Moon at nine by Deborah Ellis

April 8, 2014

Moon at nine by Deborah Ellis

Moon at nine by Deborah Ellis

ARC: compliments of Pajama Press

: 273 pages; c2014 

From the publisher:

“A riveting novel set in Iran, where sexual orientation can have deadly consequences.

Based on a true story”.

 

Genre: Realistic fiction

Grades : 8, 9 (intermediate)

 

 

It is the stark dramatic cover of Deborah Ellis’ latest book, that captured my attention.

Reading those three simple words, ‘Moon at nine’….seeing the hazel-coloured eyes staring through two strands of barbwire … for me, is a very powerful image. Resisting the urge to flip the book over, I tried to figure out what this story would be about. My musings were not even near to what Ellis had written.

This story is far from being atypical….it is about a fifteen year old Iranian teen named Farrin, who is the daughter of a wealthy family in 1980’s Tehran, set during the Iran and Iraq war known as the ‘Gulf War’.

We see the story of Farrin’s privileged life, unfold through her eyes. Farrin is dissatisfied — almost bored, with her life, attending an all girls school, while evading daily bombings, and becomes less tolerant with her relationship with her mother.

Her facade of discontent comes to a screeching halt with the arrival of a new student Sadira. Sadira’s outgoing, gentle nature (personality) touches something within Farrin. The two girls connect on a level that has Farrin questioning just who she is.   The pull of Sadira’s steadfastness and compassionate caring personality is something that Farrin cannot resist and they are drawn to each other — like moths to a flame. Though they try to suppress this feeling, but to no avail, Farrin and Sadira find that their friendship evolves into a relationship that can only lead to an outcome that neither girl would anticipate.

 

Freedom … a word that is often taken for granted … and the author has given us a glimpse into a world that reads like a part of history, yet it is still a part of the present … for many young women throughout the world.

This is a story, that I am glad, author, Deborah Ellis had the courage to tell, as it was, for the woman who had the courage to tell it.

Great classroom discussions and highly recommended!!

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The Kayak by Debbie Spring

March 27, 2011

The Kayak

by Debbie Spring

Thistledown Press | March 11, 2010 | Trade Paperback; 190 pages; $12.95     ISBN: 978-1897235-71-3

The simplistic realism of this cover … of a young woman paddling a kayak toward the sunset is what first drew my attention to this book! 

 Serenity and peace … an image that also conjurs  a feeling of enjoyment and relaxation.  At the onset, author Spring cleverly has the reader believing  in  this “sense of freedom”  and even  Teresa’s own words while kayaking …. “This is a mystical place. Out here I feel safe and secure.”   is a contradiction of what  this story is really about….. that of a young woman facing  major psychological and physical challenges in order to enjoy the freedoms she once took for granted.

Teresa , once a typical teenager, hanging with friends, and  running track until a tragic accident changes not only her life but that of her family’s.  Entering adolescence is difficult enough for teens, but add insecurities, anger, and doubts and Teresa struggles to push herself  to attempt things that she’s never done before.  As Teresa battles her physical and psychological demons we  also see the impact these adversities have upon her parents and sister.

This is a powerful touching story with a protagonist that displays courage, determination and grit, but also has an inner depth that  truly has the reader cheering for  her!

Highly recommended!!!!

Genre: Realistic Fiction; Romance

Interest Level: Intermediate/ Senior students; interest in the Physically challenged

Weblinks: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams/marking_materials/en10/training_papers.pdf

http://www.docshare.com/doc/91928/Debbie-Spring-The-Kayak-A-literary-deconstruc

http://voicethread.com/share/1893491/


The Fallen (and Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski

August 5, 2010

The stark simplicity of the black and white photo and the singular title is what captured my attention as I scanned the book racks looking for another interesting read….a quest for redemption and a mystery… to me this became an irresistable combination and a must have read!  I was NOT to be disappointed!!

The Fallen 1 and Leviathan are the  first two books in a four- book series by author Thomas Sniegoski.

Usually I am a little leary of books that have angels in the forefront….but this author truly surprised me !   The angels in these series of four books are like no angels that I had ever read about.   Angel mythology and prophecies…and very potent combination in my opinion!    

As an onlooker you see how over time human vices such as jealousy, prejudice, indecision, anger impact upon the ‘Fallen Angels’ and this then sets the stage for conflict and possible resolution. 

Orphaned since birth, Aaron Corbet has finely found a measure of security with the Stanleys and their autistic son Stevie.    Aaron has just turned 18 and is plagued by intense, vivid and often violent dreams — that upon waking leave him disturbed and shaking.  It is the power of these unsettling dreams that have Aaron begin to question  his sanity and he tries to dismiss the heavy foreboding feelings that begin to plague him.  He wants to confide in someone, like Vilma the cute girl in his class, but his fears keep him silent.  He copes by working at his after school job, the  West Lynn Veterinary Hospital and talking to Gabriel, his attention craving yellow retriever. Then two  mysterious strangers approach him, telling him that he has a destiny like no one else…. that he is the chosen one …  the one that was prophesied  millenia ago…that his role will be as a liaison between angels, mortals, and Powers both good and evil ….  it is not a destiny that he wants and he fights to remain a normal teenager! 

 Sniegoski skillfully keeps this wonderful  plot moving by sprinkling great action scenes throughout.  I was really connecting with Aaron and Gabe and definately ‘boooing’ Verchiel, the angel that put himself incharge of hunting Aaron down.  I am very glad that I had the the two-in-one version of the book — and am almost finished with the second two-in-one “ The Fallen 2 : Aerie and Reckoning “!   

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants  to read about angels in another light… so to speak!!

Author Wedsitehttp://www.sniegoski.com/fallen/

Added Reviews and discussions:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7171880-the-fallen-2