Archive | July, 2016

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

22 Jul

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February, 2015
Audiobook Narration: Amanda Dolan

Mare Barrow is a Red – meaning her blood is red.  At 17, she lives in poverty, facing conscription to the army at the age of 18.  Only those Reds who have an apprenticeship avoid automatic conscription.  But Mare is an indifferent student and a petty thief and expects to join her brothers on the front line.  Her best friend has an apprenticeship until his master dies unexpectly and suddenly he is about to be conscripted.  Now Mare has to be clever to protect her friend.  But the Grand Plans fail, Mare’ sister is hurt, the family is desolate.  And Mare meets a young man who ends up getting her a job at the Palace working for the Silvers.  The Silver’s blood is silver but more anyone with silver blood has a strange power.  Powers follow families: one family sparks flames, another reads minds, another controls metals.  And in a freak accident, it turns out that Mare is freak of nature – a Red with Silver powers.

Now everyone wants a piece of Mare – the Queen, the Red Rebellion, and both of the princes.

“Anyone can betray anyone.”

I listened to the audiobook read by Amanda Dolan.  I loved her voice.  So many YA audiobooks have a high pitched female voice but this was lower, pleasant and fit with the tone.  The book was performed well and the book itself was fun to “read.”

Recommended: Grades 6 & up

Calamity – The Epic Ending

5 Jul

Calamity, Book 3: The Reckoners series

By Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: February, 2016

Our house really enjoys Brandon Sanderson books and we have both young adult and adult books around.  My rising senior son read the book first and I only had one question.  Did this book actually end the series?  (I have some bad experiences with books that I thought ended a series but then they kept popping up new ones.). The answer is “Yes”. 

In the first book, Steelheart, Sanderson introduces us to David and a world living under Calamity.  In this book, David still makes interesting metaphors and is still in love with FireFight (read the 2nd book).  But the momentous understanding of the end of the second book and the lose of his mentor, Prof, is huge.  How does it play out in Calamity?  Well things are not quite as they seem.  Can Prof be brought back to himself or will he continue to rampage?  What is the right way to handle things and what is David risking?

It’s a roller coaster ride in Atlanta or in post-Calamity, Ildithia, that is nothing like the Atlanta I live in.  How will David handle things? Will they lose more people? Will they recover Prof?  And, how does he handle the Epic named Calamity?

Recommended: Grades 7 & up

Woman Rebel by P. Bagge

4 Jul

WomanRebelMainWoman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
By Peter Bagge

Publishers: Drawn & Quarterly
Publication Date: 2013

One of my recent scores at the American Library Association (I have over 40 books to read!) is a copy of the graphic novel Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story.

Peter Bagge is an experienced comic artist with several book series and other interesting items.  He tells the story of Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate, as a real person with virtues and faults.  The cover, which is not told within the story, is of the time Margaret Sanger was prohibited from speaking by the mayor.  Her solution was to go on stage with a gag and have someone else read the speech she had written.  Her story is an amazing one.  She may not be someone you want to sit down and talk with but she is someone every person, men and women alike, should be glad she was there and took on the unspeakable.

Due to some of her faults (adultery), I have to recommend this for high school and up, instead of middle school.

Recommended: 10th Grade +