Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alien Feast

Alien Feast: Chronicles of the First Invasion by Michael Simmons

First in the series about comical and hungry aliens who invade earth, in this Roald Dahl-styled sci-fi story. Violin-playing orphan, William, fellow classmate Sophie, and Williams’ quirky Uncle Maynard are trying to locate Sophie’s kidnapped “scientist-parents,” figure out the Willoughby Mayor’s connection to the aliens, and save civilization. The next book will most likely have William off on his own searching for his older brother. Fast paced story with themes of friendship and perseverance.

A Nest for Celeste

A Nest for Celeste: by Henry Cole is a sweet story centered around an industrious mouse, Celeste, who resides in Colonial 1821 New Orleans, and inspires John Audubon’s early work on aviary exploration and documentation. A terrific historical fiction novel, which embodies the values of true friendship, determination, and ingenuity. Cole uses pencil drawings to enhance the drama and create great setting and character development throughout the book. While the novel is 352 pages in length, it truly is a story for younger readers since there are many beautiful illustrations and the format consists of larger font on smaller sized pages.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

Is anyone going to do anything to commemorate the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Popularity of Dystopian Novels

This recent article in the New Yorker dissects the current craze for dystopian novels, such as The Hunger Games and Uglies, among teens.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Never having read any Ruiz Zafon novels I was unaware of his style. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to discover his very gothic nature, here translated into a YA novel. The Prince of Mist was first published in Spain 15 or so years ago and has only recently been published in the US.

The novel opens with the Carver family moving to a small seaside town to escape the war (we don't know which one). Max Carver and his sisters Alicia and Irina find various amusements to entertain themselves, but when Max meets Roland he and Alicia become instant friends with the young and handsome native and he leads them on various adventures around their new town.

The first half of the novel was very eerie with strange discoveries and happenings occurring in their home, including the appearance of an evil cat . The second half of the novel is action packed with life-threatening situations plaguing the Carvers' and Roland. The cause of all of the disturbance in their lives is revealed by Roland's grandfather, the lightkeeper on their coast. He relates the story of an unbelievably strange man who has haunted him since he was a boy and is now intent on destroying Roland. But why? You'll stay up much too late to discover the secret of The Prince of Mist.