reading next: Paper Towns
by Beverly Cleary
Strider was, in many ways, a more enjoyable read than its predecessor. Dear Mr. Henshaw was interesting, but Strider comes in at a more pivotal time in Leigh's life. He's just entering high school and has more complex problems (to a degree) to deal with. It was very interesting seeing how his life had changed since Dear Mr. Henshaw, particularly his relationship with his dad, which was no longer as strained. (I also was saddened, but not in a bad way, by the reference to Leigh's former favorite book, "Ways to Amuse a Dog") I did feel like there was too much description, particularly since this story is being told by a 14 year old boy. He does want to be a writer, but still, nobody actually writes like that, and it ruins some of the relatability. There were also big passages where nothing eventful happened and I found myself wanting to skip over them, because they really were just filler points. I strongly felt that the book should have ended with the scene with Leigh and his dad, as to me, that is the essence of both books and nothing that came afterwards was too notable. Let me correct myself there. There was one notable thing, which I'm sure Gordon Korman would be highly proud of: neither Bandit nor Strider died! Can you believe it? I'm having trouble processing it-a dog book in which the dog doesn't die. Thank you, thank you, thank you Beverly Cleary!