'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Look What I'm Reading! Karys McEwen

Karys McEwen is the librarian across both Prahran High School and Richmond High School in Melbourne, Australia. 

She is the current President of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Victorian Branch and a judge for the Older Readers category in the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. She is also the 2019 Books + Publishing Junior columnist. 

She is passionate about the impact of literature and libraries in the engagement and wellbeing of young people.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
I just finished Vikki Wakefield's latest novel This is How We Change the Ending and Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell.

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
This is How We Change the Ending is a gutsy and powerful young adult novel about a young boy doing the best he can with the cards he'd been dealt. It’s set in a small town on the decline. Pumpkinheads is a gorgeous Halloween romance that is seemingly light-hearted, but packs an emotional punch.

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?
I loved them both, for very different reasons! This is How We Change the Ending is the kind of fiction that our teenagers deserve; it doesn't shy away from the dark experiences that many young people have to confront including violence and homelessness. It is a book that can help develop empathy. Pumpkinheads was exactly what you'd expect from our reigning international queen of YA (Rainbow Rowell), but in graphic novel form for a change, which was so much fun.

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre?
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of This is How We Change the Ending. Though I would have bought it anyway based on the solid reputation that Vikki Wakefield has established within the market. Pumpkinheads was a no-brainer addition to my school library collection because of the author and blurb.

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile?
Next up I'm going to read Monuments by Will Kostakis and The Brilliant Ideas of Lily Green by Lisa Siberry.

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?
These are books that I have bought for my school library (and intend to use my librarian privileges to read them before the kids!)

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
Usually I like realistic, contemporary fiction though I do enjoy magic realism too. I am always willing to give anything a go!

Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice.
I read printed books but I do have a Kindle for when I'm away on holidays. I read so much that it's just not possible to pack enough books when I go away, and my Kindle is great for light packing! Day-to-day I much prefer printed copies, for the usual reasons including that gorgeous new book (or old book) smell.