Posts Tagged ‘Witches’

I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels although I do appreciate their impact on readers and reading material these days as a growing and very popular trend. So over the Christmas break I decided it was time to read a few to see just why they hold such favour with readers. I chose a variety from younger readers through to Secondary school students at the older age group. I read five and honestly enjoyed every book. They were a real mix. Funny, mysterious, sad and serious. Will I read more graphic novels? Definitely.

In no particular order.

Speak : the graphic novel

By Laurie Halse Anderson

ISBN 9780374300289

Farrar Straus Giroux NY

This was the most powerful of the graphic novel books I read. It deals with the horrible issue of rape. Melinda attends a party where she is raped and we follow her downhill-slide as she struggles to deal with it all. Melinda tells no one about what happened and sinks deeper and deeper into a depression, her grades failing and friendships falling apart. The illustrations are dark, broody and powerful. We see her internal thoughts and her growing sense of anger as realises that she had said no. It is the claiming back of her voice that has the most impact in this top read for young adults. No means NO!

The Inkberg Enigma

By Jonathan King

ISBN 9781776572663

Gecko Press

This book is pretty special. It has a real retro feel to it like the old mysteries we used to watch on TV or read in old comics of my youth. I loved the setting with its small coastal fishing town, people who know each other and long hot summer holidays.

Miro and Sia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of an ancient castle. Miro lives in his books; Sia is never without her camera. The day they meet, they uncover a secret.

A good old-fashioned mystery to solve. When a man is pulled out from the sea in front of Miro and Sia, there is some wild creature clinging to his legs so Sia takes a photo but unwittingly captures something else in the photo. Sia decides it is a clue and that they must investigate. Miro would rather read his books than follow danger, but Sia is persistent. He follows grudgingly at first but the more clues they find, the more he is keen to solve the mystery of just what is living in the sea below the harbour and what is the importance of a particular, very old book. The story suits the format with its colourful illustrations. There is a second story within its pages and these are told in black and white illustrations, adding to the overall retro feel.

Thoroughly good read. It would be nice to see Sia and Miro solve more mysteries.

The Witches

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl

Adapted and illustrated by Penelope Bagieu

ISBN 978176097830

Scholastic

Roald Dahl’s book The Witches takes on a new look in the graphic novel adapted by Penelope Bagieu. The illustrations are bright and visually appealing. The cover screams out just wanting to be picked up. Quick, easy to read and even at almost 300 pages long, younger readers will love this and I think it will be a top read and in high demand with my students.

What particularly appeals to me is that the text is in lower cases. I know it’s a thing with graphic novels to have the text in capitals but I find personally find it off-putting. Kind of like text messages use uppercase to shout out their messages. Three of the five books in this list used uppercase throughout and while you adapt to reading this way, I’d much prefer it the way it is here in The Witches.

The Invasion

Animorphs the Graphic novel

Based on the novel by K. A. Applegate & Michael Grant

Adapted by Chris Grine

Animorphs has been a hugely popular series for years and with the popularity in graphic novels, I think this format is going to be just as successful. The colourful illustrations and brief but pertinent text makes it easy to follow storylines.

A group of five friends find themselves face to face with an alien who has crashed to earth. He warns them of a bigger, deadlier threat to all mankind. Right before his death he gives them all special powers to morph into any animal by using their DNA if they can touch the animals first. Some are keen, others not so much but soon they find themselves running from danger and realise they need to use their gifts if they are to stay alive. They soon realise, the planet is under attack and they will need to do whatever they can to save lives. They need courage, teamwork and their new abilities to make this happen.

A good read, lots of action and I will be looking for more in the series as they are published.

Guts

By Raina Telgemeier

ISBN 9781743832684

Scholastic

Raina Telgemeier’s books are so popular that they are always on reserve, and sadly, they are also among the top titles of books that go “missing” and need replacing.

Based on her own life dealing with anxiety and stomach troubles, Guts is a story that needs to be told. Raina struggles with stomach pains, constant fear of vomiting, anxiety and just everyday life in general. Some days are worse than others and on these bad days she cannot attend school.

I love the ending where she realises she is not alone. Other people have similar issues or fears and it is just how people learn to deal with them that makes them strong enough to cope.

It’s realistic with a good message. I’m now going to have to read more of her work.

I think I might have my work cut out trying to read all the other books by these authors and graphic illustrators.

Inside the Villains

By Clotilde Perrin

ISBN 9781776571987

Gecko Press

This book is special in so many ways. It is wickedly funny, exquisitely produced and a real treasure. It is an over-sized portrait shaped book that is not just for children. I showed many adults this book and they all took their own delight in lifting the flaps, pulling the strings and reading all about the three villains. 

There are large foldout pages revealing facts about each of the three villains and a page each with a good old-fashioned fairy tale. 

There is something exciting about lifting a flap and finding hidden secrets. Under the witch’s cloak there is a pocket with a mirror, a sweet, and my favourite, a cat with a rather strange grin on its face. The witch’s dress has several layers, each hiding even more secrets. 

The wolf’s stomach and its content is particularly funny too. 

I really love that each of the villains has their own library section where they share the stories where they are characters. Giant’s library shelf includes Jack and the Beanstalk, The BFG, and many others. Of course all good scary fairy tales have either a giant, a witch, or a wolf and this book has all three. 

This is a beautiful book to be read and played with over and over again. I absolutely love it. 

The Wizards of Once

By Cressida Cowell

ISBN 9781444939576

 

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

The cover alone of this magical book just beg you to pick it up and turn it over and hold it close. Purple, blues, blacks and white and the rustic and fiery title stand out and immediately you just know this is going to be a good book. And it is good book. A very good book.

Cressida Cowell long known for her wonderful How to train your dragon series has come up with another wonderful series. Her illustrations are both comical and dark. Some make you smile, others have a haunting quality to them making you just a little afraid (or a lot!).

The story grabs your right from the prologue.

Once there was Magic. It was a long, long time ago, in a British Isles so old it did not know it was the British Isles yet, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

So the setting is already becoming pictures in our head. We know we are going into a dark and scary place where anything is possible.

When Xar and Wish meet they immediately hate each other and very much distrust each other but suddenly they are forced to work together for there is evil happening. Witches have returned and witches are bad, dangerous and to be feared. This book has it all. Magic, fantasy, pace, danger, adventure and humour to remind the reader they are actually safe even though the world they are reading about seems so real and scary.

Xar is arrogant, a little selfish but also a little sad and flawed which is why we can’t help but like him. His father shows only disappointment towards him as his magic has not started as is expected of a boy his age. Wish is a warrior but lacks any warrior-like standard her mother Queen Sychorax demands so is also a disappointment. It is a shared sadness at not being quite good enough that Xar and Wish have in common. Both have something to prove and it is this connection that draws them together despite their hate for each other and the different worlds they come from.

There are many other characters involved as both Xar and Wish each have their own companions. I do particularly love Squeezjoos a little hairy fairy belonging to Xar. He is funny and brave and in danger mostly, which is part of the whole adventure, trying to save Squeezjoos life.

This is a really good read which has been beautifully produced. Large text size, lots of illustrations to break up the text and lots of little bits in between like the Spelling book pages. The map of the Warrior Empire and Wizard Wildwoods is also a wonderful treat. I do love a book with maps as they add so much and help me build pictures in my mind as I travel with the characters.

Great fantasy novel for readers aged nine up. Can’t wait for the next book – really can’t wait!

Hex

By Thomas Olde Heuvelt

ISBN 9781444793239

Hodder & Stoughton

 

isbn9781444793239-detail

As soon as I saw this I knew I had to share!

What a cool and creepy cover.  I am seriously going to have to get a copy of this book. The trailer is awesome. Top quality and creepy as! I love books that make you cringe and your skin crawl with fear and I just can’t wait for this one. Out this month New Zealand and Australia. One of those crossover novels sure to appeal and creep out both YA and adult readers.

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.”

If you want to read an interview then click here

A couple of YA book trailers from the USA. If you enjoy a good frolic between good and evil with witches and covens the The red bishop might be for you.

The red bishop
By Greg Boose

E-Book
Released November

“Lake Price isn’t your average teenage girl.

Sure, she and her friends are doing what many other high school kids do on Cape Cod: heading to Chatham Manor—nicknamed “Hell”—for a good scare. But for Lake, it’s more than just a thrill-seeking game. It’s what keeps her alive.

Ever since her brother, Kimball, disappeared four years ago, Lake has needed the danger and the fear to feel anything but numb.

But on this night, “Hell” has more in store for Lake than she ever anticipated: A handsome stranger from the 17th century, a modern love triangle, a coven of witches, a hint that Kimball may still be alive… and the start to something that only she can finish.”

Or if you like a good fight between right and wrong then this series of surviving at all costs might be for you.
And another trailer for a series that has been out for awhile but still going strong.
Greyson Gray series
By B. C. Tweedt

“When the world grows more dangerous, so must its heroes”

Greyson Gray: Camp Legend Book one
Camp Legend “is an exciting adventure threaded with witty, sarcastic humor and gritty suspense. You will not only enjoy being in Greyson’s shoes as he battles evil in thrilling chases, but also as he deals with his awkward first crush, menacing bullies, and the loss of his father. Prepare to laugh out loud and fall in love with the characters as the Greyson Gray series begins with a bang.”
Follow this up with:
Fair game Book two
Deadfall Book three

Jinx
By Sage Blackwood
HarperCollins

Jinx is a surplus child so is taken by his step-father into the forest and left – to die!
Jinx has always feared leaving the safety of the path but being left in the forest he has no choice. Leaving the path could lead him to danger; trolls, werewolves, and witches may be hiding everywhere. However, he must do what he needs to survive.Then Jinx meets Simon, a wizard and the only thing Jinx knows about wizards are that they are evil. But this wizard wants to help. Can he be trusted?

This certainly has appeal and is another one I am looking forwad to reading very soon.
Fantasy aimed at 8 through 12 year olds who love a bit of good versus evil, magic and adventure.

Carnival of souls
by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls is the epicentre of The City which is inhabited by daimons and where the hated witches have been banned for years to live among the human world, mostly undetected.
The City’s rigid caste system determines one’s fate at birth but once every generation a competition is held, open to all castes, with a chance to challenge their standing and rise to a place with the elite.
Aya, born in to the ruling caste, rebels against The City’s social norms by being the first ruling-caste girl to enter the competition instead of marrying and breeding as she is expected to do. Kaleb, born into the lowest caste fights to escape.
Mallory has lived with the humans since early infancy and has been taught to hate daimons.
Mallory, Kaleb, and Aya’s lives are intertwined as each is called in to join the fight between daimons and witches.

The telling
by Leah Giarratano

This is book one of a new series which sounds very intriguing.
It has everything. A pyschopath, an empath and a genius – all siblings who have yet to meet and yet to discover their traits.
Throw in a bit of voodoo, daemons, and a witch and you have a thrilling fantasy mix.

Will they create harmony or will they destroy the world and just who is after their combined power?

Changeling
By Philippa Gregory

Changeling is the first book in the new Order of Darkness series.
Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit her father’s estate. She is also accused of witchcraft and threatened with burning. Along comes seventeen-year-old Luca Vero who is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon and commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil. Together, and with new friends, Freize and Ishraq they journey into a world of werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers. An historical novel with mythical beliefs. Due out this month. Keep an eye out if you like historical novels with a twist.

This trailer gave me a fright. I love the series although I still have more to read but Joseph Delaney sure knows how to write.
From his first book in the Spooks Series, Thomas Ward was the last hope for the county to keep evil away. The Spook must train Thomas but there are many evil beings in the way.

I am Grimalkin is the ninth book in the Spook’s Stories series. Grimalkin is a witch assassin who has teamed up with the Spook and Thomas but she has her own agenda. She seeks revenge and that makes her dangerous.

Start at the beginning and begin reading The Spook’s Stories.

The Spook’s apprentice Book 1
Random House
Check out his website for more fun and info.

Born wicked
By Jessica Spotswood

Cate Cahill and her sisters live in a secret society. Everyone just thinks they are a little weird. The truth however is that the are witches. Their fate if anyone finds out they are witches coudl be devastating. How long can you keep a secret.

Hollow Pike
By James Dawson
Orion Publishing Group

This book is not out yet but I am already looking forward to it when it does. Lis London moves to the country hoping things will get better for her. Hoping the nightmares she has of someone trying to kill her will end. Lis doesn’t believe in local stories of witches. But then one night, in the dark woods she realises she is not alone.
Can’t wait. Love the eerie music in this trailer.

A witch in winter
by Ruth Warburton

Hodder Childrens Books

Anna doesn’t believe in magic or witches. That is until she moves to a new town and discovers that she is indeed a witch herself. And what about Seth – is love real when you have cast an enchantment spell?
Romance and witchcraft and witch clans fighting each other. Sure to be a good read and look forward to seeing this come out next month.

Darkest powers trilogy

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Secondary
Tags: , ,

Darkest powers tilogy
by Kelley Armstrong

HarperCollins Publishers

Chloe Saunders was genetically altered at birth by a group of scientists at the Edison Group. She has the ability to see ghosts, raise the dead and is becoming more powerful. She must be stopped permanently. She is now on the run with other teenagers with their own special powers. But can she trust them?

The summoning Bk 1

The awakening

The reckoning