LIBRARY IDEA FOR SEPTEMBER:

HISTORY OF BOOK CENSORSHIP: This presentation is perfect for Banned Books Week or as an introduction to book burning in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The slides give a brief history of nine censorship and book banning incidents in world history.

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Review: Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Langston
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill Press
PUBLICATION DATE: November 19, 2013
ISBN: 9781937053420
PAGES: 328
SOURCE: publisher’s ARC
GENRE: historical fiction, time travel
GIVE IT TO: HS

SUMMARY: At a waterfall in Raleigh, NC, Mark sees a girl wearing strange clothes looking at him from the other side of the falls. He questions her, and she claims to be Susannah Marsh, an indentured servant from 1796.

REVIEW: Though the writing is a tad rough in spots, Whisper Falls features good storytelling and plenty of action that kept me turning the pages. Character development is a little lopsided as only one character (Susannah) is well-developed; Mark’s character is more flat and seems to exist mainly to be Savannah’s love interest and potential savior. I preferred Susannah’s story over Mark’s story because Susannah’s story is more prominent and definitely more interesting. I got a little tired of Mark’s constant self-sacrifice and heroics, and the romance/love stuff happens too quickly for my taste. I almost think this story would be stronger if it were true historical fiction and Mark were a boy living in Savannah’s time.

I did enjoy the history of the town that later becomes Raleigh, NC. Author Elizabeth Langston clearly did her research and knows the area well. Though I probably won’t remember Whisper Falls well in a few weeks, it’s good storytelling that was a fun distraction on a Saturday afternoon. There were times that I had a hard time putting it down.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Overall, it’s just okay for me, but I do think teens will enjoy it. North Carolina librarians will definitely want this book on their shelves; the NC history is too good to pass up.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order.

READALIKES: Time Between Us (Stone)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

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

CONTENT:

  • Language: medium
  • Sexuality: medium; multiple allusions to rape and forced marriage; kissing
  • Violence: mild; allusions to rape; in 1796, women must have a male escort in the city
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; drunken adults
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