August 19, 2014
A Fantasy with magic and myth collide!

A fantasy where magic and myth collide!

Bog by Karen Krossing

229p.; c2014

published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Markham ON

 

The soft water colour like cover art is reminiscent of Maurice Sendek’s “Where the wild things are”. However that is where any similarity ends! Karen Krossing’s latest book is a refreshing imaginative and original story.

Bog , a charming irresistible cave troll, secure world crashes to a sudden halt as he witnesses his father turning to stone as they are being hunted by the dreaded disciples of the feared ‘Troll Hunter’.

 

Sunk in grief, Bog resolutely decides to leave behind the remnants of his family to embark on untroll-like quest — avenging his father. Beginning this journey alone, Bog is interrupted in his mission by surprises that impact him in many unforeseen ways.

Bog is a most  fascinating, yet complex character that the reader can sympathize with and enjoy how the author intertwines First Nations lore with other legends.

This is unquestionably a narrative that will captivate, entrance and transport a reader into the realm of magic and myth!

Highly recommended for grades 3; 4;  5

 

 


The Rule of 3 by Eric Walters [ a brilliant new Dystopian novel!]

February 24, 2014

RULE-OF-THREE

  The Rule of Three3  by Eric Walters

  published by razorbill/Penguin Canada ; 404p. ; c2014

It was the dramatic boldly coloured cover of Walter’s latest book, The Rule of Three3, that captured and intrigued me from the start.

In no time, I became completely absorbed by this realistic and disturbing premise and by my own simultaneously personal question of, ‘what if ” this situation really occurred?’  Could this be a possible outcome to humanity – a dramatic reaction to a shocking ‘global viral catastrophe’?

This thought alone, made me want to halt my reading. But it was these same disturbing thoughts that compelled me to continue. Though the story feels almost science fiction-like, one only has to think back to recent global weather events that resulted in similar scenarios.

One quickly realizes that the veneer of civility is shed, if one is without all the computerized driven technologies that have become such an integral part of today’s society.

Through the eyes of sixteen year old Adam, we witness the fear of a seemingly local (innocent) power loss, escalate as the days increase without resolution, to an atmosphere of disorder, feuding, vandalism and desperation. As more time elapses, Adam and his family … with the help of a astute neighbour…try to combat the ever violent disorder and chaos surrounding their suburban neighbourhood into something more orderly…a necessity for survival.

Unfortunately what once was the norm, now has to be re-thought , a mentality, that not all can conform to.

Sacrifice and survival become the key, if any shred of what civil end humanity is to be retained.

This is a strong read, that will challenge the reader to think beyond the box!

Truly a  story of  “what ifs”!

Highly recommended!!

For Intermediate and Senior students


Awakenings by Canadian author Hally Willmott

October 26, 2013

This debut novel by Canadian author, Hally Willmott., took me by surprise! A teen fantasy with a mix of the supernatural quickly builds momentuem with the sudden and unexpected death of sixteen year old Jacey’s parents.

The story accelerates as Jacey and her older brother, Hudson, race to the hometown of their Aunt and their birth ‘ Nevaeh’ racing toward sanctuary. It is during this period of grief and flight, that Jacey experiences visitations from malevolent entities and visions in a mirror – an image of herself!
Jacey is plagued with more questions then answers….thus begins her journey of self discovery. Will she have the courage and determination to forge ahead and do what must be done or will the outside forces bend her to their will?

This exciting debut novel will certainly captivate teen readers!

Awakenings -- by Hally Willmott

Awakenings — by Hally Willmott


Ghost of heroes past by Charles Reid

March 30, 2011

Vancouver, BC: Ronsdale Press, 2010.
168 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-55380-102-3.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

 One of the reasons that I picked up this title is that I know of a number of reluctant male readers who are keen to read about anything that has to do with war.

Reid’s central character is Johnny Anders,  who exhibits much of the similiar sentiments that teens today display about Remembrance Day. This is evident on the opening page when he states to his father  that “it’s all old stuff that happened a long time ago. What’s it have to do with me?”

Through a series of events presented in a time-travel format, Johnny is taken to various points in history where a unknown ghost in the guise of a soldier acts has his guide. First confusion fills him  as to these ‘ghost’ visits, and then as the nightly treks continue to different war-torn locals, Johnny’s many unanswered questions nudge him to seek some sort of explanations by using the resources in his school library.  Here he stumbles into an odd sort of friendship with another new student like himself, only this is a girl and her name is Casey.

Their shared interest in history allows Johnny to divulge to Casey about his nocturnal soldier-ghost visits and the various journeys he has been taken on. As Johnny is given the priviledge of ‘seeing’ what roles the men and women during war played, he and Casey are inspired to continue their research in locating information on notibale heroes such as Bill Chong, Joan Bamford Fletcher and fighter-pilot Raymond Collishaw.

By the conclusion of the story we see how Johnny’s time-travel adventure have impacted and changed his preceptions of meaning of Remembrance Day and that the “old stuff  that happened long ago” really does have significance for all generations.

 Easy read…. recommended for Boys!

Interest level: Grade 6 to 8

Reading Level: Grade 5 to 7

Genre: Historical fiction; War; Remembrance Day

 

Who would like this book?  ANy boy who is interested in war; First Nations soldiers;

Furthur Information on Canadian War Heroes:

Bill Chong: 

Canadian Weblink:http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=collections/hr_cdnchinese

YouTube link for Bill Chong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n88YwntKXvY

Raymond Collishaw weblink:http://www.earlyaviators.com/ecollish.htm

Joan Fletcher Bamford: http://www.tiltcreative.com/rogues/heroesandrogues.htm

Tommy Prince (First Nations War Hero):http://firstnationsdrum.com/2002/09/thomas-prince-canadas-forgotten-aboriginal-war-hero-2/

Genre: Historical fiction; War; Remembrance Day

Author Weblink:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/booksandauthors/2010/11/ghost-of-heroes-past.html


The Kingdom Keepers : Disney after dark by Ridley Pearson

March 27, 2011

Published
September 1st 2005 by Disney Editions
Hardcover, 336 pages
isbn13: 9780786854448

‘Disney’ ….. a word that is recognizable in what ever language and being an avid Disney fan, I naturally gravitated towards this book by Ridley Pearson.

This story ‘Disney after dark’, is the first in the series “Kingdom  Keepers”.  It is not a story that will  envoke the warm and fuzzy feeling that one usually associates with ‘Disney’!  Action, suspense, fantasy and threats taunt and plague the five young characters that are central in this story.  These five teens find themselves pitted against all the traditional and not so traditional villianous characters that inhabit Disney. Being that this is the 21st century, technology now plays a vital role for these protagonists,  but it ends up leaving them with unexpected side effects!

 If you never have had the opportunity of experiencing the Magic Kingdom…then you are in for a wonderful ‘magical ride’ in Ridley Pearson’s book   “The Kingdom Keepers.”

  

Genre: Fantasy/Thriller/ Suspense 

Interest Level: Grade 6 to 9

Book Weblink: http://www.thekingdomkeepers.com/

 Author Talk about the Book:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb-X4uPjqnk&feature=youtu.be

You Tube Keepers Movie tr:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtQOdGj7A1g&NR=1

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npCAlQwiL_0&feature=related


Shapeshifter By Holly Bennett

March 27, 2011

By author: Holly Bennett
ISBN: 9781554691586
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: April/01/2010
Pages: 256

I’ve always enjoyed the works of author Holly Bennett, and found that this new novel did not disappoint!

Shapeshifter…ummm…the word alone just intrigues the mind….and leads into a world of magic that is reminiscent of Celtic folklore and ancient tales. This is the heartbreaking turbulent story of a girl who  shape shifts into a deer in order to escape the relentless pursuit of a malevolent and yet powerful sorcerer.

Bennett has truly intertwined and captured the lore, mystic and magic of  Ireland and reached far back into the  human psyche where the lines were blurred between mortal and immortality. Sive is one of those ‘immortals’ who not only can ‘shapeshift’ but is gifted with a special unquie talent of ‘Song’.  Her ‘singing’ is not of the ordinary and it  is this gift that brings her to the attention of Far Doirche, a sorcerer who first tries to marry Sive. When this fails he begins an all out attempt to enthrall her to do his bidding. Surrounded by courageous family and friends, Sive manages to escape  for a time by slipping past the boundaries of her world and into the world of mortals. Here she finds temporary refuge by taking a mortal form and living within a protective circle that allows her to even become a mother. Her protective instincts have her sacrificing herself to Far Doirche’s enchantment and thus begins her agonizing psychological torment. Salvation arrives in the quise of her son, but have the anguish and distress of being in the sorcerer’s thrall prove to be to much?

  Bennet’s use of different perspectives in the narration of this well told fantasy tale, makes clever use of Irish lore, culture, geography and language.  What is also useful to readers at the end of the novel ,  is the  pronounciation guide in the names and places used, and another version of the legend of Sive.

Interest Level: strong Junior readers/ Intermediate/ Senior

Genre: Myths and legends; Magic; Fantasy

Who would love this book?  Any reader interested in the folktales, legends  of Ireland. 

Author Weblink:

http://www.hollybennett.net/


End of Days by Max Turner

March 27, 2011

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312592523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312592523
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  • Turner’s runaway hit Nightrunner is followed by this action-packed sequel and enough of the first novel is intertwined and disclosed within these pages that this title can be read as a stand alone book.This book continues where the first left off, with Zach Thompson and his two friends, Charlie and Luna all trying to come to terms with being  vampires and all the changes and implications that this transformation has brought into their lives. After attending a rave-like dance, Zach and Charlie become part of an altercation and have to run for their lives. It is while they are on the run that they witness a strange wolf-like creature making short work of the vampire that was chasing them.  It is this mysterious creature that begins a systematic dismantling of the network of support that enables Charlie and others like him to survive, which throws the “underground” into chaos. As the turmoil around them increases , Zach and Charlie are forced to hide, and stumble upon an ancient prophecy that hints at the “End of Days”. Zach takes it upon himself to find out answers and with the help and courage of his friends begins on this path of good at a time when it seems only the ruthless can survive.I truly like the plotline of this story and found that the characters were well developed and that the relationship between Zach and Luna was also blooming.  The reaction of Charlie to his transformation into a vampire was also different…much more human in his anger, resentment and rebellion at being a vampire…just realizing what he has lost in becoming a vampire. This is an action-packed urban thriller that I think will appeal to young adult readers!
  • Reading  ability:  Grade 7,8, 9

    Genre: Supernatural urban-fantasy thriller

    Who would like this book?

    Readers of books like: The Darkest Powers series by Kelly Armstrong;  Deception by Lee Nichols;  Angel ( Maxium Ride 7 ) by James Patterson

    http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780312592523&m_type=6#widget