Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Oh, yes, you read that right.
That's the character at the heart of Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers. Ismae had a fairly bad early life. Born in 15th century Brittany (a tiny European country, now part of France) to an abusive father and a mother who tried to abort her, she was married very young to an equally abusive husband. When she ran away, she discovered the convent of Saint Mortain, where nuns live in service to their patron saint and, by the way, also learn the arts of murder. That's because Saint Mortain is the new name for the old god of death, and he helpfully marks the people that he wants his nuns to kill.
After a few years and a lot of skills, Ismae is sent forth to the court of Duchess Anne, the very young ruler of Brittany. She is to assist the girl by killing off those who would do her harm. But the world outside the convent is new and frightening to Ismae, who is used to the safety and sisterhood of Saint Mortain's. The person who scares her the most is Duval, Anne's half-brother. All the men Ismae has ever known have been nasty and brutish, but Duval is intelligent, gentle, and awfully interested in her.
Complex, romantic, and action-packed, this book will stay glued to your hands. I mean, seriously. Assassin nuns!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Brandon Mull has written 5 books in this series, each one better than the next. Take a chance and get to know the magical world of Fablehaven with Kendra and Seth as your guide.
The adventure begins once you drink the milk...
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Young adult literature is not always about feeling good. It is also about seeking the truth, and stretching the boundaries of thought and belief. Maybe it makes us see things in a new light, making us sad, happy, frightened, excited or miserable.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is not about the warm and fuzzy side of life. This story portrays a side of life and people we would rather not know or think about. It was written in 1974 about Jerry a freshman who is angry and sad. He tries out for the football team while trying to fit into high school. The students at Trinity are primarily from working class families so money is tight. To help with the budget, the school holds an annual chocolate sale.
Archie is a member of the the Vigils, which in many ways controls the school or at least the students. He enjoys being mean and assigns Jerry to refuse the selling of chocolates, which raises havoc with the school.
Cormier did not write this story to make its readers comfortable or happy but portrays a reality. Books like the Chocolate War may help us to better understand this dark side of life and hopefully give us some insight to deal with it when we experience it firsthand.