Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer Reading 2018 Willa of the Wood

If you loved the fantasy in Serafina, you must give Willa a try. All the magic of the forests in the Smoky Mountains along with a new protagonist to love will sweep you along like the river rapids coming off the mountains. Willa is a member of the Faeran, an old clan that live in dens deep in the mountains. Once the clan had awesome powers of woodwitchery, but it has died off until few can display any of the skills of old. Willa's grandmother has been teaching her the Faeran language, but everyone in the clan also speaks some Cherokee and English. That is a lucky thing for Willa when she runs into trouble and encounters some of the homesteaders on the slopes above Gatlinburg. 

This is a story full of the pull of tradition, the fear of strangers, and the value of love and loyalty. Mixed in with the fantasy elements are historical details such as the logging companies who clear cut much of the old growth forests in the mountains, the mix of homesteaders and Cherokee, the use of grist mills and even the importation of honeybees. Local wildlife and plants are lovingly portrayed, too.

A great mix for fans of historical fiction and fantasy, strong female protagonists, and existing Beatty connoisseurs. Strongly recommended for middle grades and up. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Summer Reading 2018 Spinning Silver

If you haven't yet encountered the writing of Naomi Novik, then you are in for a treat. Rich world building, complex characters, and a story that grows and deepens as it goes to always keep you eager to find out how it all ties together. Novik draws on her Polish heritage and adds in fantasy elements that delight and terrorize in all the right places.

Miryem is the daughter of a Jewish moneylender. When she takes over the collections and does a much better job of it than her father ever did, she attracts the attention of a Staryk lord. The Staryk raid the land of men and steal gold, so when their lord hears Miryem boasting that she can turn silver to gold, he takes her. 

Irina is the daughter of a duke, relegated to a cold bedroom at the top of the house with her old nurse. But her father manages to marry her off to the tsar, and puts her life in jeopardy by doing so. Irina knows that the tsar is the son of a witch and suspects him of sorcery. Even being the tsarina will not be enough to save her if he decides he is tired of her. 

How do the lives of a kidnapped Jewess with a talent for making money and a young noblewoman who was never out of her father's keeping become intertwined? What do the Staryk, the tsar, and the state of the kingdom have in common?  And after all the plots and counter-plots, who will be left alive at the end? You will have to read to find out.

Highly recommended for YA readers who enjoy reimagined fairy tales. This is a combination of Rumpelstiltskin and other elements that fantasy readers will want to hoard like dragon's gold.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Reading 2018 I Am a Tyrannosaurus


The latest Miyanishi story to be translated begins with pteranodon parents caring for their chick. While the father provides food and teaches the chick to be strong, the mother shields him from the elements and tells him that he should be kind to others. It's a fairly typical approach to parenting in many homes - the father trying to make sure the child is tough enough to survive, the mother worried about socializing the child and teaching compassion.

The problem arises when the parents leave their child to continue his life as an independent adult. When he is faced with a wounded and vulnerable tyrannosaurus, will he worry first about his own safety or care for this natural predator? And how will the tyrannosaurus respond? This is a universal question that everyone faces at some time in their lives. Is it more important to keep ourselves absolutely safe, or to take a risk and reach out to others in need?

The characters and setting are created in the distinctive style Miyanishi is known for with cartoon style drawings and explosive colors. This vivid artistic presentation appeals to young readers, while the themes in the series, are great discussion starters and deal with emotions and situations that more advanced readers can explore in more depth. Highly recommended for K+.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dover Books - The Great American Read Tour


Enter for a chance to win a set of 7 titles from the Great American Read list, as well as the Five Great English Novels Boxed Set!
Two (2) grand prize winners receive:
  • A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list:
    • Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    • Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
    • Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
    • The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
    • The Story of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    • Adventures of Don Quixote, by Argentina Palacio
  • A Five Great English Novels Boxed Set:
    • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
    • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    • The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Value: $51+
Three (3) runner-up winners receive:
  • A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list (as above)
Value: $33+
Giveaway begins May 23, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 22, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of
Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Dover Books

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Alice in WonderlandWritten by Lewis Carroll
Publisher’s Synopsis: One adventure follows another in this delightful tale as Alice changes size unexpectedly, attends a tea party given by the March Hare, visits a garden of talking flowers, and acts as witness at the trial of a thief who has stolen some tarts. Along the way, she meets such unforgettable characters as the Mad Hatter, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the tearful Mock Turtle, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the autocratic Red Queen, and other fanciful folk.
Alice in Wonderland is one of the world’s most-beloved works of fiction, charming children and adults alike with Alice’s adventures and Carroll’s audacious puns and wordplay — but at the same time it is a clever satire, lampooning Victorian education, literature, and politics. Now this enchanting fantasy, enhanced with all 42 original illustrations by John Tenniel, is ready to charm readers of all ages in this unabridged Evergreen Classics edition.
Written by L. M. Montgomery
Publisher’s Synopsis: Life is forever changed at Green Gables, a tranquil farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, with the arrival of a redheaded chatterbox named Anne. The spirited, precocious 11-year-old orphan finds “scope for imagination” everywhere she looks, transforming the lives of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, her elderly guardians, with her merry doings and misadventures. Anne — spelled with an “e,” as she gravely informs new acquaintances — builds a world of enchantment around Green Gables and its surrounding woodlands, lakes, and valleys. Thanks to the freckle-faced girl’s imaginative musings, the rustic region’s natural wonders blossom into a fairyland of endless romance. Anne’s inspired prattle, goodwill, and joie de vivre win her a warm circle of friends, just as they have won the hearts of readers around the world.
Since its first appearance in 1908, the novel has led generations of children to laugh and cry — but mostly laugh — along with this beloved story’s vivacious heroine. Now this inexpensive edition, complete and unabridged, introduces new readers to the ageless charm of a fanciful world made real by love and friendship. The inspiration for 2016 PBS movie and the 2017 CBC/Netflix Anne mini-series.
Reprint of a standard edition.
Written by Louisa May Alcott
Publisher’s Synopsis: This American classic is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when it was first written in the 19th century. Largely based on the author’s own childhood, Little Women is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — who grow to maturity in their mother’s tender but strong care. As different in their personalities as they are alike in their devotion to each other, the girls vow to support their beloved mother, Marmee, by behaving their best while Father is away, serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War.
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist’s soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family possesses an abundance of love, friendship, and imaginative gifts that captivate readers time and again.
This inexpensive, complete and unabridged edition of this beloved novel is sure to delight a generation of new readers, as well as those reacquainting themselves with its warmth and charm.
Reprint of a standard edition. This classic was the inspiration for the May 2018 PBS three-part adaptation.
Written by Mark Twain
the Adventures of Tom SawyerPublisher’s Synopsis: Like most boys, Tom Sawyer would rather play hooky than go to school. But Tom’s lively imagination and thirst for adventure lead him into the most extraordinary situations, from a search for buried treasure to the accidental witness of a murder in a graveyard. All of his exploits — tricking his pals into whitewashing a fence, sharing his medicine with the family cat, disrupting a church service with a pinching insect — are flavored with the humor for which his creator, Mark Twain, is justly famed.
In writing this great American classic, Twain drew upon his own memories of life in a small Missouri town before the Civil War. Since the book’s 1876 publication, generations of readers of all ages have laughed at Tom’s hijinks and taken him into their hearts, along with Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, and other memorable characters. This new Dover Evergreen Classics edition offers a fresh introduction to the lovable scamp and the enduring joys of his escapades.
The Call of the WildReprint of a standard edition.
Written by Jack London
Publisher’s Synopsis: This triumphant tale of survival, the greatest of Jack London’s works, relates the adventures of Buck, half-St. Bernard and half-Scottish sheepdog, who is forced into the brutal life of a sled-dog during the heady days of the Alaska gold rush.
Set in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Far North, the story follows Buck as he grows daily in strength, savagery, and cunning, adapting to his hostile circumstances by responding to the stirring of his primitive ancestral traits. This unabridged edition offers young readers a fine introduction to the excitement of the classic adventure novel.
Reprint of the Macmillan Company, New York, 1903 edition.
Written by Mary Shelley
The Story of FrankensteinPublisher’s Synopsis: With his debut nearly two centuries ago, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster captured the popular imagination and never let go, haunting even those who have never read this classic of horror fiction. This specially adapted children’s edition retains all of the excitement of the original version yet makes the enduring Gothic fable accessible to youngsters.
The brilliant scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein indulges his curiosity about the hidden laws of nature when he happens upon the secret to the animation of lifeless matter. Piecing together the detritus of butcher shops and dissecting rooms, the doctor fashions an eight-foot-tall creature whose loathsome appearance fills even his creator with repulsion. Abandoned by his maker, rejected with fear and disgust by everyone he encounters, the enraged and embittered monster goes on a murderous rampage, determined to destroy Frankenstein by striking at those closest to him.
Since its 1817 publication, this incredible and imaginative fantasy has held generations of readers spellbound. This new, specially abridged edition, enhanced with illustrations by Thea Kliros, will satisfy young readers’ appetites for gripping suspense and ghoulish thrills.
Original abridgment of a standard edition.
Written by Argentina Palacio
Adventures of Don QuixotePublisher’s Synopsis: “Once, there was a man who went crazy from too much reading. He only read books about knighthood; that was the problem.” So begins this charming retelling of Don Quixote de la Mancha, one of the most entertaining books ever written. Young people will delight in the hilarious adventures of the idealistic would-be knight and his “squire,” Sancho Panza, as they set out to right the wrongs of the world. Ms. Palacios, a talented storyteller, captures all the flavor and irony of the original as the two heroes ride forth to conquer evil. Along the way the well-meaning but addled knight-errand mistakes a miserable inn and its keeper for a castle and its lord; imagines an ordinary peasant girl to be the noble lady Dulcinea, perceives windmills as giants to be overcome, and gets enmeshed in other cases of mistaken identity. These, and many more incidents and adventures are retold here in a beguiling, easy-to-read version, enhanced by six new black-and-white illustrations by Thea Kliros. This edition is sure to delight today’s youngsters, just as the original has enchanted countless readers since its publication nearly 400 years ago.
Reprint of The Knight and the Squire, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979.
5 Great English Novels Boxed Set
Publisher’s Synopsis: Five volumes of landmark fiction by noted English authors include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Housed in an attractive slipcase, each of these classic tales is presented complete and unabridged.
Dover Original.


The Fairview Review is participating in the blog tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Dover Books.