This Newbery Honor book is the first in a series of novels about the fantasy realm of Damar, which also includes the Newbery Medal-winning The Hero and the Crown. And Potterheads will be amazed to learn that this book contains both a Harry and a Draco. Only Draco, in this case, is a horse; and Harry is a girl.
Mr. Langs prefaces to his twelve fairy books of many colours are often very informative, particularly about what makes fairy stories so important, and how to answer the objections of their critics. The preface to the Orange Fairy Book is no exception. Here Mr. Lang introduces 33 stories from a variety of cultures and traditions, admitting that some of the more cruel and savage deeds from the original stories had to be toned down a bit for young readers. He adds, It is impossible, even if it were desirable, to conceal the circumstance that popular stories were never intended to be tracts and nothing else. Though they usually take the side of courage and kindness, and the virtues in general, the old story-tellers admire successful cunning as much as Homer does in the Odyssey. At least, if the cunning hero, human or animal, is the weaker….
Put on your thinking caps! It’s time to go to Hogwarts (extension program for Muggles) and study philosophy. Now, don’t give me that look. It’s not as bad as it sounds–certainly not the way it’s presented here. The authors of the sixteen essays in this cleverly edited book have used the magic of Hogwarts (and a lot of humor) to present a subject that makes many of us want to run away in fright (or pass out in boredom) actually interesting and understandable.
Folks, I am without a doubt the doofus of the decade; for I bought only the first book of this series, to try it out and see if I would like it…and by the time I got around to reading it, I had so many other books (and so few dollars) lined up that buying the rest of the series was out of the question…and I can hardly wait to read them! In fact, I had a hard time concentrating at work today because I was so looking forward to finishing this book.
The 1987 winner of the Newbery Medal is this quickly-read little book, set in an unnamed kingdom in an unspecified age when highwaymen were the objects of song and legend, when dancing bears and dog-and-rat pits were major forms of entertainment, and when spoiled little princes had whipping-boys to take their licks for them.
The third book in the Pit Dragon Trilogy finds young dragon-master Jakkin and his beloved Akki living desperate lives as refugees in the mountains, haunted by grief, pursued by searching choppers, and befriended by the five hatchlings of the late Heart’s Blood.
This is the middle book of the Pit Dragon Trilogy, that begins with Dragon’s Blood and concludes with A Sending of Dragons.
This is the first novel in the Pit Dragon Trilogy that continues with Heart’s Blood. The author has also written a Young Merlin Trilogy and a Tartan Magic trilogy, as well as a Starscape book entitled Briar Rose.
Ms. Levine’s first children’s novel is this 1997 Newbery Honor Book, which has recently been made into a movie. (Robbie’s note: Whoops. Don’t go to see the movie after all. It really stinks.) And in a way, it’s nothing new. It’s another version of the classic Cinderella tale, which has been made into countless movies (like Ever After), books (like Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister) and even operas (La Cenerentola by Rossini). But this version has some fascinating twists that make it quite its own tale, and its heroine will win you over.
Though this book won the 1985 Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature, it is a rather grown-up book. I suppose that proves that a book doesn’t have to be about children, or even necessarily written for children, to be enjoyed by young readers.