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The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne

This was a delightful story to read!  Ghosts, faeries, changelings, evil magicians and phony spiritualist are all added to the mixed cast of characters.  If you like adventures that have a little bit of mystery, a little bit of the paranormal and a dash of fantasy, this is the story for you!  Very appropriate for readers 3-6th grade.

The book is well written and the story is well paced and interesting right up to the ending.  I would recommend this book.

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

I felt like this story started on a high note.  I was intrigued by the two main characters, Lena and Aubrey and I wanted to know more about them.  The story built through alternating chapters told by the two girls.  We don’t hear from Charlie until chapter 6.  As the story unfolds and the girl’s reveal the secrets they’ve been guarding the stakes are raised and Charlie’s megalomaniacal world view comes into focus.

The ending is wide open for a continuation of the story.  Personally, I was unhappy with the ending, but because I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers, that is as much as I will say in a public format.  If you’d like my full opinion on it you can leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you.

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Creating a world: LARPing at the library

When we began to plan summer library programs (many months ago), an idea formed about creating an adventure, a quest for our teen heroes.  With some little knowledge about Live Action Role Play (laughably little – but that story later) my co-worker and I set out to build a world where dragons threatened the villagers way of life and our teen adventures would have to find a way to get everyone in their party through the quest.

With the help of several friends and my co-worker we spun the story of Kasseb, a village beset by a dragon.  Our teen adventures crafted characters based on three different classes (physical, magical, stealth) and thirteen types each with certain traits that naturally improve helpful aspects that were represented as (+1) in the game.

With the luck of the dice, our groups made it through each of the challenges in order to reach the dragon and deal with it in their own way.

LARP materials comassrose

Steelheart

“Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson

What would you do if you had ‘super powers’?  It is a fun question to kick around with your friends, but Brandon Sanderson’s dark view of Absolute power corrupting absolutely takes readers into a world where Epics have begun to appear; fallible human weaknesses with super human strength and powers.  These titans are not interested in protecting or bettering humanity, but instead are using their powers for self gain as they proclaim themselves as the new ruling class.  Our protagonist, David Charleston, has seen Steelheart with his own eyes.  David is the one best equipped to understand Steelheart’s weakness, because David has seen him bleed.  If this secret can get David into the Reckoners, a subversive group of humans fighting against the Epics, he may have a chance to make Steelheart bleed again and help turn the tide for humanity as well as get revenge.

Steelheart

Steelheart

Book Talk

Plague of Unicorns by Jane Yolen

True to her beautiful form, Jane Yolen brings us a story of magical creatures in a decidedly mundane world.  The pesky unicorns are jeopardizing the precious Hosanna apples of the Abby. None of the heroes that have attempted to rid the orchards of the heard have been successful. One young boy will turn the tide, in a very unusual and unexpected way.

A wonderfully engaging read, Jane Yolen’s Plague of Unicorns is well worth a read!