Thursday, September 24, 2009

The past few weeks have been full of changes and stress at work, including a move for me (from one branch location to another), job losses and reduced hours of operation. So…as one can imagine, updating the blog was put on the back burner.

So, without further ado, here are my recent reads:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

It’s the summer of 1899, and Calpurnia – or Callie Vee to her family and friends – is nearly twelve. The Texas summer is hot and dry, and there isn’t much for the only girl of seven children to do. At least, there isn’t much to do that interests Callie. But Callie finds a great companion in her grandfather and their relationship blossoms over the next several months, as they explore the natural world around them.

The relationships between Callie and her family are clearly drawn, as is her interest in science and her struggle with learning the things she “should”. This remarkable tale wonderfully describes turn of the century life – the excitement over automobiles and telephone lines, the education of children, and the home life of a town’s wealthiest family.

This is an excellent debut novel. I must ask my Newbery friend for her take on it!

Searching for dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

In the second book of the series, Kazul – the King of the Dragons – has gone missing and Cimorene is on an adventure to find her. Along for the often bumpy ride is Mendanbar…who just happens to be the King of the Enchanted Forest.

During their adventure, the duo will meet a magician, help a giant (and a few other creatures straight from fairy tales), and, hopefully defeat the wizards once again.

I thought this book was a bit predictable, but overall a fun story. I enjoyed it well enough that I am already halfway through the third book in the series.

Skin hunger : A Resurrection of Magic Book #1 by Kathleen Duey

Sadima lives in a time where magic is a thing of the distant past, and “magicians” are often considered thieves and charlatans. As she grows up, she realizes that she has a special talent. She can understand animals.

Hahp, the second son of a rich merchant, lives in a time where magic thrives, but is only available to those of wealth. His father is a cruel man who shares his violent temper rather than love. After Hahp has been expelled from more boarding schools than easily counted, his parents send him to become a wizard.

The two lives are centuries apart, but are intertwined, as the story of magic is told.

At first, I wasn’t fond of this book. Yet, I kept being drawn into the story, wanting to know what happens next. When the ending proved to be a cliffhanger, I knew I needed to read the next novel in the series. I’m about a third of the way through it now.

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