Thursday, January 6, 2011

A tale of two books

I just finished listening to Airman by Eoin (pronounced like Owen) Colfer. Wow! What a fantastic adventure! This book has everything! A murderous villain, a wrongful imprisonment, a daring escape, swordfights, betrayal, flying machines, and the rescue of a princess. The story takes place in the late 1800's on the Saltee Islands off the coast of Ireland. Fourteen-year-old Conor Broekhart witnesses the treasonous murder of the King of the islands and is framed for the crime. He is thrown into prison and forced to mine diamonds by the very traitor responsible for the King's murder. But Conor has the mind of a scientist and he spends his days planning a bold escape. When he finally does escape three years later, he realizes that he must confront his nemesis before he kills again. I must say, the villain in this story is one of the most dastardly villains I have come across in literature lately. He is wicked to the core, and at the end, we have to wonder if this is the last we will see of him. If you enjoy stories like The Princess Bride or The Count of Monte Cristo, I think you will enjoy this book. It's really more of a young adult title but I think a mature, well-read 5th grader would be fine with it. This one is definitely going on my favorites list.
This is one of the things I was knitting while listening to Airman. It was kind of a long book so I knitted another thing but that has to stay secret for a bit longer.

Not long ago, I wrote about the book Swindle but it turns out, this book has another tale to tell. I make it a practice to listen to or read books that can be found in the Marshall Lane Library so when I write about them here, you know you can check it out there. Well, I realized while listening to Swindle that Marshall Lane's copy of the book was actually missing and I was going to have to buy a replacement for it. But I received a little surprise in the mail yesterday. Somehow, this book had traveled across the United States and had been turned in to a library in Buffalo, New York! Well, very kindly, the librarians in Buffalo were able to track down our address (due to 'Marshall Lane' and 'Campbell Union School District' being stamped on the inside of the book) and they mailed the book back to me. This made me very happy - and very curious as to how this book got all the way to New York! I wrote a nice thank you note to the Buffalo librarians and will pop that in the mail tomorrow. So there is the story of Swindle and the story of Swindle: There and Back Again. If only the book could talk!

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