LIBRARY IDEA FOR NOVEMBER:

THANKSGIVING TRIVIA GAME: Looking for zero-prep Thanksgiving activities for middle school? This trivia game helps keep your students learning and engaged, even in the days before a holiday break. It’s zero-prep for you, and text and images are 99% editable.

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CHILDREN OF RAGNAROK:

Since Ragnarokthe great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.

Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

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Review: Beatle Meets Destiny (Williams)

AUTHOR: Gabrielle Williams
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Penguin
PUBLICATION DATE: November 9, 2009
ISBN: 9780143011491
PAGES: 291
SOURCE: public library
GENRE: realistic/romance
GIVE IT TO: HS girls

SUMMARY: John “Beatle” Lennon’s superstitious nature tells him he should go straight home on Friday the Thirteenth. But when John boards the Tram on his way home, he meets Destiny, whose last name just happens to be McCartney (like Paul McCartney, get it?). Discovering they have loads of things in common, John and Destiny immediately fall in like, and there is only one problem with their clearly “destined” match–John’s girlfriend.

REVIEW: Pretty cute, but underwhelming. It was the Beatles reference in the title that got my attention, and I feel a bit misled. Music lovers looking for something Beatles-y will be disappointed–there is nothing Beatles-related beyond the two character names. The story reads more like a “slice of teen life” than anything else. Some normal kids have some normal problems with the opposite sex, embarrassing parents, nosy siblings, and random stalkers. There are plenty of zodiac signs thrown in, as well as multiple Sleepless in Seattle-esque discussions about “signs” and being MFEO.

Characters are smart but make plenty of bad choices, as we all do and did as teens. I’m still not sure why Beatle is so worried about breaking up with his girlfriend after he meets Destiny. High school relationships end all the time. It’s not easy, but seriously dude, it’s not impossible, either. The tone is light and at times, chuckle-out-loud funny. Clever dialogue helps move things along in this fun, easy read, even if I won’t remember it by this time next week.

I loved the end notes about teen life in Australia, but I have to wonder, do Australian teachers not get prosecuted for dating their students? The student girl in the story is 18 years old, but here in America, it’s illegal for public school teachers to date students, period.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Not great, not terrible. I could take it or leave it.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don’t have it, and there are a couple of mild content concerns for middle school readers. I might buy it if I were a high school librarian, but it would not be a priority.

READALIKES: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Cohn and Levithan); Six Impossible Things (Wood)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

  • Overall: 3/5
  • Creativity: 3/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 2/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 3/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:

  • Language: medium–includes several sh** and fu**, but they are not overly abundant
  • Sexuality: medium–plenty of kissing, a teacher-student relationship, a creepy stalker who writes about having an erection
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium–teens drink at parties, talk of former marijuana use (with serious consequences for the user)

 

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