Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Opinions: They come in all shapes and sizes, right? Book reviews are really someone’s opinions, no matter how thrilling or frustrating. Or confusing. Have you ever read a review of a book that you have adored only to wonder if you and the reviewer read the same novel?

Happily, Buck Fever has received lovely reviews. Except for this: “…its rural Pennsylvania hunting-community milieu sets it apart—just don’t expect kids who hunt to want to read it, because it’s not for them.” What? Okay, I won’t lie: I obsessed over this line. It’s true that Buck Fever is not about hunting, really. Still, the reviewer’s point escaped me. Eventually I let this go, but not before family members threatened to disown me.

Why am I writing about this? Because recently I have received a few letters from young readers who have read Buck Fever. Kids who, yes, hunt. One thirteen-year-old in particular wrote: “It’s good to see some books written about hunting.” Another reader thought that Buck Fever should be the start of a series of books, each having something to do with hunting. Be still my heart.

What does this prove? That, yes, opinions come in all shapes and sizes. They can be entertaining, educating, sometimes confusing, but almost always interesting.

Maybe I should remember this.


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  2. readthis:

  3. I once saw a movie I absolutely loved; beautiful photography, music by Donovan. Got bad reviews. I realized then I would never let critics decide for me what I would see or read. The movie by the way, is Brother Sun, Sister Moon about the early life of St. Francis. Still one of my favorite movies. I'm glad kids are writing to you and telling you they like your book. Their opinions are, in the end, the only ones that count.

  4. I so agree with you, Bish! If I had to choose, I'd rather have the target audience approve of the book than the critics (if I HAD to choose). And thank you for sharing the movie. I go by recommendations more than reviews. Surprising? Probably not.

  5. I've read Buck Fever and it was a fun book. Fah! on that reviewer who is likely sitting in a desk in the middle of a noisy city and has never gone hunting or even been in a real wooded area in his/her entire life.

  6. Now, that's my kind of opinion! : ) Thanks, Tess!