia had more dialogue to credit her as being intelligent and responsible. Her lack of assertiveness or ability to plan beyond the short term, along with many scenes portray her as weak and fragile. Otherwise, Finn  should be used by teachers and librarians to cultivate interest in the classics, immigration issues or even as an example of a strong herione in a YA novel.

I reccomend this book.


Current reading
June 28, 2006, 4:04 pm
Filed under: fiction, reading for pleasure, Young Adults

Bruce Bortz wrote in his article A Call to YA Librarians: Support a Dvid Among the Goliath of YA Publishers (VOYA, June 2006)Finn about several lesser known titles that he reccomends. Of the ones mentioned, my library system had two, both of which I am reading right now.

Finn, is loosely based on Mark Twain’s original tale of another Finn. I’m not done yet but I already love the style of writing. The main character, Chloe (the Finn comparison) immediatly gets thrown into a wild ride that is told in such a way that the conditions of Finn’s changing situation aren’t masked over by editing or innacurate vernacular. I liked that. We’ll see how it progresses. I’ll write an actual review when I am all through with it.

I also picked up The Reappearance of Sam Webber, another goodie. This one is taking me a little bit more time as the author is really talented with painting vivid images of scenes. Its enjoyable but gets tiresome for me right now.

Finn by Matthew Olshan

The Reappearance of Sam Webber

 by Jonathan Scott Fuqua

The Notebook Girls


I’ll post reviews of the YA’s (the first three) when I’m finished with them. The Notebook Girls I might skip. Not that it isn’t worth reading, its just awfully time consuming!