Tag Archives: 4 lightning bolts

Book Review: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles

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The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice Recommended Ages: 14+ Before Twilight was a gleam in Stephenie Meyer’s eye, author Anne Rice created a sensation with her series of novels about a race of beautiful, sensual vampires. Rooted in Egyptian mythology and very distinct from most vampire lore up to that time, Anne Rice’s vampires were created by being drained of blood to the point of death, then allowed to save themselves by drinking in turn ... Read More »

Book Review: Two Religious Interpretations of Harry Potter

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Harry Potter: A Christian Chronicle by Sonia Falaschi-Ray The Boy Who Lived: Magic(k)al Spirituality in the Harry Potter Universe by Rik Potter In the DVD special features for the movie Groundhog Day, director Harold Ramis describes the feedback he received from Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, and members of other religions, all convinced that the film has a coded message connected with their beliefs. Ramis’s bemused response suggests that most, if not all, of these religious ... Read More »

Book Review: The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

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The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech Recommended Ages: 10+ The first author to win both the Newbery Medal (for Walk Two Moons) and the Carnegie Medal (for Ruby Holler) here deviates from her general habit of depicting present-day kids in dramatic situations. Instead, she conjures a make-believe kingdom somewhere in medieval Italy, with a king and a queen, a princess and two princes, hermits, peasants, servants, and knights. King Guido of the Castle Corona is ... Read More »

Book Review: The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon

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The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon Recommended Ages: 11+ In the first of (so far) three books in a series titled “The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme,” we become acquainted with an unusual member of the dwarf-like race of the Nain. Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme is the youngest son of a family of shipwrights. Each of his older brothers has a respectable beard and the mastery of one specialized area of the ship-building business, from ... Read More »

Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

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Emma by Jane Austen Recommended Ages: 12+ This 1815 novel is the fourth of six books by the first name in English-Regency-period romantic comedy, published only two years before its author’s death at age 42. While I found it engaging and pleasurable to read, I am glad that Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility formed my first acquaintance with Jane Austen’s work, rather than this novel. Those books are so liberally seasoned with romantic ... Read More »

Review: Blimpo by Dale E. Basye

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Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye Recommended Ages: 11+ In this sequel to Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go and Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck, twice-dead teen Milton Foster heroically dons a fat suit (sort of) and infiltrates the part of the 18-and-under Afterlife set aside for fat kids. His mission: to rescue his chubby friend Virgil, who has been darned for what may be only a sin of weakness. ... Read More »

Review: The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott

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The Night Itself – buy it by Zoë Marriott – her website Recommended Ages: 13+ The first book in Marriott’s The Name of the Blade series proves to be a fast paced action packed urban fantasy, with danger, friendship and romance. It will leave readers gasping for more. Fifteen year old Mio has had bad dreams for years – ever since her grandfather revealed that she was to inherit a priceless sword as a family ... Read More »

Review: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

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Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini Recommended Ages: 12+ As they went, he considered her admiringly, and marveled at himself that it should have taken him so long fully to realize her slim, unusual grace, and to find her, as he now did, so entirely desirable, a woman whose charm must irradiate all the life of a man, and touch its commonplaces with magic. I chose this quote (see inset) to illustrate why this book has ... Read More »

Review: Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck

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Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck Recommended Ages: 10+ In the sequel to The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, the youngest of seven brothers in the last surviving family of storybook heroes must, once again, set out to save the older six. Not only that, but he must rescue five princesses who were spirited away on their wedding day before the helpless, horrified eyes of their wedding guests. Also, he ... Read More »

Book Review: Storybound by Marissa Burt

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Storybound by Marissa Burt Recommended Ages: 11+ Lately a lot of writers have been sending us dispatches from the Land of Stories. According to sometime Glee star Chris Colfer, it’s a cluster of magical kingdoms where a pair of children from our world, transported through a family heirloom storybook, discover the true history behind many of your favorite fairy tales. In another account by Ian Beck, the Land of Stories is a country where designated ... Read More »