As our ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) become available, the Tenners are sending a copy on tour to each of the other Tenners who've signed up, in turn. I just finished my first one, Irene Latham's Leaving Gee's Bend. What I loved about this novel:
-The voice is amazing. The protagonist is a dirt poor ten-year-old black girl living in a tiny Alabama community in 1932. Irene Latham is none of these things, but you'd never know it. Every description, the dialect, the internal dialogue all fit flawlessly.
-The history. Several elements of the story are based on factual events or elements. It lends the story about what a ten-year-old's life might have been like back then, even greater power.
-The quilting. I loved the way it was used to tie Ludelphia's story together.
Each Tenner who reads is going to jot notes throughout the book and in the front or back about things they really liked, kind of like a yearbook. I love this idea, but sadly, missed the note about it 'til I was nearly done so, Irene, not many notes from me, but not because I didn't think it was awesome : )
Leaving Gee's Bend is a middle-grade novel that will be published January 7, 2010.