Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Reading Suggestion #7

I have been reading nonstop to the point where I'm doing pretty much nothing else! So many little time is correct!!

The next book I want to tell you about is one I have had in my class collection since earlier in the year. I got it as a free book with my Scholastic Book order. It was put out with my other class library books, but I didn't even give it a second look until just a few days ago. The Book of Tormod, A Templar's Apprentice, written by Kat Black, is set in the 14th century...PERFECT to read if you're interested in or studying the Middles Ages.

Sir Alexander, Knight Templar, has the gift of VISION and this vision leads him to a small Scottish farm and to Tormod, a young 13 year old Scottish boy. Tormod, the seventh son, also has the vision, but he doesn't really know it. He has had glimpses of its powers, but has thought that only he was different...until he met the Knight Templar! Pursued by French King Phillippe's soldiers, Sir Alexander and Tormod travel from Scotland, to England, Spain, and finally to France. They follow a map, not knowing what they will find, but both know that is a matter of life and death.

As they flee the enemy, Tormod begins to understand and control his visions, guided by the Knight Templar. He also begins to grow up and mature as he learns about himself and the Knights Templar and their history. This first of a multi-book series is fast paced, intriguing, and full of excitement.

It's A MUST READ!! If you like it, its sequel, The Book of Tormod, A Templar's Gifts, will be published in February.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Reading Suggestion #6

These two books, The Sorceress and The Necromancer, are the continuation of the Nicholas Flamel 6 book series. In this EXCITING book, we see how Perenelle is truly a very powerful Sorceress. She continues to be kept captive on Alcatraz...along with an army of monsters that are waiting to be awakened by Dr. John Dee so that he can control the world. Dee thinks that by keeping Perenelle on Alcatraz, her powers are diminished...but wait...he underestimates her. Dee fails to consider that Perenelle is very resourceful! In this book, Perenelle shows how powerful she really is, not only in fighting, but in her ability to get help in unexpected ways. Of course, Sophie and Josh are still being hunted and trying to protect them are Nicholas, Joan of Arc and Comte de Saint-Germain. Additionally, introduced in this book are new characters such as the immortals William Shakespeare, Palamedes, and Billy the Kid! I truly LOVED reading this book. It showed me a different side of Perenelle.

In The Necromancer, the Dark Elders are EXTREMELY angry that Dr. Dee has not been able to get the missing pages of The Codex. Now he is a wanted man. What does he do when he learns of this? He RUNS! Dee is a desperate man who does desperate things to attain his goal...that of controlling the world. Josh learns the magic of fire, but is lured by Dee shortly thereafter. His jealousy of his sister's powers has blinded his thinking. He falls under the persuasive powers of Dee. Will Josh unwittingly help Dee summon Coatlicue, the Mother of Gods, for the purpose of destroying the Dark Elders? No one knows!! The answer is in book 5, The Warlock to be released in 2011. The last book, The Enchantress will be released in 2012. I CAN'T WAIT!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Reading Suggestion #5

Today I am going to write about the first two books in the 6-book series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. I will do a review of the next two in the series AFTER I read them!

As you may know, science fiction/science fantasy was HUGE in my class this past year. Actually, reading ANY book was huge in my class. I so loved the interaction and the love of books! I will miss that next year, not teaching reading.

This series is science fantasy. It is about Good vs Evil, Dark vs Light. In this first book, The Alchemyst, the twins Josh and Sophie are the ones mentioned in the prophecy found in the ancient Book of Abraham the Mage, known as the Codex. They have the power to save the world once these powers are Awakened.

The Codex has been stolen by Dr. John Dee who serves an evil Dark Elder. He has also kidnapped Perenelle, the wife of Nicholas Flamel, the famous immortal Alchemyst. Nicholas takes the twins to Awaken their powers by the neutral Elder Hekate. This is necessary in order to prevent the Dark Elders from taking over the earth. However, Hekate is only able to Awaken Sophie before Hekate's home, the Shadowrealm, is destroyed. Flamel, the twins, and Scathach, the Warrior, escape just in time. This begins their journey to request help from witches, other immortals, and other Elders to teach Sophie about her new found powers and how to control them. There is lots of excitement, adventure, tense moments when all fight monsters from legend.

The Magician starts where The Alchemyst ends off. In the first book we learn about Nicholas Flamel and his sorceress wife Perenelle. We continue to learn more about them in this second book. We also learn more about Dr. John Dee, The Magician. More exciting battles ensues. Sophie learns a new power and Josh is faced with the decision to have his powers Awakened by a Dark Elder. Does he choose Good or does he choose Evil? Read both of these books to find out!

I just downloaded my third book, The Sorceress. I can't wait to read it!

The wonderful thing I also found out is that The Alchemyst is being turned into a film currently in production! I hope not to be disappointed....

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Reading Suggestion #4

I recommended The Wednesday Wars at the end of this past school year, but I don't think I had any takers. It is another must read book. I love it because it is a little bit out of the ordinary and it's realistic fiction, a genre I don't normally read. You could say it's historical fiction as well as it's set in the late 1960's during the Vietnam War, but that's not the focus. This book was recommended to me by Mrs. Vanden Heuvel who also let me borrow it.

The main character Holling Hoodhood (Love that name!), is the only Presbyterian in his seventh grade class. Why does that make any difference? It's because his Catholic and Jewish classmates attend religious classes every Wednesday afternoon...during school time. Holling is left alone at school with Mrs. Baker, his Language Arts teacher. Holling believes that she hates him.

At the beginning, Holling does tasks around the classroom for Mrs. Baker, but after a while, Mrs. Baker decides things are not working out. Therefore, she begins assigning Shakespeare plays which they begin discussing. Holling HATES it, but soon turns around.

Each chapter of this book is a month of his seventh grade school year...pretty cool. The book is about lessons learned while maturing such as respect and acceptance. It's funny, sad, thoughtful and encouraging. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I have....but beware, the beginning is a bit slow, but absolutely necessary for the plot development.

If you want to read the first two and a half chapters, click here.

Summer Reading Suggestion #3

My next recommendation is a book by the same author as the Uglies Trilogy, Scott Westerfield. The book I'm recommending is his most recent one published, Leviathan. In Uglies, the setting is in the future. In Leviathan, the setting is in Europe, early 1900's at the brink of World War I. The twist is that the book is sci-fi, written as an alternate history to that time period. Some of the facts are historically correct, but the trials and tribulations of the main characters are fiction. I've recently learned that this alternate history style type of book is called Steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction. The cover of this book is designed a la Steampunk. Pretty cool!

Europe is divided into two groups: those countries whose people, known as Clankers, believe in using mechanical war machines as their technology and those who manipulate genes to create biological war machines. These people are know as Darwinist.

A young boy, Aleksandar Ferdinand, Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, flees after Serb assassins killed his parents. Although everyone believes he is unable to inherit the thrown because his mother was a commoner, there are those, especially his great uncle the Emperor Franz Joseph, who believe he is a threat because he is the closest relative to the emperor. Alek escapes in an old battle-worn walker, called a Stormwalker (think Star Wars transport combat vehicles) , with loyal men, and Count Volger, his mentor.

Deryn Sharp is a Scottish girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She is an excellent airman, but she is afraid her secret will be discovered at every turn. With World War 1 developing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross.

This is an amazing book. You will need to read it carefully because the vocabulary is different. It's challenging, which is great! I was thrilled to find out the sequel, Behemoth, is due out in October. Leviathan is the first book of this trilogy...a MUST read!