Thursday, April 30, 2009
The story takes place in the not-so-distant future. All the animals on earth have been killed off because of the terrible Animal Plague, when all the animals stared attacking and killing all the people. Not only were all the animals killed but all the trees, forests, and habitats destroyed so the animals would have no place to live. All the people on Earth were moved to England and placed behind The Wall to keep them safe from animals. Of course, there's not enough room for everyone, so they have to build cities on top of cities. The poorest live in the Shadows, under the foundations of the new cities, while the richest live in the Golden Turrets on top.
Pretty bleak, huh? Well, into that world are born twins, Ellie and Mika Smith. Mika lives with his parents in the poorer areas above The Shadows. Ellie died a year ago--or so they believe. The truth is that Ellie was captured by the bad guys. The book begins as Ellie escapes in a pod fighter and tries to go back to her family because she's learned The Secret, but then......well, if I told you, you'd know what happens, wouldn't you? You're just going to have to read it yourself to find out! But I guarantee that you'll be in for a wild ride! There is enough action to please the most die-hard fan!! You'll get so pulled into the story that you'll spend every spare minute reading to find out what going to happen to Ellie and Mika. And the author does keep you in a lot of suspense! You've got chases with pod fighters, attacks by killer animal borgs, strange mental powers, and deadly secrets. Emma Clayton has written a book that really gets a hold of you! It really had a hold on me!!!
The end.The end didn't quite satisfy me. The author put a twist at the end and I thought the book would go in a whole different direction. The rest of the story would have been more interesting if she'd stayed with it, but she went back to the original direction of the story and I was disappointed. Does this sond confusing? Well, I can't tell any more without giving away major secrets. (That means you'll have to read it and find out!) Does that mean I didn't like the book? Well, no. I was just disappointed.
I didn't stay disappointed. As I said, this book was so powerful, that I had to sit and think about it for a while. And after that, I realized that the author was trying to make some points with this book. AND, in order to make those points, she HAD to end this book that way. As I see it, Emma Clayton wanted to make a point about the ecology (which I totally agree with) and some about politics and economics (which I totally disagree with). Are you interested NOW?? Go find it and read it!
In fact, I'd love to hear what YOU think about it!! In double fact, I'll give a prize package to any guy who'll write about all this or come to Imaginon and talk wtih me about it. Especially if you let me video the discussion and put it on the blog. OK??? ESPECIALLY if you can tell me how the poem at the end helps the author make her point. And Extra Espescially if you can tell me who the Green Man is and why he's important to the author's point. Got that?
There aren't many books that could create this much talk. And there aren't many books that I'd write this much about. Many books that are full of action don't you think and a lot of those that make you think may not have much action. This is one of the few that does both. And to think that this is Emma Clayton's first book!!!!!!!
PS--The Roar has one of the most spectacularly BAD buys I've ever seen, Mal Gorman. Even his first name means "bad." Literally. Go find a dictionary and see.
The only other action-packed book that made me stop and think was The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell. Terrific book.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Here is my book review of "Silvertongue" the last book in the Stoneheart Trilogy, by Charlie Fletcher.
For those who haven't read any of these three books, the two main characters are George Chapman, a 12 year old boy and Edie, a girl with an unusual talent. She is called a "Glint" because she can touch things and see into the past. The story begins in the first book when George, accidently breaks off the head of a stone dragon. When George does this he starts a chain of events that lead to a war between the "Spits" and the "Taints.
The "Spits" are metal and stone statues, of mostly historical figures who fight for the good of London. The "Taints" are sculptures of non-human creatures, such as gargoyles and dragons, they fight for the Ice Devil, an evil force of darkness. The battle takes place when time freezes in the third book and George and Edie are the only humans who don't dissappear.
Some of the other characters in this book are The Gunner, a statue of a World War I soldier, The Red Queen and her two daughters, who ride around in a chariot, Dictionary, a statue of a man who uses big words when he speaks, Hodge, his very independent cat, a raven who knows all memories and the Temple Bar Dragon who guards the city of London.
Can George and Edie solve the riddles the Sphinxes tell them? What happens to the Queen of Time? Is little Tragedy a good guy or a bad guy? What is it like traveling through mirrors and fighting flying gargoyles in the snow?
If you want to know the answers to these questions you are going to have to read this book. I will say it was a real page turner and I hate that the story is over. I hope Mister Fletcher writes another book with some of these characters or at least about some of other statues that come to life.
Wow, anonymous, I'd hate to find out what it's like fighting a gargoyle in the snow! This one sounds really good. Darth Bill likes this series--have you read this one yet? What'd you think?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Hope you guys are excited as I am!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thank you so much for all the great prizes! I had never tasted salt water taffy before. It's good! Speaking of good, you should read the book Schooled, by Gordon Korman. It's about thirteen-year-old Capricorn Anderson who lives in a hippie commune. His parents are dead so he lives in the commune with his grandmother, Rain. When Rain falls from a tree and breaks her hip, Cappricorn is sent to live with strangers and has to go to public school (he was homeschooled in the commune). At the public school, the kids pick the biggest nerd and nominate him for school president and watch him make a fool of himself. Cap is picked. At first, Cap is a target for bullies, but things start to change. Find out for yourself how it changes. Other good books I've ready by Gordon Korman are No More Dead Dogs and One False Note from the 39 Clues series.
Gordon Korman is a really good writer. Darth Bill absolutely loved No More Dead Dogs. The Island trilogy by GK is one of the very, very best things I've read! I'm going to find this one and check it out. Thanks, cyber kid!
Ah, yes, I remember the hippie days. I wasn't one myself, but those were fun, exciting, and scary times--kind of like today! The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Well, here's a video of one of the great hippie bands of all time, Jefferson Airplane, singing a very uptempo version of "Somebody To Love," one of their big hits. This is from the Monterey Pop music festival in 1967. How much more authentic can you get??? Rock on, young reader guys and old hippies everywhere!!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I just finished reading Orphan Train Rider by Andrea Warren. It is a biography about a boy named Lee Nailing and his family. It is 1926 and America is in a recession, a lot like today. One family in particular is having a hard time. They are the Nailings and their mom has just died. They had 7 kids and their dad alone could not feed and take care of them all. The three oldest, Fred, Ross, and Evelyn had to live on the streets. The baby went to live with family friends. Their dad kept the toddler. But the two other kids named Lee and Leo went to an orphanage. Since their dad was not dead, he would sometimes come and visit them in the orphanage. Lee had always wanted to be a train engineer. When he was told he would ride a train through the country all the way to Texas, he was excited. When they were boarding the train, he and his brother found out that their little brother, Gerald, going with them because their dad did not have enough money to take care of him after all.
The train was full of orphans traveling from town to town. Whenever they stopped at a town, the orphans would have to line up so people could look at them and decide if they wanted to adopt any of the children. Lee, Leo and Gerald get separated and go to live with different families. Read this amazing true story. Do they ever see each other again? Do they live happily ever after? Read and find out.
Cyber Kid 303 out!!!!!!
Thanks, cyber kid! I'm really glad you told us about a biography because they are some of the best books out there--and the amazing thing is that the stories are true!!
We also have a picture of cyber kid with his prizes from the March Madness Author Shoot-out:
He's wearing his Deadwood Jones T-shirt (generously donated by Helen Hemphill) and holding his bag of Deadwood Jones salt water taffy and the signed copy of Erec Rex:The Dragon's Eye. Well done, cyber kid!
PS--let us know how you like Erec Rex!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Well we have some exciting things on today's blog, the first being another video with our good friend Crocodile Bill. In this web cast he talks to us all about the dangers of wild bear attacks!!!! Let's check it out shall we:
Crocodile Bill, Episode 3: When Bears Attack
Now for some cool book reviews by the one, the only, the dastardly Darth Bill:
Deeper by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams - Wow man, I just finished reading the sequel to Tunnels and it really rocked!!!! This story picks up with Will, Cal and Chester escaping deeper into the subterranean world surface dwellers have no idea exists and searching for Will's adopted father Dr. Borrows (an archaeologist). Will's sister Rebecca is very much in pursuit of Will and his friends and has recruited the most unlikely person to head the hunt. Will's real mother Sarah, the woman famous in the underground lands for escaping. This story is full of adventure and is a real page turner. In the badland areas of this underground world known as the Deeps, Will and his friends make new friends in the the rebels Drake and Elliot. If staying alive were not enough of a challenge, all the good guys must figure a way out to stop Rebecca's and the Styx's plan to wipe out all topsoilers by unleashing a deadly virus. This book is a fun ride with lots of twist and turns that will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the third book in the series Freefall!!!!!!!
Green Day: Keeping Their Edge by Matt Doeden - Green Day has been one of my favorite bands since the early 90's. The band made up of Billie Joe Armstong (lead vocals and guitar), Micheal Dirnt (Bass) and Tre' Cool (Drums) is the best punk band ever. I remember buying their breakout album Dookie and thought it was the bomb. Their latest album American Idiot is in my opinion one of the finest albums put out period. This book is the true story of how the group started out as young kids playing punk rock (heavily influenced by such groups as The Dead Kennedys, The Replacements, The Sex Pistols and Th Ramones). This book takes a look at the behind the scenes of the ups and downs of this great band. These guys are shown as real people just like you and me. This book is a really well done biography that I highly recommend. As stated by the great AC/CD: "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution. Rock and is Just a Rock n' Roll!"
Whelp until next time mates,
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Ttile and Author: Ghost Soldier by Elaine Marie Alphin
This book was about: A boy who goes to live with his dad at a close friend's house in North Carolina. When he gets there, he finds something unexpected, but you'll have to read it to find out what it is that he finds!
I liked (or didn't like) the book because: I liked this book because the story seemed to come to life! It had me wondering what wiil happen next!
Thanks, Joe! A good book should make you wonder what'll happen next. So does a good review!
Well, here's Joe with his free book:
In case you can't tell, he got an Encyclopedia Brown mystery in his hands. He's a big fan of Encyclopedia Brown and may write a review of that one. Let us hear from soon, Joe!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
It's Carl. An escape pod just landed in front of the library. When I looked inside,a droid handed me a DVD labelled "Galactic History Video Preservation Project--the Epic Duel between Darth Bill and the Great and Powerful CARLMAN, Featuring the Amazing Trail Mix Theft and the Incredible Dance-Off." The droid told me to watch this impotratant piece of interplanetary history. Well, imagine my excitement! I watched it right away. Oh, what and epic duel it was!!! The clash of galactic titans! I'll share it with you--if you think you can stand nonstop thrills!!
PS--I'm sorry I had to steal Darth Bill's trail mix, but if I hadn't, he would have grown to gigantic size and stomped the city to dust with his pink shoes!!
Friday, April 17, 2009
He hath chosen a signed T-shirt from Kaza Kingsley, as well as two signed copies of her Erec Rex books. Well done, dragonslayer!! Let us hear how you like those books. In fact, feel to write to us anytime!!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Well Jay Piscopo was here in Charlotte last week, Monday and Tuesday, visiting different branches of the PLCMC Library System. I hope some of you reading this got the chance to see him, the Drawing Workshop he put on was awesome!!!!!!!! If you did miss him, he will be coming back down in June for Heroes Con (for more information on that click HERE). While he was here in addition to the Drawing Workshop he also talked about "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli"and signed free Capt'n Eli Comics that he was so generous in giving to the guys and girls who attended his visits. I know for a fact that he is hard at work on the third Capt'n Eli GN and I can't wait till it comes out!!!! Here are some photos from his visit:
Jay drawing a character some of you might recognize?????????
Jay signing comics and graphic novels after the Drawing Workshop!!!!!
A picture of me with my all time favorite Comic/Graphic Novel Writer/Artist Jay Piscopo!!!
Also as many of you know Jay won The Boys Rule Boys Read March Madness Author Shoot-Out (taking down such noteworthy talents as Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan and Jeff Smith). Well while he was down here visiting, Jedi Master Zack and myself presented him with a very special plaque (it was made of very, very high quality paper) for this accomplishment. Here is a video of the presentation and Jay's acceptance speech:
And Now For Something Completly Different:
Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson - This was a really great read (just goes to show as Carl says non-fiction books can be great). On April 14, 1865 while attending a play at Ford's Theater, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of The United States of America, was shot and mortally wounded by the actor and confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Do you know the whole story of how one of America's greatest Presidents was assassinated and his killer hunted down? Did you know that John Wilkes Booth was part of a larger conspiracy to eliminate many important political leaders of The United States of America? Do you know where Booth and his fellow assassins fled and how they where eventually caught? This is a great book that will suck you in and having you turning page after page to see how all this happened and the repercussions of this tragic event. Two Thumbs Up!!!!!!!!
Ed's Terrestrials by Scott Sava and Diego Jourdan - This is a very funny Graphic Novel about a boy named Ed and some aliens he meets named Marcello, Al and Gus who have escaped from the Planet known as The Intergalactic Food Court (a planet that sells nothing but food for Space Travelers) on which they were slaves. He finds these aliens living in his Treehouse, which they have converted so they can help other aliens living on The Intergalactic Food Court escape. What Ed and his new friends don't know is that the most feared and ruthless Mall Cop in the galaxy, Maximus Obliterus, is hot on their trail with some help from Ed's classmate the rich, spoiled rotten Natalie (who has determined she wants to own at least one of Ed's new alien friends). This Graphic Novel was a fun read with excellent illustrations. It has definitely interested me into checking into more of these guys work.
One last thing I would like to mention before I say good day is that if you don't know, well I'm about to let you know. Know what you ask? Well that on Saturday, May 2 Heroes Aren't Hard To Find will be having its Free Comic Book Day!!!!!!! To find out more about this super event just click HERE!!!!!!
Finally if your wondering about the title to this blog, let's just say Darth Bill's sense of direction is not that great and Jay got to see a whole lot of Charlotte because Bill took a wrong turn somewhere along the way to our destinations. But I feel we are all better people for it (really).
Well until next time all,
Bill "Lt. Y"
There are some great original Commander X stories on The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli site. Go to their link on the left-hand side of the page or click here. There's one story in a classic Silver Age comic format and two stories that look like they came from old pulp magazines from the '40's or 50's. But, once again, these stories aren't just nostalgia rip-offs; they're exciting stories on their own. Jay Piscopo has created a fascinating and mysterious figure in Commander X and these stories make you want to read more stories to find out more about this man of mystery!
And, as we all know, The Last Olympian comes out on May 5. That's only 22 days!! If you go to the Percy Jackson Book Site on the left-hand side of this page (or click here), you'll see some good trailer videos and have a chance to read the first chapter. The library has ordered 10 copies and we won't get them on May 5 (DRAT!!!) but, as Master Zack pointed out, you can go to the library's catalog page, type in the name, and go to the book's page and reserve a copy. I reserved mine a long time ago, so I hope to get one quickly.
Speaking of Percy, I just put up a link in our Links section that I should have included a long time ago. It's Percyquest, a truly cool fan site devoted to all things Percy Jackson. There's a recent post about who got cast as Luke and Mrs. Dodds (the pre-algebra teacher who got vaporized) in the new Lightning Thief movie as well as a video of Mr. Riordan reading from Chapter 1 of the new book. Have I got you interested???
I've just started a new book called The Roar by Emma Clayton and I think I'm going to like it a lot. Eoin Colfer, who wrote the Artemis Foul books, certainly liked it. I'm in good company!
You all have GOT to read Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix! (go to my post of 4-2-09 if you want to read more) GO GO GO get it!!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
It's a beautiful place, as you can see, and has some great beaches. Of course, I couldn't go to the beach without thinking of Capt'n Eli:
The only bad thing about vacation was that I had to miss Joe Piscopo's visit to the library. But Darth Bill said it was really fun and is working on a post about it.
Of course, I couldn't go without taking some good reading. I didn't get much time to sit and read but I did get to hear a couple of good books on CD. The first was Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, read by Judy Blume. It was funny! 10-year Peter has a two-and-a-half-year-old brother that everyone calls Fudge (it's a better name than Farley) and that little brother is almost always a royal pain. From trying to fly from a jungle gym to almost ruining a TV commercial to stashing Peter's pet turtle in a most unusual place, Fudge always seems to cause headaches for everyone. Especially Peter. This made me laugh out loud, it was so funny.
The other one was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, read by that terrific British actor, Derek Jacobi. Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, from the first two Narnia books, find themselves onboard a ship with Prince Caspian, who is now King Caspian. All is well in Narnia, so Caspian sets sail to find seven Narnian lords who disappeared 7 years before. This would be a real treat for Edmund and Lucy except that Eustace Clarence Scrubb, that real stinker of a kid, happened to be pulled into Narnia with them. What happens next? Well, you'll just to read to find out, won't you? This is my favorite of the Narnia books and is just fantastic--there are close encoutners with sea serpents, deadly unknown islands, and storms at sea. Plus a whole lot more! Excitement and adventure abound! And the last few chapters are so good that your jaw will hang open. Derek Jacobi gives a nearly-perfect reading of this nearly-perfect book and makes the characets sound
exactly as you'd think they would.
These books are great if you ever have to spend a lot of time in the car, whether you're going on vacation or just have to ride a long way to school every day. So get on down to your local library and get them!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I know it's been awhile sense I last posted, but I've been reading about 5 books at the same time. It is a little known fact that Sith Lords are ravenous readers!!!!!!
As you can see, we are very competitive!!!!!!
The first thing I need to do is remind everyone that Jay Piscopo of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" will be here visiting the PLCMC System on Monday and Tuesday of next week (April 6 and 7)!!!!!!!!!!!
What: Jay Piscopo , author and illustrator of “The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli,” will be visiting various PLCMC locations in April presenting Drawing Workshops, discussing his Graphic Novel Series and answering any questions you have about Comics and Graphic Novels. If you have any questions about these events please call the participating libraries. Reservations for kids 7 - 12 years old is encouraged.
When & Where:
Monday, April 6:
ImaginOn 11:30 AM
North County 2:30 PM
ImaginOn 6:30 PM
Tuesday, April 7:
Mountain Island 11:30 AM
Morrison 3:00 PM
Matthews 7:00 PM
On another topic which just happens to concern Mr. Piscopo, I have to say I am very excited about the writers (and in one case an illustrator also) in the Final Two of our Boys Rule Boys Read Tournament. Obviously as you can tell I am a big fan of Jay's work, but I am also a big fan of Neil Gaimen (The Graveyard Book, Interworld, Coraline and so much more). However wins I will be very happy for, but it makes voting very hard as they are both awesome!!!!!!!
The Legend of Zelda (Part 1): Ocarina of Time by Akira Himekawa - I'm sure most of you are more than familiar with Link and The Legend of Zelda Video Games. Well Link has graduated from Video Games to Manga!!!! This manga is a first in a series staring our brave hero Link. The story starts with Link as a young child living in the forest among the Kokiris. The Kokiris and Link are protected by The Great Deku Tree. One day a monster attacks The Great Deku Tree and it passes on. Before dying The Great Deku Tree tells Link of the powerful Triforce and how if it is not in the hands of good, terrible things can come to pass. In order to obtain the Triforce, Link must collect three spiritual stones that will allow him into a temple where it is kept. Along the way to obtaining these stones he meets the evil one he must conquer in Lord Ganondorf among many other creatures both good and evil. This was much to my surprise a very cool read read and I look forward to the rest of the books in this series (which is now up to Volume 3). Check it out!!!!!!!!
Wolverine First Class: To Russia, With Love by Various - This Graphic Novel kicks some serious butt!!!!! This is the second GN in "The Wolverine First Class" books staring Wolverine and Kitty Pride. In two of the stories, one with Kitty Pride and the other with Nightcrawler, they go to Canada to help out its superhero group named Alpha Flight. In the first Wolverine and Kitty assist Alpha Flight members (Snowbird - Shapeshifter, Aurora - Speed and Flight, Shaman - Mystic) against an enemy that may not actually be one. In the second, which is a classic originally published way back when comics were 50 cents a pop, Wolvie and Nightcrawler help out Alpha Flight (Vindicator - has suit that allows him to weild vast sums of energy, Shaman and Snowbird) against the terrifying monster that is called Wendigo. In yet another story in the GN, they travel to Russia to fight/help the Soviet Super-Soldiers (The Crimson Dynamo - kinda like Iron Man, Darkstar - Controls Darkforce Energies, Vanguard - Energy and Super Strength and Ursa Major - has the ability to transform into a Russian Bear). Believe it or not there are even more great stories than these in this GN. I highly recommend it to all!!!!!
Finally speaking of Wolverine, take a gander below at the upcoming Wolverine Origins Movie!!!
Pretty Cool I'd say!!!!!!! Can't Wait!!!!!
Well peace all until next time,
Bill "Lt. Y"
I have been following the March Madness Author Shootout and am pleased to see Neil Gaiman and Jay Piscopo are in the final round. Neil Gaiman has been one of my favorite authors for a very long time now, but I get to meet Jay Piscopo next week and his books are awesome, so I don't know who I want to win! The good news is that they are both outstanding and so I won't be unhappy with the results.
Now onto my real reason for writing today. Here at the Matthews Library, we are going to have a kids chess club starting this summer. The club will meet on Monday afternoons on June 15, June 29th and July 13th. If you want to learn how to play or already know come by the library and sign up. This club will be for everyone (we might even let the girls in) who will be in 1st through 5th grade next school year.
In case any of you are curious what I'm reading these days, I've been pretty busy with that!
I just finished The Battle of the Labyrinth. My take = AWESOME!
Now I have a few books going at once; Flush, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: eight grade bites and finally the second 39 Clues book (yes I am behind) One False Note.