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: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Smith)

AUTHOR: Jennifer E. Smith
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Poppy/ Little Brown
PUBLICATION DATE: Jan. 2, 2012
ISBN: 9780316122382
PAGES: 236
SOURCE: my library
GENRE: romance/realistic fiction
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS

SUMMARY: When Hadley misses her flight to London by a mere four minutes, she knows it may be impossible to make it in time for her father’s wedding to “that British woman” Charlotte. But things start looking up when Hadley meets a cute boy at the airport and ends up sitting next to him on the plane.

REVIEW: This is more of a 3.5 star book for me. I enjoyed it well enough and thought it was cute, but I doubt I’ll remember much about it by next week. Hadley’s character is understandably furious with her father, who abruptly left Hadley and her mother after falling for another woman during a 4-month professorship at Oxford.

I have absolutely no sympathy for Hadley’s father, whom Hadley has not seen in the two years since he left. Despite his pleas to Hadley to come visit him in London, Hadley does not want to do that, and I do not blame her one bit. Her father is the adult and the one who moved in the first place; if he was really that desperate to see his daughter, he would have traveled to visit her. So, please, don’t act all hurt when she is less-than-excited about your wedding. I am glad that she went to the wedding and learned to make the best of things, but that is what makes her the hero. It really was the right thing to do, even if the whole situation was forced on her and she really didn’t want to do it.

Oliver is likeable as well, but I don’t feel his character is as developed as Hadley’s or even Hadley’s father’s character. Hadley’s mother is a ghost of a character who is portrayed as an involved mother, even though she never answers her phone while her minor daughter travels overseas (and alone) for the first time.

I would have loved to have seen this from alternating or multiple perspectives (Oliver and Hadley and maybe even Hadley’s parents).

THE BOTTOM LINE: An okay read for me, but I think lots of teens will identify with Hadley’s family situation and her feeling about her father’s nuptials.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: It’s brand-new in our library and just got checked out yesterday for the first time (other than my checkout). Content is just fine for middle school, and I recommend it for purchase in most MS and HS libraries.

READALIKES: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father (Brody); Beatle Meets Destiny (Williams)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

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

CONTENT:

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing, all vertical
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild–Oliver takes whiskey off steward’s serving cart (leaves money behind to pay for it)
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