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: Reawakened (Houck)

AUTHOR: Colleen Houck
SERIES: Reawakened, book 1
PUBLISHER: Delacorte
PUBLICATION DATE: August 25, 2015
ISBN: 9780385376570
PAGES: 400
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: fantasy, mythology, romance
SETTING: New York and Cairo, present day
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS

SUMMARY: Seventeen-year old Lilliana Young craves solitude. She finds it in a closed section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Egyptian exhibit is being renovated. Lilliana gets the shock of her life when a newly-acquired mummy wakes up and forces her to accompany him to Cairo, where he must locate his two brothers and prevent the Egyptian god Seth from bringing chaos and disorder to the world.

REVIEW: High expectations, how I loathe thee. After loving Houck’s Tiger’s Curse (Book 1 in the Tiger’s Curse Series) series and hooking scores of middle school girls on the Ren-Kelsey-Kishan love triangle, I am so sad to say that I am disappointed in Reawakened.

Maybe if this were my first Colleen Houck book, and I had never read Tiger’s Curse, maybe then I would have loved this book. I certainly liked spunky loner Lily/Lilliana far more than I liked Kelsey in TC. Amon, the mummy, is a neat character, too, though I never really felt any sort of connection to him.

It was the lack of action that really killed this one for me. I mean, yes, stuff happens. It started out with so much potential–a hot mummy awakens, steals a young girl, and whisks her off to Cairo’s magical deserts. The front cover is simply gorgeous. There’s romantic tension. There’s Egyptian mythology and fascinating stories about Osiris and Isis and Seth. But after maybe 100 pages, I started to get bored. At 150 pages, I started skimming. At 224 pages, I just stopped reading altogether. I just wasn’t connected.

I am so sad.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Unfortunately, I could not read much more than half of this book. I liked the characters and the premise, but I was ultimately disconnected and bored.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. My Tiger’s Curse fans would stage a coup on the library if I didn’t get this.

READALIKES: Tiger’s Curse (Book 1 in the Tiger’s Curse Series) (Houck)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

  • Overall: DNF
  • Creativity: 3/5–a lot like Tiger’s Curse, but without the quick-pacing
  • Characters: 3/5–I prefer Lily to Kelsey; Amon was okay
  • Engrossing: 1/5–I couldn’t finish.
  • Writing: 4/5–Colleen Houck is a very talented writer, and I will still read anything she writes!
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5–No doubt, this will be popular in my library.
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 1/5–Way too long for me. I could have hung in there if it were, say, 325 pages instead of 400, but 400 just didn’t sound doable after the first 224 pages.

CONTENT:

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing, innuendo
  • Violence: mild; fantasy violence and fighting the bad guys
  • Drugs/Alcohol: very mild; medicinal herbs

 

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