In the “perfect” society of Quill, those who don’t follow the exact rules or meet the highest qualifications are weeded out when they reach thirteen. They are taken to the outer wall of the kingdom, through a gate always kept locked from the inside, and handed to some enormous Eliminators to be thrown into the Boiling Lake of Oil. Alex and the others knew they were doomed, but were very surprised to be welcomed by a giant flying tortoise and Mr.Today. They actually had escaped from a land of black and white with stiff rules to a colorful place where people were enjoyed and taught many magic and creative activities that would eventually save their lives. Alex missed his twin, Aaron, who was a Wanted in Quill, but visited him in dreams, hoping to someday bring him here to Artime. There are many surprises and lots of exciting experiences – good booki!
This is a great adventure story of a boy living in the English fourteenth-century countryside whose parents died and not only was he on his own, but accused of a crime and labeled a “wolf’s head” – making him open to death by anyone. The very large magician, Bear, adopted him and taught him to think for himself. As they travel through the countryside Bear also teaches Crispin how to defend himself, which will be very necessary when he has to save Bear’s life and his own.
This is a very interesting diary by a thirteen year old girl (Catherine Hall), living on a farm in New Hampshire during the 1830′s. Her mother died of fever so she is taking care of her younger sister, Mary Martha, and her father, Charles. She goes to the little one-room school in the winter and has one friend, Cassie, who doesn’t live too far away to visit. There is an uprising of black slaves in the south, so when she lost her school book one day and it had a message in it when returned a few days later, she guessed who had taken it. Being winter, the message asked for food and something to keep the person warm. She took one of her mother’s old quilts, wrapped it around some food, and left it in the woods so her dad wouldn’t see it. It did dissapear. Her father remarried and it took awhile to get used to her new mother and brother, but all worked out well. The difference in life style and communities then, compared to now is quite unique.
This is a delightful story of a boy who escaped the killer who murdered his parents when he was just a toddler. He managed to crawl up the hill from his parents’ home to a graveyard. The spirits there felt sorry for him and took him in, sheltering him from the killer, who was convinced to leave and forget his reasons for being there. One couple took over as his parents, providing a snug home for him in the forsaken funeral chapel and a half-way person brought him food and clothing and watched over him when he was big enough to leave the graveyard. Several of the spirits (who appeared real to Bod) taught him math, reading, and understand others. Not knowing his name, they named him Nobody and called him “Bod”. He also learned how to fade into invisibility, go through walls, and see in the dark. Eventually he began to mature and the killer returned for him. By this time Bod was very aware of how to use his powers. I had no ideas before this story how helpful the graveyard souls could be!
Why were people warned to not go on Superstition Mountain? Was there really a lost gold mine there? Whose skulls were lined up on the ledge? Simon, Henry, and Jack couldn’t pass up the temptation to explore and had a very exciting adventure. Looking for historical information in the library introduced them to a new neighbor, Delilah, who also wanted to explore. Unfortunately, she had an accident on the mountain, which led to finding a hidden canyon and another mystery. This was an exciting book that was hard to put down (even as an aging adult).
This a very good selection of teen-age poems showing their thoughts and feelings. Some mentioned others who were writing, but most were entirely about their own thoughts. These poems show how teens work out changes from childhood to growing into adulthood – the problems in between. There were teen pictures also, that seemed to fit the poems, but were really taken by an assistant principal for science in a different high school. It is easy to go mentally back into that age while reading these poems.
This is a collection of poems by Adrienne Rich between 1998 – 2000 that includes dialogues between poets and artists, refers to poetry and history, and calls up feelings and visions. Although written in a simple style, these are messages that require one to visualize and contemplate their meaning – not light, airy, quick reads.
Ogden Nash definitely likes the sound of words. Often I did not understand the words he used and was not sure if they were from another language or make up by him. Many words were evidently made up by the author for sound and to fit the subject. He has had a wide variety of interesting jobs, giving him a rich, varied outlook on many things. This background enhances the richness of these delightful verses. Titles range from “Bet You a Nickel My Unhappiness Can Lick Your Unhappiness” to “Coefficients of Expansion” – humorous and thought-provoking.
This is a delightful tale of a small town police force solving the death of an old woman. Her regular walking stick was not near the body, but a different one was against the wall – odd placement that provided good clues as the case progressed. The person telling the story is a female police officer who grew up in the town. As the three membered police force know everyone in town and their past history, many stories and personalities work together to solve the crime.
Having just eloped with a man who offered her anything she would ever want and been sailing back to America to meet his mother, Grace suddenly found herself on a crowded lifeboat watching their elegant oceanliner sink beneath the sea. This is the heart-rending story of people suffering the effects of weather, the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, shortage of food, water, and even sitting space. The boat is so heavy and over-crowded that it is constantly taking on water, making the situation even more frightening. As things got worse, some felt they had to lighten the boat and some were “helped” into the sea. Most of them survived over two weeks in this terrible condition. After they were rescued those who “helped” others into the water were brought to trial for murder. This trial discusses the final days and what happened. One feels the heartache (and pain and hunger) throughout the story.
This is a fast-moving story of an Indian American woman who helped people who needed to get out of a life-threatening situation. She used many methods and always seemed to know who to contact or avoid. Jane Whitefield had promised her husband to quit being a “guide”, but when a friend of his needed her help, she gave in “one last time”. In this story she helped at least five other people escape the “face-changers” who were using her name and techniques to destroy human lives.
This is a very interesting collection of stories that could be shared with children (if they are not easily scared). Actually, the stories are not as scarey as the pictures. Animals are involved in many stories and often a good lesson is taught or wise advice given. “A Storyteller is not only a teller of stories, but a collctor of them as well.”
If you ever wonder what might happen when this stage of world life ends, this is the book to read. Interestingly, many of the things mentioned seem to already be happening! Every time I hear of a meteor heading toward the Earth I will wonder if it is the one to bring an end to things as we know them. The one in this story landed in the Pacific Ocean near southern California. The resulting waves wiped out a large part of the West Coast, countless islands, like Hawaii, caused huge damage to all ocean-lying areas all over the world, and, of course, sank most of the ships in the water. Many water creatures were also killed.Volcanoes erupted and earthquakes were felt almost everywhere. Many of the surviving people were withough any power, transportation, homes, or much food.
During this time, two societies developed. One, led by the Devil’s advocate, Mark Beaulieu, who has unearthly powers and takes over the Oval Office. He triess to squash his opponents in the Christian Resistance Movement, led by John Edwards.The clash at the end of the world is outstanding, and, thankfully, with a good outcome.
I have never before read a book that had delicious recipes for items mentioned in the story. There are twenty-two sweet recipes scattered through the book. The story is an interesting murder of a woman who enjoyed men (perhaps too much!) and all the people involved in her life. Hannah Swenson, who owns a bakery and always seems to have extra sweets around to share with people (which we can bake from the recipes provided), has solved murders before, so this was a good opportunity to use her wisdom and attention to details to find out who did what.
As she is working on the case of the woman found floating in the pool, Hannah is also working out in the gym and dieting to lose weight so she could fit into a dress her mother had chosen for her to wear to a book launch party. Food seems to always be on everyone’s mind, but they do discuss the murder with enough people to bring out the guilty one. In fact, he almost does away with Hannah before she is rescued.
Now to try those recipes!!
Having a German heritage, I really enjoyed this story about a young couple who escaped from their family and home in Germany before the war by coming to America in 1904. Frederick and Jette arrived in New Orleans with just the bags they could carry, a possible job to look for, a small amount of English language, and a baby on the way. They took a steamboat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. Due to the arrival of their baby, they didn’t make it all the way to the possible job, but found themselves in a small German town on the Missouri River named Beatrice, after the stubborn wife of the founder. The local bar needed help, so Frederick got a job there, which led to him eventually buying it. The building stayed in the family through three generations and several changes. At the last, ut becane a Mexican restaurant, still owned by a member of the original family. This is a good story of a family of true Americans – from another country, but dedicated to America.
This is a super story of two young boys and their experiences at a carnival around Halloween time. This was no ordinary carnival, though, it was conducted by very strange supernatural beings who were collecting people. There was a caliope ride that could make one much older or younger than when they got on, with surprising results. There was also a mirror house that few people escaped from, at least in the way they were when they entered. The Illustrated Man, who ran the circus wanted the two boys and almost caught them until they were rescued by the library janitor, father of one of the boys. This story brings to mind the beautiful and scary things one remembers from a circus and is very easy to pull you into the scene – hard to put down.