Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Well, silly me. I already told you about John Grogan's visit in my first post. Is my face red! Obviously, I was very impressed with that event.
The Black Rose Teen Tellers are presenting "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" a Reader's Theatre script on February 28 at 7 p.m. at our Annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Party here at the parkland Community Library. It should be a blast. These kids are good. You do have to sign-up for this though. Call the library at 610-398-1361 for information.
Has anyone else read anything by Terry Pratchett? He writes for adults, I am told, but of course, I wouldn't know about that. Oh, he writes the Discworld series. That may mean something to someone.
Anyway, I took home Only You Can Save Mankind, Pratchett's first Johnny Maxwell book. Its premise reminded me of Orson Scott Card's classic Ender's Game. Maxwell plays video games endlessly, endlessly, endlessly because his family is going through "trying times" as his dad says. When he starts to actually interact with the aliens in one game, his actions effect (or is that affect. I can never remember.) every other copy of that game. The book is set in the not-too-distant past when a war is displayed on television to look like a video game. It's action packed and thought provoking and thankfully not a whole lot of attention is given to the "trying times". (Problem novels!! Not so crazy about them.)
We own a number of Pratchett's books. I think I'm going to read The Wee Free Men next.
I also read a couple of Avi's books for younger readers. The Book without Words is a fantasy that didn't get to the point fast enough. An alchemist has spent his life trying to find the secret of immortality. A monk has spent that same lifetime trying to reclaim and hide the Book without Words that holds this and other secrets. The book reveals its secrets to green-eyed readers who desperately want something. The alchemist's servant girl, his talking raven and an orphan boy with green eyes try to escape certain death or torture by plumming the depths of the Book's secrets. Throw in a greedy, cruel lawman, a smart aleck apprentice and you have some clever repartee. The action was a little slow for me. I did enjoy Avi's glossary that explained what was accurate in his book and what was his own creation.
The End of the Beginning : being the adventures of a small snail (and an even smaller ant) is a chapter book for the youngest of chapter book readers. Avon, a snail, thinks he has to have adventures in order to live happily ever after so he and his friend, an ant. (I forget the ant's name, drat.) set off along the branch of a tree. Not much happens but their conversations are so silly and the word play is so clever that the book is an enjoyable 10 to 15 minute read.

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