Friday, August 29, 2014
I'm always hoping these guys will release another dang book -- so when I realized that I'd somehow missed Kibuishi's 2010 collection of his webcomic Copper, published by Scholastic, I ordered it right away.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Young people want to be older. Older people want to be young.
It's an old story. It's life. Every teenager knows it well. They feel it in their bones, the constant rage at a world where everyone is trying to tell them what to do; the hunger for that seemingly-infinitely-distant day when they'll be able to drive a car, buy alcohol, vote, move out, make decisions, be happy. But teenagers see the other side of it: the adults who ache to be young again, who are trapped in miserable lives and punish young people for their youth and freedom and the possibility that maybe they'll be able to make their own dreams come true.
Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes is a masterpiece of dark fantasy, about a mysterious carnival that comes to town, run by a man named Dark, who can give you what you most want - at a terrible price. If you're old, a ride on his magic carousel can make you young again.Young... and monstrous. And if you're young, the carousel can make you older.
It's the story of two boys, best friends, thirteen years old - inches away from fourteen - who are poised at the perilous brink of becoming men. Will Halloway is a bookworm, fond of reading about the big wide world but not in too much of a hurry to get there. His friend Jim Nightshade, on the other hand, already has his heart set on grown-up things. There's a darkness in Jim, and that's what the carnival calls out to.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Jack meets up with Marco, Cass and Ally - the other kids in attendance at this weird "hospital." Together, they must figure out how to save themselves and thwart the plans of those working against them - or at least they think they are working against them... Along the way, they need to figure out who is actually telling them the truth.
This book is chock full of enough fantastical creatures and adventures to satisfy any fantasy fan.
Fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter will love this series. A Fast and fun first installment to a terrific journey.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Father son books are always interesting to read because depending on the age of their son there is always some subtle tension in the relationship. For young sons the father prods his progeny, trying to get him to be a better player, athlete etc. Older sons, in trying to carve their own niche and explore their individuality are often at loggerheads with their fathers. In this book, the relationship is somewhere in between.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
|Not the US cover, but I prefer this one.|
And in the middle of all this someone has finally created the ultimate chemical weapon, one with a really nasty bigoted edge to it, that's about to be launched via the winds of the coming storm. There's only one lone, retired local ex-spy who has figured it all out... but can he stop it from happening?
Hurricane Fever is, for me, the perfect spy-thriller-action-adventure-beach-read. It's a summer movie in a book, well-written, and at just under 275 pages proof that the compelling story full of character and suspense can be achieved without the unnecessary bloat of, say, a Clancy doorstop.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The Green Teen Cookbook, edited by Laurane Marchive and Pam McElroy, is both a cookbook and a resource for thinking about and shopping for food. The first of the book includes essays/articles on things like how to eat healthfully and/or seasonally, eating organic foods, levels of vegetarianism, how to be a locavore, and what fairtrade means. Between the title and the first chapter, I expected it to be a vegetarian cookbook, but it isn't-- it includes all sorts of recipes, including some for meat, chicken, and fish. All of the recipes focus on the use of fresh foods.
The second chapter includes recipe for making staples such as mayonnaise, pesto, salsa, and chicken or vegetable stock, and more. It also has a non-staple in the form of chocolate spread (not called Nutella, but still...) The remainder of the book is organized into sections by meal types: Breakfast & Brunch; Soups, Salads & Sandwiches; Snacks & Sides; Main Courses; and Desserts. Each recipe submitted by a teen includes a picture of the teen cook at the top of the page, along with a quote about the recipe and why they like making it or recommend it.
The selections include everything from simple dishes like French toast, Green Salad, or Apple Chips to more sophisticated or involved recipes. As a long-time cook and follower of recipes, I found myself wishing that some of the recipes had been proofed better or written just a bit more clearly. The "Summer Lasagna" comes to mind (not, apparently, a teen recipe), where the recipe calls for mozzarella, but doesn't specify that it should be shredded mozzarella, although on reading and re-reading the recipe, it became obvious that was probably what was intended (you mix it with ricotta, and mixing unshredded mozzarella is either impossible or inadvisable. That said, the variety of dishes is excellent, and the personal introductions by the teen chefs who donated the recipes are inspiring -- they explain where they learned to make the dish, or why they like making or eating it. Each recipe also comes with a photograph of the finished dish, and some come with additional "quick tips", like the one for crepes, which says that "Your first crepe will most likely not  be perfect but don't worry, you will get the hang of it."
Here's a photo of what a two-page spread in the book looks like. It features recipes for "Chicken with Ginger and Broccoli", supplied by Dong Tran, and "Chili Con Carne", from Clare Gosling.
A great book for teens wanting to start cooking or start their own cookbook collections.