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: Once Upon A Marigold (Ferris)

AUTHOR: Jean Ferris
SERIES: Upon A Marigold, book 1
PUBLISHER: Harcourt
PUBLICATION DATE: October 1, 2002
ISBN: 9780152050849
PAGES: 271
SOURCE: public library Overdrive
GENRE: fairytale fantasy
GIVE IT TO: upper-ES, MS

SUMMARY: Christian, a boy raised in a cave by a troll, falls in love with Princess Marigold, who is both cursed and destined to marry royalty.

REVIEW: Cute but silly, Once Upon A Marigold is mildly popular in my school, particularly with the sixth grade girls. I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I were about 25 years younger. Christian is a really cute protagonist, and I love that both Marigold and Christian are intelligent and enjoy reading. Ed, the troll who raised Christian, is super cute with his mixed up phrases and his not knowing what to do with a precocious six-year old.

While it’s very predictable, I think teachers and librarians should make this series available. It’s very clean, cute, and young readers will love it.

THE BOTTOM LINE: For me, a bit silly and predictable, but for young readers, it will be a hit.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have all three books in this series, and I will be recommending it a lot to my sixth grade girls.

READALIKES: The Sweetest Spell (Selfors); Ella Enchanted (Levine); Princess Academy (Hale)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

  • Overall: 3/5–cute, fun, predictable, a little silly
  • Creativity: 3/5–predictable
  • Characters: 4/5–loved Christian, Marigold, and Ed; the queen was flat
  • Engrossing: 3/5–read quickly because it is short
  • Writing: 4/5–simply written for the younger audience
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5–more for younger readers though (ages 9-12)
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5–short and sweet

CONTENT:

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: very mild; a chaste kiss; forced royal marriage
  • Violence: mild; fairytale violence
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; poisoning
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