Libri Dilectio: October 2011

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I invented “trick or treat”
So you could fill your mouth with sweets –
Candy bars and lemon drops,
Marshmallows and Tootsie Pops,
Butterscotch and bubble gum.
Hold out your hand – they’ll give you some
Chocolate kisses, Jujubes,
Sourballs and jelly beans.
Have a cake – some cookies too.
Take a couple – grab a few
Peppermint sticks and Mary Janes,
Licorice whips and candy canes.
Slurp some soda, munch a pie,
Don’t let those M&M’s go by,
Chew that toffee, munch those treats,
Get that caramel in your teeth.
Then come see me, I’ll be here –
I’m your friendly dentist, dear.

-Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It

05 October 2011

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
(Gr 7+)
Greenwillow Books, September 20 2011. Review copy provided by publisher.

“Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.”

My mother always taught me to write thank you notes promptly after receiving a present – so here goes.

Dear Rae Carson~

Thank you for coming along and filling the Tamora Pierce/Kristin Cashore sized hole in my heart. Your heroine was smart, inventive, brave, and caring. Once I got to know her, I couldn’t stop reading her story! Elisa has joined the ranks of Katsa, Alanna, Becka, and Fire for me. I think she’ll fit in nicely.

Thank you for writing a fantasy book that didn’t feel like it was set in England. It didn’t feel even the slightest bit inspired by British history or anything. I love that you have created a world that is inspired by Spain. Your descriptions were so vivid that I could almost feel the heat of the sun in the desert, see the lush greenery of the jungle, or feel lost in a crowded marketplace.

Thank you for creating fully fleshed out secondary characters who felt just as real and important as the main character. You made me love them, you never chose the easy path for them, and yes, you let them break my heart. I love when a secondary character means just as much to me as the main character.

Thank you for writing a book that I couldn’t wait to share with the other librarians, and that I’m even more excited to pass along to the kids at the library. There is one girl in particular who I know will adore your story. In short, thank you for writing my favorite book of 2011.

Very Truly Yours,
Becky the Librarian

03 October 2011

Book Review: The Iron Knight

The Iron Knight, Julie Kagawa
(Gr 9+)

Coming 25 October 2011
Harlequin Teen. Review copy provided by publisher.

“My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn’darkmyr Tallyn.

I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.

My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…”

This is the fourth book in the Iron Fey series (The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, and The Iron Queen are the others). The Iron Fey is the kind of series that I really look forward to reading. I have enjoyed every book and can’t wait to read MORE! Usually, I like trilogies best. I want to have the end in sight, even if I like the setting/story/characters, but with this series – the more the better! Keep going Julie Kagawa! I’ll keep reading them!

The previous three installments in this series were narrated by Meghan Chase, the half faery princess daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer Fey. I’m not sure how much to say about her story…if you’ve already read the first three books in the series, you’re fine to keep reading, but if you haven’t you should probably just stop reading this. Seriously. Stop. Actually, just go get a copy of The Iron King and read that instead. Anyway, at the start of this book Meghan is settled into her new role as Queen of the Iron Fey. She’s had to separate from Prince Ash, her true love and our new narrator, because he is full blood fey and would die in the Iron Realm. Meghan believes there’s no way for the two of them to ever be together, but Ash is not giving up.

Ash makes for an interesting narrator. As a reader, I felt like I knew him, but reading a story from his perspective was a lot different than getting to know him through Meghan. He’s a very complicated character. This is best illustrated by his relationships. He loves Meghan, but he still has unresolved issues from an old relationship. His biggest enemy, Puck, is also his best friend and closest ally. In this story we get a lot more back story on Ash and find out that he is even MORE complicated than he seems on the surface! He needs some faery therapy stat to start working out his mountain of issues!

The Iron Knight will be a huge hit with fans of the series. It keeps the plot moving along at a steady clip, shows readers new parts of the Nevernever, reintroduces old characters as well as a few new ones, and has the romantic feel that readers will be looking for. This series continues to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what Julie Kagawa comes up with next!

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