“Loyalist to a fault” by Evan Munday

September 19, 2015

Loyalist to a faultPublished by ECW press

[ARC generously supplied by Jenna Illies]
301p. c2015

The colourful ghoulish cover is just a teaser to what a reader can expect when they dive into the latest installment in Evan Munday’s nominated series Dead Kid Detective Agency!

If a reader is the least bit of a detective and observant, the title Loyalist to a Fault, is a clever play on an well known saying ‘loyal to a fault’ which provides a clue to the new, intriguing story involving the intrepid October Schwartz and a group of distinctly ‘spirited’ teen shades!

A story of unique friendships intertwined with decidedly weirdly poignant situations of midnight rendezvous in the local library, grave-digging in February, a pirate, a burning ship, intrigue and an interjection of horror-filled scenes …… captured my attention with such a force, that you can not help but become an unintentional invisible member of the Dead Kid Agency!

The helpful list of characters and appendix of passing references at the end of this third book in the series, allows the reader to delve deeper into the “important cultural history” that is alluded to throughout the narrative.

Mr. Munday adroitly crafts a tale that is a genuine unique blend of perspectives, voice, intrigue-filled social situations, aspects of the macabre laced with snippets of historical facts. Along with these components, and an opening paragraph that states how “many mysteries open with a heinous crime in progress” and in almost the next breath, reveals that….October, commits such an act, will totally ‘kidnap’ readers from the start!!!

Highly Recommended!!
for Grades 6,7,8!!!   Five Stars!

Genres: Mystery; Supernatural; Adventure; Humour


The Rule of Three : Fight for Power by Eric Walters

August 19, 2014

Fight for power pic The Rule of  Thr3 : Fight for pow3r : by Eric Walters

346p.; c.2015 (?) : published by razorbill/ Penguin Canada

[ARC] :generously supplied by V. Vansickle [razorbill]

 

It is the brilliant compelling cover art that attracts your attention right from the start demanding  you open and begin reading!

 

The reader is not disappointed as the mind bending intense dramatic twists and turns that began  in author Eric Walters’ blockbuster book The Rule of Three‘ accelerates in the explosive sequel  “Fight for Power”.

 

As the opening line is being yelled out by one of the central characters, it launches you  back into the world where the struggle to fight and exist is all too real.

Conflict, chaos, turmoil, uncertainty, all factors that resulted from the initial viral catastrophe, now take on new dimensions as sixty-six days later Adam and the fortified community of Eden Mills reluctantly accept that this could now be the ‘norm’.

Time is now of the essence for survival and as no clear resolution seems imminent, sixteen year old Adam and those around him, face hard choices and irreversible decisions.

Conventional thought is questioned and desperation becomes an element that plagues not only those outside the walls of Eden Mills, but also those within.

A gripping, apocalyptic science fiction/action book that will keep you at the edge of your seat and out of your comfort zone, as it reveals what can happen when the veneer of civility is stripped away and basic human nature reasserts itself, leaving humanity clinging at the edge!

 

Highly recommended for readers of all ages!

 

 


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


Underground Soldier by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

February 21, 2014

undergroundsoldier framed[1]Underground Soldier is a moving and inspirational companion book to Stolen Child and the award winning, Making Bombs for Hitler.

This is Luka’s story…..his journey …his painful coming of age during a time, when survival was the key. Luka’s brash escape from a slave labour camp, thrusts him into situations where improvisation becomes the fundamental instrument for his survival — alluding German sentries.

This is a very powerful story, and even though the characters of Luka and Martina are fictional, the events experienced by them are based on real and little known events during a very horrific time in World War II. Often those who were escaping the injustices of the Nazi’s, would also find themselves fighting against the Russians at the same time.

Scenes of total injustice, brutality, violence and all the horrors encountered during war and  endured, are skillfully balanced by the author, into a story that shows that courage, perserverance, determination and compassion can have just as strong as an impact on the human psyche and help one to overcome any adversity.

Highly Recommended for students and adults!


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/