Friday, December 2, 2011

Geek Fantasy Novel

Image credit:
Archer, E. Geek Fantasy Novel. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011.

Annotation: Ralph goes to England to set up his cousin’s wireless network but ends up in a magical journey based on his cousins’ wishes.

Book talk:
Wishes can be dangerous if they ever came true, which is why Ralph’s parents are adamant against making wishes. Other than that, Ralph leads a pretty average geeky life where he is good at computers and gaming. Then one summer, extended family invite him to England to set up their wireless network, and Ralph finds out why his parents are against wishes. His cousins’ wishes send him on a magical journey of a lifetime full of exploding rabbits, enslaved fairies, murdering unicorns, evil aunts and a snow queen that come to life in this unusual fantasy tale that breaks the rules and has a narrator who can’t keep his opinions to himself. Being a geek isn't always geeky.

Teen Recommended:
“A funny book with a twist. Never-ending mystery until the end.”
-- Christine, 13

Awards: None

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ella Enchanted

Image credit:
Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997.

Annotation: Ella has been given the “gift” of obedience where she has no choice but to obey any command, which might put herself and others in danger, especially if enemies find out.

Book talk:
Many parents probably want their child to be obedient. But is full obedience truly a good thing? That is what Lucinda the fairy godmother seems to think because she gave Ella the gift of obedience. The trouble is Ella has to do anything that is a direct command, even if it means putting herself or others in danger. What is Ella to do? Can she live with her “gift” of obedience? In order for Ella to find out, she goes on many adventures, dealing with stepsisters, fairy godmothers, ogres and a prince in the process. 

  • Newbery Honor Book
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (Vermont)
  • Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award
  • California Young Reader Medal
  • Iowa Teen Award
  • Arizona Young Readers’ Award


    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Fairy Tale TV shows

    I'm going to start a series of booktalks about fairy tales/fantasy YA novels. Retold fairy tales have been a little bit more popular recently with new TV shows this fall. The main ones are "Once Upon a Time" at ABC and "Grimm" on Fox. And these shows cannot be any different.
    • "Once Upon a Time" is more of a drama about fairy tale characters who are trapped in our world, and the daughter of Snow White is supposed to be the savior.  From the creators of "Lost,"  the story weaves the stories of many different fairy tale characters, including Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin.
    • "Grimm" involves a little more horror mixed in with its drama. It is about a cop who realizes he is the descendent of someone who can see fairy tale/fantasy characters in the real world. It kind of retells fairy tales in a more dramatic way.
    Check out their websites for episodes from the show. Note that episodes are only on the sites for a limited time.