Author Archive

Seventh Son

December 5, 2012

Seventh Son

Author: Orson Scott Card

Title: Seventh Son

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: July 1987

Number of Pages: 241 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Northwestern American Territory

Time Period: Late 18th to early 19th century

Series (If applicable): Tales of Alvin Maker Series; Book One

Plot Summary: Alvin Junior is the seventh son of a seventh son. Such a birth brings to one great powers, even those of a Maker. Evil forces however, are set on killing the child before he can reach adulthood and realize his true potential as a seventh son of a seventh son. This evil force, known as the Unmaker, uses those around Alvin in attempts to kill the child, including his father and Reverend Thrower. There is hope for young Alvin though, a young girl has been acting as a guardian angel, watching over him. She is known as a torch and can see the heartfires in everyone around her. This young girl, along with the help of Taleswapper and Alvin’s family, will help Alvin learn how to best use his powers and relinquish the forces of evil.

Subject Headings: Magic; Healing; Good and evil; Frontier and pioneer life; Maker, Alvin; Guardian angels; Nineteenth century

Appeal: Brothers and Sisters, Historical Figures, Good Vs. Evil, Alternative American Frontier, Religion, Builds in Intensity, Folklore, Fantasy, Hexes, Magic, Guardian Angels, Late 18th to early 19th century

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Magic, Good vs. Evil, Alternate American Frontier

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Storytelling : An Encyclopedia Of Mythology And Folklore edited by Josepha Sherman  (2008)

If you liked reading about different types of myths and Folklore found in Seventh Son, then you may want to check out his book. It’s a compilation of different Myths and Folklore stories told throughout the world. In these stories you will hear about both good and evil creatures that live among us (so to speak).

2. Children of the West: family life on the frontier by Cathy Luchetti (Apr 2001)

Like in Seventh Son, this book shows you what life was like, for families, back in the early 19th century. Alvin and his siblings worked hard each day to put food on the table even with the help of their special knacks. Read about the daily life and activities of real people who grew up during this time.

3. The arrow and the cross: a history of the American Indian and the missionaries by John Upton Terrell. (1979)

This book recounts how missionaries form the Protestant and Catholic church set out to convert the Native Americans to their own religion and the resistance they received from them. In Seven Sons, Alvin is visited by a Native American Indian who wishes to show him the ways of good. Reverend Thrower wants to fulfill his duty and see to it that a church is build and those in down renounce their beliefs in magic. This book will also give you a good insight on what can be expected in the second book of the Alvin Maker series, Red Prophet.


Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks (Aug 2006)
If you liked reading a story about a young boy who possess powers to save the world from evil you may want to check out this book. Set in a futurist United States, where evil forces enslave survivors of the ruined country, one man sets out to find a child that could save them all.

2. The Briar King by Gregory J. Keyes (Dec 2002)
An evil force of death is reawakening. A monk realizes that the text he is translating contains ancient curses meant to awaken this evil. Only a special lineage can prevent the evil’s take over. Those who have the power to stop this evil fight for their lives. If you like reading a story about good vs evil, a small few banding together to save the world, and folklore, than this book is for you.

3. New Spring by Robert Jordan (Jan 2004)
If you liked reading about the fate of the world resting in the hands of newborn boy, then this book is sure to please. After hearing that a boy born of prophecy, and destined to lead the world against the dark Shadow forces, two men set out to find and protect the infant known as the Dragon Reborn.

Name: Madison Gailus

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Boyfriends with Girlfriends

November 28, 2012

Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Author: Alex Sanchez

Title: Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Genre: Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication Date: April 2011

Number of Pages: 224 pages

Geographical Setting: Suburban USA

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Lance has known he was gay his whole life. Sergio considers himself bisexual but has only really dated girls. A meeting online will spark an instant attraction for these two high schoolers. They agree to meet up and each brings along a friend. Lance brings Allie, his straight female friend of years, who is currently in a relationship. Sergio brings along Kimiko, his lesbian friend  who also happens to be Japanese. The two girls and the two guys hit it off right away. Sparks fly on both ends but things get complicated when Lance starts to push Sergio into a relationship he’s not ready for. Meanwhile, Allie is struggling with her current relationship and her newly discovered feelings for Kimiko. Can these two pairs of lovebirds find a way to make it work? A fast-paced read with lots of dialog will have you turning the pages to see what happens next.

Subject Headings: Lesbian teenagers, Bisexual teenagers, Identity (Psychology), Interpersonal relations,  Dating (Social customs), Homosexuality, Best friends, Teenagers

Appeal: Teenagers, Lesbians, Bisexual, First Kiss, High School, Family Relations, Dating, Angst-Filled, Poetry, Love, Identity, Slang-Dialog

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Teenagers, Homosexuality, Relationships

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994) by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was cited as inspiration for Kimiko when she was writing her poetry. If you liked reading some of Kimiko’s poems in the novel then you would probably enjoy reading poems by the author who inspired her.

2. GLBTQ: the survival guide for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens (Jun 2003) By Kelly Huegel
For anyone struggling with being homosexual or bi, this book is for you. It offers advice from teens and professionals, real-life experiences, and information on support groups.

3. Queer: the ultimate LGBT guide for teens (Jun 2011)
If you ever had questioned whether your best friend was gay or straight, this book will help you figure out that answer. Just like when Lance was really questioning Sergio’s bisexuality, you too can find answers to your questions.

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.Girl Friends: The Complete Collection 1 (Oct. 2012) By Milk Morinaga
If you want to know more about “girl panic” the girl love manga that Kimiko gave to Allie, then you may want to check out this manga series by Milk Morinaga

2. The Bermudez Triangle (Oct. 2004) by Maureen Johnson
If you liked reading about two girls falling for eachother, then you may want to check out The Bermudez Triangle. Its a story about three high school friends and the challenges they face when two of them fall in love.

3. Boy meets boy (Sept. 2003) by David Levithan
If you liked reading about Lance and Sergio’s highs and lows in their relationship then this book is for you. A story about two males trying to work things out after an incident tears them apart.

Name: Madison Gailus

The Graveyard Book

October 31, 2012

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Horror, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: October 2008

Number of Pages: 312 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Cemetery grounds in Great Britain

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: When he was just a baby Nobody Owen’s family was murdered by the man called Jack. Fortunately for Nobody he escaped this man and crawled to safety to the cemetery up the hill. There Mr. and Mrs. Owen found the boy and with the help of his new guardian Silas the boy would grow up protected in the graveyard. He is given “the freedom of the graveyard” which allows him to communicate with the dead and the living. He even learns skills of fading, dream walking, and the languages of nonhuman being. Over the years however curiosity got the best of him and he finds himself on many adventures, both in and out of the graveyard. Some involving witches, ghouls, ghosts, werewolves, snake like creatures and more. Even attending a school for the living doesn’t go as planned for Nobody. Throughout his youth, the man named Jack is in constant pursuit of the boy and wishes to finish what he started years ago. He will not stop until his job is complete.

This coming of age story will appeal to those in their teen years as well as any adult with an imagination. Darkly written at times with a chilling atmosphere, this book is sure to please those who like suspense novels. Witty and humorous at times, this book will ease those who don’t want to be “scared to death” but enjoy a darker tales.

Subject Headings: Orphan boys, Cemeteries, Ghosts, Supernatural, Werewolves, Dead, Boys

Appeal: Orphan boy, Graveyard, Murder, Ghosts, Suspenseful, Friendships, Creepy, Witty, Fast Paced, Bittersweet, Coming of age, Scary

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Coming of Age, Scary, Ghosts

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Weird encounters: true tales of haunted places (Sep 2010)
This book tells the stories of over 75 hauntings and supernatural experiences found throughout the United States. If you liked the idea of a boy growing up in a graveyard and at times haunting people you may like to read about “real” haunting in the US.
Similarities: Ghosts, Graveyards, Scary

2. Orphan Train Rider: One boy’s true story (1996) by Andrea Warren
Tells the story of one mans trip on the orphan train and how over 200,000 abandoned children were relocated to new homes between 1854-1929.
Similarities: Orphan boy, Coming of age
3. Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England ghost town (2009) by Elyssa East
Tells the story of a ghost town in Massachusetts. Where murder took place and witches still hold ceremonies in the woods surrounding the town to this day. People claim sightings of pirates and ghosts.
Similarities: Ghosts, Murder, WitchesThree Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:1. Ghostgirl (Aug 2008) by Tonya Hurley
If you liked reading about a boy growing up in a graveyard, you may like reading about a girl who goes to a high school for the dead. She lives among the dead but wishes to go to the school dance with the living and her crush. Switching roles from a live person living with the dead to a dead person wishing to be alive again will give readers a chance at a different view on the meaning of life and death. Similarities: Ghosts, Fantasy, Death2. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (Jun 2011) by Ransom Riggs
If you liked reading about a boy with some unusual abilities then you’ll enjoy Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. In this book a young boy goes to visit the orphanage his grandfather was sent to in order to escape the Nazi’s. Upon arriving he finds that the children from his grandfathers stories are still there and are in danger and so is he.
Similarities: Orphans, Suspenseful, Supernatural, Creepy

3. The replacement (Sep 2010)
Mackie, a changeling, replaced a human baby when he was just a baby. Every seven years the inhabitants of the underground dwelling take a human baby as a sacrifice and leave in its place a changeling. Now with another baby gone, Mackie finds himself going back to his place of birth and setting things right, before the townspeople find out who he really is.
Similarities: Creepy, Fantasy, Supernatural

Name: Madison Gailus

Thirteen Reasons Why

October 3, 2012

Author: Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Genre: YA; Psychological Suspense

Publication Date: January 2008

Number of Pages: 288 pages

Geographical Setting: Most likely a small town in the USA

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Clay Jenkins comes home from school one day to a box full of tapes. As he listens to them he hears the voice of Hannah Barker, the girl who took her life a few weeks back. On the tapes are thirteen people who played a role in Hannah’s decision to take her life and she wants them to know why. Each person on Hannah’s list will receive these tapes and have to listen to her story and their role in it. Clay is distraught and can’t believe he is on these tapes, he shouldn’t be on them, he liked Hannah and even had a crush on her. Throughout the book Clay walks the streets of his town to places Hannah mentions on the tapes and listens to the events that lead up to her suicide. Suspensefully written and full of emotions and detailed characters, this book gives you a look at high school life for teenagers, the struggles they face and the real life decisions some teens make.

Subject Headings: Suicide Victims, Rape, Emotions in teenagers, guilt, suicide, interpersonal relations, tapes, high schools, schools, teenage boys

Appeal: Suicide, Relationships, Dual Narratives, High School, Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Drama, Character Driven, Emotional, Present Day, Fast-Paced, Small Towns

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suicide, Suspense, High School

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.Dear bully: Seventy authors tell their stories (Sep 2011)

For anyone interested in hearing more stories about bulling and how it affects others. These authors of teen and young adult literature share their own stories about bullying from all sides of the issue.

2. Secrets girls keep: What girls hide (& why) and how to break the stress of silence (Nov 2009) by Carrie Silver-Stock

Thirteen Reasons Why centered around Hannah Bakers’ decision to take her own life and the stresses faced by teenage girls. In this book, teenage girls can find answers to questions about daily life as a teen. Topics covered in this book include; drug use, Internet, making friends, boyfriends, school and grades, depression and more.

3. Teen Suicide (Aug 2011) By Lorena Huddle

The main subject of Thirteen Reasons Why was teenage suicide. In this book we get an overview of the causes, risks, prevention, intervention and how to cope with a suicide.

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Looking for Alaska (Mar 2005) by John Green

Like Thirteen Reasons Why, this book tell of a young boy who falls for a girl whose death will leave unanswered questions. Throughout the book, one main character searches for answers dealing with life and death.

2. Why we broke up (Dec 2011) By Daniel Handler

For anyone looking for answers as to why something happened, check out Why we broke up. Why we broke up tells the story of a 16 year old girl who writes a letter to her ex-boyfriend explaining why they broke up. Along with the letter she includes a box of items that will help tell the story and why the relationship ended. In Thirteen Reasons Why, Hannah gives tapes to the people who played a part in her decision to take her life. She tells her story and reasons why through the tapes.

3. Hate List (Sep 2009) By Jennifer Brown

After the school shooting by her boyfriend, Valerie realizes that the people targeted during the shooting were on the Hate list. A list she helped create with her boyfriend. Now she is struggling with the last year of high school and her relationships with those around her as she tries to deal with feelings of guilt and her role in the shooting. Like Thirteen Reasons Why, there was a list and the people on this list played a role in the decision to take a life.

Name: Madison Gailus

Brimstone

September 26, 2012
Author: Robert B. Parker
Title: Brimstone
Genre: Western
Publication Date: May 5th 2009
Number of Pages: 304 pages or 5 hours and 5 minutes on 4 CD’s
Geographical Setting: Texas, United States
Time Period: 19th Century American West
Series (If applicable): Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch; book 3
Plot Summary: The third book in the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series, followings the two gun-men for hire to Brimstone. After finding Virgil’s sweetheart Allie French in a brothel the three decide to start life over in the town of Brimstone. Cole and Hitch are hired on as two deputies to keep the peace in town. Things get shaky as Brother Percival sets out to shut down all the saloons in town and help Allie become a changed woman. A strange Indian appears and kidnaps two women. Pike the owner of Pike’s Palace (the best saloon in town) is not taking any of Percival’s nonsense and intends on staying in business. Can the two deputies keep the peace before anyone gets hurt? Or is murder and gunfights inevitably in the near future? With deals gone wrong, lovers gone astray and men working for both sides, this western novel has something in it to please everyone.
Subject Headings: Former Lovers; Contract Killers; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Houses of prostitution; Redemption; Change (Psychology); Murder; Violence in men; Gunfights; Protectiveness in men; Small town life—The West (United States); Cole, Virgil; Hitch, Everett
Appeal: Gritty, Fast-paced, Lawmen, Cowboys, Indians, Small Western towns, Gunfights, Men-Friendships, First-Person Narrative, Dialog Driven, Character Detailed, Detailed Setting
3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Gunfights, Character Detailed, First-Person Narrative
Three Fiction Read-a-likes:
1. The Sisters Brothers (May 2011) by Patrick deWitt
This fast-paced, darkly humorous western follows the two guns for hire, Eli and Charlie Sister on a mission to kill Herman Kermit Warm. As told through Eli’s narration, along the way the men encounter many adventures some involving a bear and Indians. Like Brimstone this novel is told in First-person narrative and involves the story of two guns for hire.
2.  The Virginian: a horseman of the plains (Apr 2002) by Owen Wister
The first true western written, this story follows the life of a cowboy on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. With episodes of violence, hate, revenge, friendship and romance, you get a feel of what life was like back in the 19th century. Containing many of the same elements as Brimstone it would be an interesting look at the first western written and how it paved the way for future stories to unfold.
3. The Palo Duro Trail (Nov 2004) by Jory Sherman
A man hired to move 4,000 cattle along the Palo Duro Trail faces many obstacles along the way, including; harsh weather, Comanches and a hired killer. Like Brimstone both characters in these books deal with Native Americans and others who want to kill them.
Three Nonfiction Read-a-likes:
1. Wyatt Earp: the life behind the legend (Sep. 1997) by Casey Tefertiller
Using primary sources and personal accounts by people who knew Wyatt Earp, Casey Tefertiller tries to tell the true story of the legendary lawman. What really happened at Tombstone, Arizona during that famous gunfight? With elements of true history involving real men of the law, you can see first hand what a marshal would be up against, just like what Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch experienced.
2. Draw: the greatest gunfights of the American West (2003) by James Reasoner
In this book myths and legends of Hollywood do not apply. Only the truth on how those who lived to serve the law, fight the law and died by the gun are told. Like the gunfights in Brimstone this book details real life gunfights of the west.
3. Tough towns: true tales from the gritty streets of the old west (Nov 2006) by Robert Barr Smith
Citizens living in small western towns banned together to fight against lawbreakers and protect their towns. Like Brimstone this books tells the tales of small towns and the people who became heros in their own time.
Name: Madison Gailus