Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from December 7–11 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday December 7
The Shepherd’s Crown, by Terry Pratchett and read by Stephen Briggs
The last novel penned by Sir Terry Pratchett before his death, in March 2015, closes his epic Discworld series. In this fully realized, completely original fantasy world, humans, witches, and animals reside in harmony. However, an ancient, evil force has been lurking, building strength until the right moment to launch an attack. The young witch Tiffany Aching, who has come far in her training since first appearing in The Wee Free Men (2003), is determined to save her land and her friends from the approaching elf hordes.
Tuesday December 8
Careers for Tech Girls in Video Game Development, by Laura La Bella
The executive producer of Halo, the best-selling military sci-fi shooting game, is . . . a woman? A brief history of women in the gaming industry and the obstacles, including harassment and alienation, they have faced begins this Tech Girls volume. The good news is that with women and girls increasingly becoming gamers, their role in video-game development has also become more prominent. After another brief look at video-game production, the book concentrates on career possibilities as a video-game designer, developer, programmer, animator, audio engineer, and writer, describing the duties, work environment, skills, and education related to each job.
Wednesday December 9
I Really Like Slop!, by Mo Willems
Gerald and Piggie are great friends, but will the friendship survive Piggie’s latest offer? She loves slop and asks Gerald to try it. After eyeing the steaming, fly-festooned bowl of green goop, he resists, even refuses, but eventually relents because Piggie is his friend. Will he try dessert? Don’t count on it. Friendship may transcend tastes—but even great friends have their limit. Young readers will respond lovingly and laughingly to Willems’ much-loved characters because they are so like children themselves.
Thursday December 10
Lust & Wonder, by Augusten Burroughs
Burroughs is back! Longtime fans of the memoirist are going to be over the moon with this new work and with how the fearlessly candid author, most famously ofRunning with Scissors (2002), manages to reveal still more of himself. In revelations that shift from ribald to tender, Burroughs writes of his long search for love, the relationship he seemed fated to have but determinedly avoided for years, and the tough break-ups that happened along the way.
Friday December 11
The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
In the wake of a hurricane, a crate washes up on an island’s shore, where some curious otters tug it open, accidentally pressing a button as they do so. A shiny, new robot—ROZZUM unit 7134—whirs to life. What follows is not a flash-bang robot adventure but a WALL-E-esque tale of wilderness survival and friendship. Roz is clearly not built for life in the wild, but she uses her ability to learn from her surroundings to adapt.