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Archive for June, 2011

Play Dead

By: Ryan Brown

The Jackrabbits are Killington High’s football team and they are one win away from playing in the district championship, where they will face off against their most vicious rivals, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. In Killington Texas football is a religion and the rivalry gets bloody before the players even take the field. Jackrabbits quarterback Cole Logon is brutally attacked by three masked assailants but instead of backing down he sets out to get payback where he believes it will hurt most, on the field. Then a second prank goes terribly wrong, threatening the lives of the team. The help Cole, and a reluctant Savannah, seek is unorthodox and plunges them into a desperate race to control the team and their newfound craving for flesh. Cole must lead them to gridiron victory in a game where the stakes aren’t just bragging rights but a matter of salvation or damnation.

Cole is an arrogant loner with a dodgy family life and a dodgy reputation. For him football is the way out and he won’t let the Badgers ruin that for him. He reluctantly teams up with the coach’s daughter, Savannah who has her own secrets. Cole isn’t the sort of character that grabs me but neither did he repulses me, I think he was interestingly developed and played well off Savannah who isn’t as tightly cliched as she may first appear.

I have to say I am not a sporty type of person and wasn’t sure what to think when this came into my hands. Somewhat to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Brown starts in a place you think you know then gives it a little twist sideways. He has done a good job of balancing the sport, supernatural and humour aspects of this story. It is a tight, fast paced, darkly funny and entertaining read. If you like zombies, football or even something just a little different give this a shot, it might surprise you.

Publisher: Gallery

Published: 09 June 2011

Format: Paperback 344 pages

Categories: Thrillers Horror

ISBN 13: 9781439171578

Purchase: here or click on logo to go to Booktopia site

CHERUB Film Teaser

So this pic just came across my computer screen and I flipped, wondered how on earth I missed such a huge deal. Turns out I didn’t, this is just sales art from the Cannes market, that means the film is still ages away in very early stages of pre-production and if you know anything about the film industry it means don’t get your hopes up. Still I love the pic and do have my hopes up, bring on the CHERUB films.

Street Magic

By: Tamora Pierce

Circle Opens series bk 2

Briar is a plant mage. His is incredibly skilled, especially for one so young. He can distil medicines, get a garden to grow in the blink of an eye and persuade a tree to trap a criminal. He has a very strong empathy with nature and plants love to reach out to him. His is a power that can kill just as easily as it can heal. Briar knows how important it is to learn how to channel your magical ability. While taking a walk through the Golden House Market he stumbles across Evvy. Evvy is a street rat who doesn’t realise she has stone magic, nor is she interested in learning how to control it. In fact she doesn’t want to learn anything from Briar. Briar knows she has to be taught and he tries to find a suitable tutor for her, however Evvy’s life is close to his past and he cannot leave her unprotected.

The Circle of Magic quartet are real ensemble stories, with a slight emphasis on one character, in the Circle Opens Quartet the players all get their own stories. Briar’s story is one that masterfully matches the person he has become with the person he was. Evvy is brash and stubborn and no match for Briar who has spent much time with stubborn and powerful female companions. I love the way Pierce has used this story to give insight into Briar’s past. This story is filled with wonderfully visual descriptions of the city of Chammur. Evvy is a fun character who is carefully developed throughout the course of this tale. I look forward to reading more about her. I have to say I loved the climax, it had me unwilling to put my book down no matter what the interruption. Once again a great story from a truly wonderful storyteller. I haven’t come across a Tamora Pierce book I wouldn’t recommend.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 March 2008

Format: Paperback 255 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781862917835

Purchase: here or use logo on side of page to link to Booktopia

Magic in the Weaving

By: Tamora Pierce

Circle of Magic series bk 1

Sandry is of noble birth, rescued from a bricked in chamber, Tris is a merchant girl abandoned by her family. Daja is the only survivor of a shipwreck that wiped out the rest of her family. Briar is a thief, taken from certain imprisonment, for reasons he doesn’t understand. These four children are the new residents of the WInding Circle Temple. Even there they don’t really fit in and find themselves at Discipline under the guidence of Dedicates Lark and Rosethorn. These four children have something in common, their powers are unusual and manifest differently to most. When disaster strikes will they be able to work together to survive?

Sandry, Tris, Daja and Briar are wonderfully crafted characters, at odds with yet somehow drawn to each other. Sandry is key to this and it is represented in her ability to weave. In each other they find friends who accept them as they are. The places they come from are well established and in a short amount of time you learn so much about each of them. The Winding Circle Temple is bought off the page by wonderful descriptions. For me characters are where Pierce excels. They are so believable, and I was drawn along with them every step of the way, cheering at their successes and pulling for them in their struggles. This book is a true ensemble story and well worth taking the time to read. Highly recommended. Pierce is my number one pick for readers 10+ who like fantasy and are seeking out stories with strong female characters, or even just good writing.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 July 2007

Format: Paperback 240 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781862917446

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

First Test

9780375829055By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series, bk 1

Keladry of Mindelan (Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree permitting females to train for knighthood. She is determined and supported by her parents. She isn’t supported by Lord Wyldon, the master in charge of training the pages and squires. He believes girls shouldn’t become knights and so he puts her on probation, he may be forced to train her but he will not do it willingly. So Kel finds herself facing not only the grueling schedule and traditional hazing faced by all pages but also a trial period no other page has ever had to endure. It is hard enough being the only girl, the probation serves only to separate her from the others even more. Kel is more determined than others realise and they will find out just how much they have underestimated her.

Kel is young, showing great focus and determination. She knows what she wants and though the challenges along the way are harder than she expects she doesn’t back down. Kel relies on her heart and her smarts. The learning she acquired when in foreign courts with her parents and she puts that training to good use. Kel is an amazing character. Her sponsor and friend Neal, sums her up this way, ‘You’re the oldest 10 year old I’ve ever met…It means I’m trying to justify to myself the fact that the best lesson I’ve ever had on the heart of chivalry came from someone five years younger than me.’

In Kel’s story we learn a little something of heart, knowing yourself and bullying. Pierce writes in a way that has these characters jumping off the pages. Kel is surrounded by characters that support her and those that try to destroy her and they are woven together in a manner reminiscent of school yard environs. This is very much Kel’s story and she is one of my favourite characters. I love the way Pierce presents the world and the characters she has populated it with. I also love reading about strong female characters and adore this series. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2004

Format: Paperback 216 pages

Categories: Fiction Science Fiction Family Fantasy School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780375829055

Purchase: here or use logo to connect to Booktopia site

2011 Locus Award Winners

The winners of this years Locus Awards have been announced. This years Young Adult Winner is

Ship Breaker – Paolo Bacigalupi (Little Brown)

Shaun Tan was also a winner in the Best Artist Category.

A big congratulations to all winners and nominees.

The full list of winners and finalists can be found here.

 

 

 

2011 Kate Greenaway Medal Awarded to Grahame Baker-Smith

The 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal has been awarded to Grahame Baker-Smith for FArTHER. The book tells the moving story of how a son takes up his father’s unfulfilled dreams of flying, and finally takes to the air.

Baker-Smith’s book was inspired both by his own father, and by being the father of a son himself.

Of this year’s winning book, Ferelith Hordon, Chair of the CILIP Kate Greenaway judging panel comments: “FArTHER is a beautifully conceived picture book with a dream-like quality that captures the imagination of readers of all ages. Its wealth of detail conveys both dark emotions: the storms of war and weather, and a powerful sense of loss and bereavement; but also a great sense of hope, particularly as vested in future generations”

The Kate Greenaway Medal is theUK’s most prestigious children’s illustration award. It was established in 1955, and is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children’s illustrations and designs. Since 2000, the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal has also been awarded the £5000 Colin Mears Award. An accountant and children’s book collector, Colin Mears left a bequest providing every Greenaway winner with a cash award as well as the coveted Medal.

A big congratulations on the award and on such a beautiful book.

Pottermore

At a press conference today J.K. Rowling revealed the content and purpose of Pottermore, her new Harry Potter collaborative website.

The site won’t officially open until October and only some of the details have been revealed. Pottermore will bring the world of Harry Potter to life with thousands of words of new content. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories. A fact that I’m sure will be greeted with much excitement by Potter’s many fans, (yes you know who I’m talking about). Fans will also be able to contribute their own content.

Among its other components will be an e-bookstore, the exclusive retailer of Harry Potter e-books.

Although October is the official release date, 1 million lucky fans will be able to register on July 31st, (Harry’s birthday). They will be able to work their way through the world of Harry as he first enters Hogwarts, visits Diagon Alley, they will get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help their house compete for the House Cup. It will start with content specific to book 1 but all books will be added in time.

I know some of you will be counting down the days, hope you are lucky enough to get early access.

Here is the announcement.

2011 Carnegie Medal

The Carnegie medal is an annual award given to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The award was established in 1939 in memory of Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and is awarded by libraians who nominate titles for the shortlist.

This year’s winner is Patrick Ness for Monsters of Men. Monsters is the third installment in Ness’s Chaos Walking series. The previous two books – The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer – were shortlisted for the Carnegie in 2009 and 2010 – this is the first time in the prize’s history that all the books in a series have been contenders.

The trilogy has been highly awarded; from the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize to the Booktrust Teenage Prize while Monsters of Men was shortlisted earlier this year for the Arthus C Clarke Award, making it only the second young adult work to have been considered for the celebrated science fiction prize.

Ferelith Hordon, chair of the Carnegie 2011 judging panel, called Monsters of Men an “extraordinary achievement”.

“Within its pages, Patrick Ness creates a complex other world, giving himself and the reader great scope to consider big questions about life, love and how we communicate, as well as the horrors of war, and the good and evil that mankind is capable of,” she said. “It’s an enthralling read that is well nigh impossible to put down.”

Past winners include some of the best-loved names in children’s literature, from Arthur Ransome, who took the inaugural prize in 1936, to CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and Anne Fine.

A huge congratulations to you Patrick Ness.

Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise

By: William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, Elizabeth Gundy

Illustrated By: Audrey Colman

Walter’s family set off on a family cruise, it is a special one though that lets them take pets. Everyone is having a great time until things are interrupted by a terrible smell. Walter’s problem is disrupting the whole holiday and he is banished below deck. It’s not all bad news for Walter though, at least he has some stinky cheeses to snack on. Then something happens to the ship, will Walter’s cheese binge somehow save the day?

This book is funny, if you like fart jokes, and in my house they are very funny. Walter’s family love him and accept him even with his problem. Walter seems to take everything that comes his way in his stride, even seeing what others view as a problem in a more positive light. You can’t help but feel sorry for Walter but I’m not sure I’d want him for my pet. Colman’s illustrations are distinctive digital paintings that give the book and the series quite a recognisable style. It is a story that is a lot of fun to read. In fact ‘fun’ really is the best word to use when talking about this book.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 01 May 2008

Format: Paperback

Categories: Adventure Animal Stories Humour

ISBN 13: 9780142411421

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on the side of the page

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