Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Meme of Five

Now, unlike ShelfElf, I love the meme. I realize that I probably shouldn't broadcast this, but here it is.

And away we go.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What were you doing five years ago?

I had just had my first daughter and was deer eyed in the headlights about it all. In my first month of taking 5 months away from the library and busily learning how to be a mom.

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

1. Watch a demo lesson.
2. Prepare tomorrow's curriculum.
3. Spinning class.
4. Dewey Decimal Bingo.
5. Lunch duty.

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1. Chocolate from Vosges
2. Cashews
3. Cheese
4. Strawberry smoothies
5. Oatmeal cookies (no raisins)

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
(not in order of action folks!)

1. Pay all the bills (mortages and all).
2. Buy lots of glass and equipment for lampwork bead making.
3. Give money away to family, friends and causes I believe in.
4. Buy that new car that I like.
5. Travel, travel, travel.

What are five of your bad habits?

1. I have a book habit.
2. I have a shoe habit.
3. Not using those left-overs.
4. Overthinking the obvious.
5. Sliding into a Brooklyn accent every now and again.

What are five places where you have lived?

1. Niagara Falls, Ontario
2. Kingston, Ontario
3. Toronto, Ontario
4. Montreal, Quebec
5. NYC

What are five jobs you’ve had?

1. Short order cook
2. Perfume sniper
3. Waitress
4. Clothing retail
5. Children’s Librarian

Now… for my victims. I shall tag:

Accordion Guy
Wizard's Wireless

(Do with it what you will!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Zibby Payne and the Party Problem

Zibby used to love parties...back when they were fun. Before special coupons and secret sleepovers. Things seem to be changing now that sixth grade started. Amber (of the Grapilicious lip gloss and boy band love) tells Zibby that she is having a party for all of her "peeps". Zibby and her best-friend Sarah gather around Amber to open their invitations. For some reason, Amber wants all of the girls to open their invites at the same time. Some of the girls get special coupons, and some of the girls don't. Apparently, the coupons are for special prizes at the party. Zibby thinks this reeks of unfairness.

Pile on the fact that the next week, Savannah has a party. It's a super fun roller skating party without special coupons. And Zibby can't wait for the sleepover portion. But when she tells Sarah about it, she figures out that not everybody who invited to rollerskate, is invited to the sleepover. Unfair again.

This is when Zibby decides to have her own party. One where everyone is invited to everything, and nobody is left out. She even invites dorky Franny and Vanessa just to make a point. But when Franny insists on having her party planner mom help out with Elmo and princess paraphenalia, Zibby isn't feeling so generous. She just may end up uninviting them.

Author Alison Bell has written a spot on story of negotiating one's way through the sixth grade. Zibby is ultimately likable and is experiencing those middle school changes that make the ride so rocky. A perfect series for the fans of Amelia's Notebook, and for the girl reluctant readers that are out there. Fast and fun, Zibby Payne is a series sure to please.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fablehaven - Grip of the Shadow Plague

Seth is at it again. After ignoring his grandfather's wishes not to deal with the satyrs, Seth is heading out for a secret meeting with Doren and Newel. Batteries are to be exchanged for gold, and all that Seth has to do is accompany the satyrs and pillage one of the nipsie's Seven Kingdoms. It's not supposed to be too hard seeing as the nipsies are only about an inch tall and have no real defenses. Everything is going according to plan when it is apparent that the ever peaceful nipsies aren't so peaceful anymore. Something has befallen two of the Kingdoms. The nipsies themselves are claiming allegiance to a new master, and have changed in appearance. The dark nipsies have grey skin, blood red eyes and fangs. What can this all mean?

Meanwhile, Warren and Tanu are returning to Fablehaven after trying to find out if Vanessa's accusation of the Sphinx is true. It turns out that all over the world at different preserves, dark creatures are overturning the light. The Knights of the Dawn are supposed to be having a united gathering in an effort to overthrow the Society of the Evening Star, and the big news is that the Captain wants to induct Kendra. Her grandparents are upset, because knighthood pretty much guarantees even more danger than Kendra faces at Fablehaven.

Seth is so jealous he can hardly stand it. Now Kendra gets to go off on more adventures and he is stuck under orders not to go into the woods at Fablehaven. However, it doesn't take long for there to be quite a bit of action on the preserve. The nipsies aren't the only ones choosing the dark. Soon there are dark fairies who are not fallen like the imps, and while humans who are infected do not necessarily turn dark, they certainly disappear.

While this is going on, Kendra (under the supervision of Warren) has travelled to Lost Mesa with the charge of locating a magical artifact and giving it to the captain of the knights. The problem is, of course, the fact that no one really knows who the captain is. Could the Captain be working for the Society of the Evening Star?

In true Brandon Mull fashion, this third installment is fast paced and action packed. By taking some of the action from Fablehaven and bringing it to Lost Mesa, the reader sees the different cultures of the different preserves, and is allowed access to even more magical creatures. I do have to say that I am feeling a bit of Jackie Faber syndrome here. I expected a wrap up with Shadow Plague, and while it continued the journey, the story is not over. We have ended with another cliff hanger, and I am a bit sad about this. That said, I am left happy about the introduction of Gavin, the deeper story surrounding Patton, and a bad taste in my mouth regarding our friend Warren. Maybe next go round, I will see if my suspicions are true!