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Peter and the Starcatchers: A Prequel

Peter and the StarcatchersHave you ever wondered what happened before Peter Pan? How did Peter meet Tinkerbell?Peter and the Starcatchers is a best-selling children’s novel that was published by Hyperion Books. It is written by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Peterson, the book provides a backstory for the character Peter Pan, and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s novel Peter and Wendy. It was illustrated by artist Greg Call.This book introduces us to characters both new and old as we explore the high seas.

Peter and his ragtag group of orphans are forced into slavery and being delivered to their new master on the island of Rundoon by the leaky vessel known as The Neverland. Rundoon is known to be governed by a barbaric king, whose acts of torture and abuse–such as the time he fed his father to his pet snake–are well-known throughout the empire. The boys know they need a way out…now! The answer? They needed a leader. Peter gains leader status by being the oldest and, of course, being able to spit the farthest. The orphans quickly realize they need his help and look to him for help in planning a way to escape what appears to be a forlorn fate. This leaky ship is hardly more than a rusty bucket of bolts infested with rats. Life looks grim for the boys as they are being served meals that sometimes…well…are still moving, the boys know they have little to look forward to, even if they could escape the torture and abuse of the second-in-command, Slank.

As it happens, as the ship was loading these poor boys, a large trunk was placed in the hold of the vessel, and locked up tight. There is clearly something very special and magical about this trunk–whoever touches it is healed, begins to sense of the beauty if the universe, and feels a profound sense of happiness and well-being. Peter is determined to find out what treasure this trunk holds, and in doing so he runs across Molly Aster, the only daughter of the man who is scheduled to be the ambassador on Rundoon, and who has–oddly enough–booked his passage separate from his daughter.

Initially, Molly clearly knows more about the trunk than she will tell Peter, but she is forced to take him into her confidence as Black Stache, the most dangerous pirate on the high seas, successfully attacks first Molly’s father’s ship and then heads for “The Neverland.”

What the trunk holds is much more than simple treasure; the contents are so powerful as to be connected to the ongoing struggle between good and evil that pervades the universe. Peter and Molly valiantly try to fight off both Stache and their ship’s own Slank from the trunk, but the battle for it takes a backseat as a violent storm whips up, and all the boys, Molly, Stache, and Slank wind up on an island inhabited by savages where visitors are promptly fed to a vicious beast in order to strongly discourage them from ever returning.

Thanks to Molly and Peter, the trunk of starstuff is safe, returned to the Starcatchers and Molly’s living father. Peter however, in his surviving exposure to the starstuff, has gained the permanent ability to fly. It is also uncertain as to whether or not he will ever age. Peter learns he will be an outcast, and even though Molly will return to London, he decides to stay on the island, so he can be the person he “really is” and not “a circus sideshow”. The orphan boys decide to remain with him, and Leonard Aster creates a fairy, which they name Tinker Bell, to protect Peter.

Peter and the other orphan boys are soon taught by the natives how to build a house, and they learn to survive on the island, which Peter names “Never Land” after finding a plank that said “Never Land” from the ship that wrecked on its rocks as he watches Molly, and only Molly, on the ship containing a few starcatchers, Leonard, Alf, and of course, Molly sail back to England.

This book is filled with wonderful imagination and adventure. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series.

Millicent Prendergild,
Greenbrier Academy Cybrarian

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Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure – Just Released!

just breeze

Just Breeze
by Beverly Stowe McClure
Visit: http://justbreeze.wordpress.com/

Great new contest for the book release – check it out!

Product Description
Eighth grade starts out the same as every other year for Breeze Brannigan. She’s still the tallest student, boy or girl, in her class, wears shoes that would fit an elephant, and her smile reveals dazzling braces that blind everyone within ten feet. Then she meets Cam, the new boy in school who speaks with an accent and must be from another planet, for none of the earthling boys she knows are so polite. He also has a secret, a secret that could mean life or death for Cam and his mother and that Breeze must help him keep.

If you are familiar with this wonderful author’s work – you’ll know we’re in for a brand new treat with this latest book. If you haven’t read Ms. McClure’s work yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! Do yourself a favor and check it out!

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The Seven Songs of Merlin [The Lost Years of Merlin book 2 by TA Barron] Book Review

Seven Songs of Merlin (TA Barron)

 

 

 

This series is a prequel of sorts to the legend of Merlin beginning in the early years when Merlin is first coming into his magical powers. This is the second story in the five book series chronicling the great wizard’s youth.

As the story opens, Merlin is 13 years old and has the privilege of attending the great council meeting with the ambassadors of nearly every race of fantasy that reside on the enchanted isle as they must decide what to do with the Treasures of Fincayra. He has been charged with the guardianship of the Flowering Harp to heal the lands for the harp only responds to a heart true and wise – the heart of a wizard.

Having toppled the evil King Stangmar (his estranged father who was bewitched) and freeing Fincayra from a terrible blight Merlin sets out with the magical harp to restore the enchanted world into a flourishing Merlin has only one month to complete a quest to find the soul of the Seven Songs of Wisdom and journey to the Otherworld in order to obtain the elixir that can save his mother’s life. On his quest he makes a number of discoveries not only about his past, but about what lies within. The challenge is enormous. He has begun to discover the powers within him, but has not as yet mastered the ability to control these emerging powers. He has learned some of the stories of the wisdom of the Druids, the Greeks and the Celts, but us far from truly understanding the true meaning of it all. He has learned his true name and pieces of his past but now must also learn the secrets that sleep within his innermost being. He has already lost his father in the battle, and now his mother, poisoned by a deathshadow meant for her son, is the first victim of the renewed surge of evil sweeping the land.

Merlin is an emerging personification of yin and yang. He is full of contradictions that compliment each other and open his eyes to the possibilities of what destiny has in store for him as he follows the winding path to wizardry. Contradiction and controversy are rampant in the epic Arthurian legend, and Mr. Barron has imagineered an early life worthy of these legendary roots as the keeper of knowledge, particularly of the arcane secrets.  

As in all epic journeys, great adventure and unfathomable danger lie in wait for the boy who would be wizard. He must battle the ogre Balor He is accompanied on his great quest by a merlin hawk named Trouble, the forest girl Rhia, and a mournful jester named Bumbelwy. There are captivating characters and backstory for the Arthurian legend that begin to emerge through this tale. This is a tale that will not disappoint the most demanding Merlin fan. It will engage you and take you of the ride of your life.

 

THE SEVEN SONGS OF MERLIN

By TA Barron

Publisher:  Philomel

Genre: Juvenile Fantasy

ISBN:  978-0399250217

Hardcover:  336 pages

Recommended for ages 9-12

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“Nothing’s ever what you think it will be.” [The Seer by G. Clifton Wisler] Book Review

The SeerScott Childers appears to be a normal 14 year old, trying with all his might to fit in. Problem is, Scott has a secret he desperately wants to hide…and it’s a whopper. He is actually an alien from another planet with the power to travel through time, to plant thoughts into someone’s mind, and to see things before they actually happen. Scott is a Seer.

The Seer, by G. Clifton Wisler, is an action packed adventure that follows a lonely teen, forced into the life of a wanderer, never quite belonging anywhere, or able to stay in a place too long, for fear of his secret being discovered leading to his capture as a possible dangerous alien. He is accompanied in this lonely life by a strange little man, Tiaf, his teacher and companion from his home planet. Although Scott is an Antrian by birth, Earth is the only home he has ever known. Tiaf spent his life among other telepaths and seers and had been taught all the mysteries before their home planet became the victim of a super-nova. They are the last of the ancient race that sped through space looking for a new planet to call home.

Scott had always thought of his ability to see into the near future as a curse but came to realize his special talent was a gift. He could not understand why he would have these visions if he wasn’t meant to help those around him – even though this interference would threaten to expose his secret. This gift came with a lot of responsibility. It was a lonely life, always being on guard to keep his secret hidden meant moving…a lot.

This fast paced tale is filled with adventure and suspense that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next.

 

THE SEER

By G. Clifton Wisler 

Publisher: Lodestar Books

Genre: Science Fiction

ISBN: 978-0525672623

Hardback: 134 pages

Recommended for Ages:  9 – 12

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Where Do Ideas Come From? [The Lost Lake Dig by PW Cross] Book Review

lost-lake-dig 

 

 

Have you ever wondered where ideas come from? This creative tale explains exactly that. It was 1750 on a hot summer day at the swimming hole when Joey first met the strange little man called Frendric. The adventure begins in a parallel universe with a portal right behind Joey’s house where an idea vent was zealously erupting in glowing balls called squirts (small ideas) and gushers (larger ideas).

Frendric is one of the dwarves that mines the ideas. The problem he is faced with is bringing in a large gusher. These gushers are a bit too much for the miners to handle, driving them to insanity, and that is why they need help from a young human – one still innocent enough to be able to see their world and help get the gusher back safely so the ideas can be harvested and get to the human for whom they are intended. Adults, as in many fantasy stories, no longer have the innocence and purity needed for such a task. Young Joey agrees to help them on their quest as long as he can bring his dog, Lady, along and if they want to leave and come back home they are permitted to do so. The dwarves readily agree. As Joey first encounters their world he makes a happy discovery. His best friend Ben (who has recently moved away) has also been asked to join the quest. The boys are thrilled to be together again and eagerly agree to help the dwarves mine the ideas so they can safely be brought into the human world.

There are a couple of elements about this book that make it very special. The story takes place in 1750 which is only important as having a time of historical reference for some of the ideas that have been mined and some they see that glimpse a more current era. Secondly, by giving the dwarves very specific jobs (winders, seers, finders diggers) in the mining and revealing some of the ideas they have discovered, the readers are being presented with some unique learning experiences in a very creative way. This is to be greatly commended.

This story is a wonderful fantasy adventure that leaves the reader anxiously anticipating a sequel.

THE LOST LAKE DIG

By PW Cross

 

Publisher: Appalachian House

Genre: Juvenile Fantasy

ISBN: 978-0966280081  

Paperback: 288 pages

Recommended for ages 9-12

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Dragon Sighting in Orlando! [Magic, Mensa & Mahem by Karina Fabian] Book Review

magic-mensa-and-mahem

 

 

This year’s Mensa World Gathering is being held at the infamous Orlando theme park, BillyBeaver™’s Fantasyland. Since the Interdimensional Gap between the Mundane world and the land of Faerie has not been opened long, the Church has asked a very cynical dragon named Vern and his partner Sister Grace, a High Mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, to chaperone…er, accompany… the members of the Faerie community that have been invited to attend this auspicious event in the human world. The attempt to make sure everything runs smoothly is a purely precautionary measure, of course.  What could possibly go wrong?!

 

Vern is a highly trained private investigator who is quite certain his talents could be better spent in activities beyond babysitting the pranking pixies as faeries go wild in the Mundane world. After all, this “dragon-eye, PI” is an immortal with the knowledge of the ages, and is renowned as a professional problem solver and agent of the Faerie Catholic Church. Needless to say, babysitting a bunch of mischievous magicals is NOT what this hero has in mind for his next big case! It soon becomes very apparent, however, that real trouble is brewing and threats of an upcoming Interdimensional war must be waylaid. The dragon’s mad sleuthing skills play a vital role in solving this humor-laden mystery.

 

Vern’s very cynical quick wit would give even Simon Cowell* a run for his money. The dragon’s sarcastic demeanor totally compliments the poised and calm Sister Grace in a perfectly comical blend as the pair quip their way through a series of unpredictable misadventures like dealing with a dwarf who has high hopes of being “discovered” on his trip to the human world, and elves quite enamored with themselves as they buzz all over the place high on artificial flavorings and declaring war on the state of Florida! Magic, Mensa & Mahem is filled with colorful unique characters that will capture your heart and your imagination.

 

This book is an inspired read. Fabian writes with a quick witted fresh approach that will keep you thoroughly entertained and rolling on the floor laughing. You have to pay attention – you don’t want to miss any of the humorous one-liners or groan-worthy puns in this truly enjoyable tale.

 

 ______________________

*Reference to an overly cynical celebrity icon from the Mundane world

 

 

MAGIC, MENSA & MAHEM

By Karina L. Fabian
Publisher: Swimming Kangaroo Books

http://www.SwimmingKangaroo.com

Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1934041789

Pages: 232

Price:  $13.99

 

 

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Rebel in Blue Jeans (Beverly Stowe McClure) A Must Read for Your YA Library

rebel-in-blue-jeans

 

 

 

 

 

In the blink of an eye, Rebel Ferguson’s world turned upside down and shattered. Her mother’s announcement that she was leaving the family behind…to be with the drummer of a rock band came as quite a shock. This simply couldn’t be happening – after all, parents don’t run away….do they?

 

What an attention grabbing opening scene!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed Rebel and would most definitely recommend it. Ms. McClure has an amazing sense of the relationships between her characters. The characters in this novel are very realistic and easy to identify with. The story is told from the sixteen-year-old protagonist’s point of view and you are immediately pulled into her world. Having to cope with the imminent divorce of her parents, a budding romance with a childhood friend, and all the attention she is getting from a very cute college guy (who just happens to have a really bad reputation), Rebel Ferguson finds many challenges being thrust upon her and faces them with courage and humor. She is lucky to have the help of some compassionate friends that are determined to help in her time of need by providing the support and voice of reason she needs to get her past the feelings of betrayal and anger.  

 

I think the author definitely knows her audience and young adult readers will relate to the contemporary theme of dealing with the parents’ pending divorce, the support system of friends and family teens rely on, dealing with new relationships and established relationships that take an unexpected turn into something completely new. Suddenly, it seems like everything Rebel depended on in her world has changed. She feels as though there isn’t anything she can count on – people are not what they seem and nothing is turning out the way she always thought it would. The author shows some tender moments where the teen identifies very strongly with her love for animals and all the pets she keeps in the country home.

 

Ms. McClure has done an excellent job of capturing the range of emotions the young protagonist is going through, the roller coaster of feelings from the cornucopia of life events she is experiencing. In the midst of all the serious and intense story threads woven into this tale, Ms. McClure has built in many humorous antics from some of the characters in this book to lighten some of the scenes and make this a very enjoyable read. I definitely give this book a five star rating and a place on my bookshelf with my other favorite books.

 

Rebel in Blue Jeans can be found at retailers where books are sold, online at Amazon, and through the publisher.   

 

 

REBEL IN BLUE JEANS

By Beverly Stowe McClure


Publisher: Twilight Times Books

http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com

Genre: YA Fiction
ISBN:  Paper: 978-1-933353-49-4

                        1-933353-49-X

                        1st edition October 2008

 

 

 

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