Friday, December 10, 2010

Final Dispatch from the Secret Lair

Today is the last day to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair. I want to thank all the moms who volunteered their time to support this event which in turn supports the library. Extra special thanks to Saskia Choudry for taking on chairperson duties again this year. Saskia, you are a rock star! Here is a picture of what the library looked like before the Book Fair came in and also a picture of the Book Fair.
The library will open again next week with lots of new books to check out before the break.

In other news, I have finished three audio books this week and a pair of socks. However, I have not done any holiday shopping or any other kind of preparations for the coming holiday, but that's none of your concern. You want to see the socks, right? I named this project A Study in Emerald, after a short story by Neil Gaiman.
Getting back to the books, the first audio book I finished was Crispin: At the Edge of the World by Avi. This is the sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead which I listened during the summer. Crispin: A the Edge of the World felt like a bridge book to me. A third book in this series was released this year, Crisin: The End of Time, which I will be listening to soon, and Edge felt like it had no other purpose but to get the reader from the first book to the second book. It picks up right where Cross of Lead leaves off and follows Crispin and Bear as they flee from their pursuers. Along the way, they meet a young outcast girl and she joins them as the attempt to leave the country. The story is well written and the characters are strong and empathetic but the story felt a little pointless, except as a lead-up to the next one.

The next book I listened to was Swindle by Gordon Korman. This is the story of boy who finds a valuable baseball card and, not knowing the value of what he had, he sells it to a shifty dealer who tells him it is a reproduction and not authentic. When the boy discovers the true value of the card and realizes he's been taken advantage of, he and his friends plan a heist to reclaim his treasure. The story is amusing but the ending was not very believable. The kids break into a man's home and cause all sorts of damage and they receive no consequences for these actions when they are eventually caught, which left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

This brings me to the final audiobook, The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz and J. S. Lewis. This is book one in the Grey Griffin series. The story centers around a group of friends who have bonded over a card came called Round Table, a Dungeons and Dragons style game with battling fairie creatures, wizards, witches, and other magical beings. As it turns out, the creatures depicted on the cards are real and have torn a hole in the barrier between Fairie and the real world in search of magical jewel that has the power to destroy the real world. Of course, the kids have to figure out how to stop the fairie creatures from finding the jewel and save the world. This was an enjoyable adventure, and even though it's the first in a series, it reads just fine as a stand alone title.

Now, you may have noticed, as I have, that the second story, which was realistic fiction, I said had an unbelievable ending while the third story, which was very much fantasy, I did not say was unbelievable, even though a small band of 10 year olds save the world. I have been thinking about this and will share my ponderings in my next post.

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