Tuesday, March 8, 2011


     "I was supposed to kill the Minister of Culture. I was supposed to stand in the front row of those gathered to listen to him speak and press my left hand to my right wrist in a way that would push the wires bound under my sleeve together.
     I was supposed to do that and then watch the world burn." - Grace, Elizabeth Scott

Grace is an Angel - of a peculiar sort. Born into a mad world reminiscent of that of Orwell's in 1984, Grace is destined to destroy herself so that she might strike a small blow against the absurd government of tyrant Keran Berj. Her tale is troubling and eerily reminiscent of our own times.

From Booklist: "Although it’s never quite clear whether this is set in another world or a near future in ours, the parallels Scott (Living Dead Girl, 2008) strives for are patently evident. Grace was raised by the People to become an Angel, a girl whose single purpose in life is to strap on a bomb and blow up a chunk of disputed leader Keran Berj’s society. In all, it’s a fairly one-note affair: choose life, however hard, over an idealistic death. Surprisingly, this lacks a climax, but the terse writing effectively portrays Grace’s harrowing inner turmoil as it speaks to the part of the psyche that wonders how a person could willingly become a walking bomb. Grades 9-12." --Ian Chipman

Grace is a beautiful read for young adults. Come to East Cleveland Public Library and check it out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Luka and the Fire of Life

“Do rats tell tales? Do porpoises have narrative purposes? Do elephants ele-phantasize?... Man alone burns with books.”
- Salman Rushdie, Luka and the Fire of Life.
In Salman Rushdie's latest novel, written for his youngest son Milan, the young hero Luka comes head on with the most impossibly omnipotent enemy of all - Time, itself. The life of Luka's ailing storyteller father, Rashid Khalifa (a.k.a. "The Shah of Blah", "The Ocean of Notions"), hangs-on tenuously as time moves him closer and closer to Oblivion. The only thing that can spare him, for the time being, is the magical Fire of Life.
To retrieve it, young Luka must enter the magical land of his father's fantastical imagination. Full of un-people, deceased gods, magic carpets, video game dimensions, a city of disrespected rats, and the most famous Titan fire-snatcher of all. Together with his faithful companions Dog, the bear, and Bear, the dog, Luka sets out on an impossible quest to defeat Impossibility itself.
Rushdie is perhaps the most linguistically playful and deeply amusing of all contemporary writers. It would be difficult for you to find another novelist who matches Rushdie's flare for pun, wordplay, portmanteau, and general language fun and mayhem. For example, did you know that the sun god Ra speaks in Wingdings? Enjoy translating his powerful hieroglyphic proclamations!
Borrow it through Clevnet. Luka will not let you down!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's been five summers since the Mason family vacationed at their lakeside cottage in Vermont. The summers that prize-winning author Sam, his wife Mena, and their twins, Finn and Franny spent at Lake Gormlaith were filled with chaotic fun. But since Franny's death, the entire Mason family has been struggling to stay afloat in their grief.

Sam believes that returning to the cottage at Lake Gormlaith is his last hope of saving Finn from his own path of self-destruction and salvaging what's left of his family.

Sam is struggling with writer's block, and he is also being plagued by letters from Dale Edwards, a crazed fan who is convinced that she is going to write his biography. She begins a cross-country trek to track Sam down once she finds out that Sam and his family are staying at Lake Gormlaith.

T. Greenwood is one of my favorite authors and she did not disappoint with Hungry Season. Even though Mena, Sam's wife, got on my nerves a few times throught the book, I thought the characters were extremely well-developed and realistic. Finn was my favorite character and I felt that Sam's writer's block was accurately described.

The storyline with Dale Edwards gave the book even more depth and kept it Hungry Season from being just another melodramatic family tale. If you've never read anything by T. Greenwood, pick up Hungry Season and Two Rivers.