Monday, October 16, 2017

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The first book in the Welcome to Night Vale series. This book is based on the popular "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast series. Jackie runs the local pawnshop and has a very set routine, until one day she is given a slip of paper that says "King City." The problem: she can't get rid of the paper and can't remember anything about the man who gave it to her. Diane Crayton's fifteen-year-old shape-shifter son wants to meet his dad, who Diane keeps seeing all over town, even though he left town shortly after Josh was born. She has also seen a mysterious man she can't remember who speaks to her of King City. Diane and Jackie attempt to solve their own mysteries and discover King City and the mysterious man may be the key for both of them. A completely quirky and strange science fiction novel. Never having listened to any of the podcasts, I am now tempted to do so - Night Vale sounds like my kind of town.

Ratings: 10th grade -  8 out of 10 - P (profanity).

Scraps of Paper

Scraps of Paper is by Kathryn Meyer Griffith. The first book in the Spookie Town Mystery series. Thirty years ago a mother and her two young children went missing from the town of Spookie never to be heard from again. When Abigail moves to Spookie after the murder of her husband, she only wants some peace and quiet in which to paint and heal. As she refurbishes her new home she finds scraps of paper written by the missing children and decides to try and find out what happened to them. Abigail finds some help from a former Chicago cop named Frank; as she and Frank attempt to solve the mystery, old secrets emerge that someone in Spookie will kill to keep secret. A nice little supernatural mystery and quick read.

Ratings: 10th grade - 7 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Binti

Binti is by Nnedi Okorafor. The first book in the Binti series. A stunning science fiction novella set in a not too distant future. I ❤ me a whole lot of Okorafor. Her work is always such an enjoyable reading experience. Binti is the first member of the Himba people ever to be accepted into the prestigious Oomza University. Her family and friends don't want her to leave the planet, but Binti is determined to follow her dreams. On her journey to the planet on which the University is located, Binti's ship is attacked by the Meduse and everyone aboard is killed except for Binti and the pilot. The Meduse seek to invade Oomza and destroy it and everyone there, or be destroyed. As Binti struggles to understand what has protected her from the Meduse, she discovers the war is not as she has long believed, and she is the only person who can end it once and for all. A powerfully provoking novella.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - V (violence).

The Cancer Journals

The Cancer Journals is by Audre Lorde. A compelling memoir by poet and writer Audre Lorde. Lorde looks at her battle with breast cancer, and details how both she and those around her dealt with her diagnosis and surgery. A thought provoking work, whether or not you agree with everything Lorde writes.

Ratings: Adult - 7 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death is by Charles Finch. The first book in the Charles Lenox Mystery series. A charming historical fiction mystery tale set in Victorian London. Charles Lenox is a gentleman who has a talent for solving mysteries. When his neighbor's former servant dies, supposedly suicide, Lady Jane asks Charles to discover the truth. The truth turns out to be much more involved than even a simple murder. The death is linked to very powerful men in the government and a large stash of gold. If you like Victorian mysteries, you will thoroughly enjoy this series

Ratings: 10th grade - 8 out of 10.

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas is by John Scalzi. OMG! What a fantastic science fiction read. If you ever followed Star Trek, and even if you didn't, you will LOVE this hilarious novel. It follows the crew of the Capital Ship Intrepid as it boldly goes where no man has...sorry. Andrew is part of a new contingent of crewmen (and woman) who discover that there is something strange about the Intrepid. On every Away Mission with the ship's officer's the lowly crewpersons (the Redshirts) die, while the ship's officers manage to escape mostly unscathed. Determined to survive, Andrew and his friends set out to discover what is happening on board the Intrepid and stop it from happening to them. This novel is a delightful farce and laugh-out-loud funny. If you have any interest in science fiction, or have ever watched Star Trek you MUST read this book.

Ratings: 10th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence).

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls is by Patrick Ness. This is the wonderfully beautiful and sad story of Conor whose father has left the family and whose mother has a critical illness, you suspect it's a form of cancer. One night, as his mother's condition worsens, he is visited by a monster. The monster claims it is there to help and will tell Connor three stories after which, Conor will tell the fourth story. As his mother's situation becomes worth, he must battle his grandmother, his father, kids at his school, and his own nightmares to find the truth he must face to survive. A fantastic story! You can't help but feel for Conor, and his feelings are completely understandable to those who have suffered loss. The illustrations are striking and add to the creepy feel of the novel.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).