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: Blood for Blood (Graudin)

I could not wait to read this book! I loved Wolf By Wolf–it was one of my favorite books last year! This one did not disappoint, but it did lose me a little bit in the middle.

Blood for Blood cover imageAUTHOR: Ryan Graudin
SERIES: Wolf By Wolf, book 2
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown
PUBLICATION DATE: Nov. 1, 2016
ISBN: 9780316405157
PAGES: 481
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: alternate history, WWII
SETTING: Europe and Japan, 1956
GIVE IT TO: fans of Wolf By Wolf; HS

SUMMARY: Picks up minutes after the ending of Wolf By Wolf. The resistance to Hitler and the Nazi regime continues to fight back after yet another failed assassination attempt.

REVIEW: Let me start by saying that I will be saying little about this book in order to keep this review spoiler-free for the greatness that is Wolf By Wolf. I raved about WBW last year, and I loved this one as well. There are several surprises and a couple of cool twists that I did not see coming. Yael is still tough as nails, yet tender as she continues to mourn and avenge the lives of her five “wolves.” Luka is still 100% awesome. Felix and Adele still drove me crazy.

I love that this is a duology, rather than a trilogy or longer. I am so tired of series and trilogies, and this one wraps up perfectly with just two books. It did lose me a little in the middle for a time–I put it down in favor of another title–but once I picked it up again, I read straight through to the end.

I’ve seen several reviewers who say they cried at the end. That wasn’t me, though I did really enjoy the ending.

THEMES: WWII, family, revenge, rebellion

THE BOTTOM LINE: This duology is a must-read. Well-written and unique with twists you won’t see coming. Easily one of my favorites for 2016.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. Because I loved it and booktalk it often, Wolf By Wolf is a popular checkout in my school.

RATING BREAKDOWN:

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

CONTENT:

  • Language: mild; some German profanity
  • Sexuality: very mild; there’s romance, but it takes a backseat to the resistance. Just some kissing.
  • Violence: high; concentration camps, murders, severed fingers, the Nazi SS are appropriately horrible
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; medical morphine, cigarette smoking
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