Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Wind Child

Release Date: April 23, 1999
Author: Shirley R. Murphy
Illustrator: Leo & Diane Dillion
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Children's Lit.
Genre: Magical Realism
Book Subjects:
Wind elements
Romance
Loneliness
Adoption
Designing
Overall: 4/5

Book Summary:
The story opens up with a [wind] elemental traveling from the east in search of a wife, and to his luck he finds one who is human and not afraid of his wild nature. Afterwards, they get married and he builds her a house and has a child named Resshie, but unfortunately the mother dies and the grieving father leaves his new born in the care of an old village woman.  Resshie then grows up to be wild and curious about her surroundings, including who her father could be.

Now a woman she begins to embark her adventures as (fashion/interior) designer. But there is one problem, there’s no man to keep her company.
Ah hah, she [Resshie] comes up with an idea. If she cannot find her match she will just have to make her one. Her first attempt is making Summer out of rose vines, heather, wild oats, corn silk, and flowers. But within a couple of days he began to wither.

This time she another vessel, Ormond, out of sheep wool, feather gulls, horse hair.
He was more durable and able to help Resshie around her house, but he to whiter. Moving on with her life she meets a young prince who has heard of her work, who challenges her to make a tapestry reflecting the sky, and she succeed and captured the heart of the prince who realized she wasn’t fully human, and then took her back to her kingdom.


My Review:
If it weren't for the illustrators I don't think I would ever have been introduced to a fine piece of work such as this. The underlining of this story goes far deeper than a young woman finding her prince, it is also about going through internal struggles in finding yourself amongst your surroundings. Doesn’t matter how successful you are in your line of work—you know Resshie being a seamstress and all, it won’t make you happy. The second moral of the story is learning to embrace the fact that you are different and being conformable in your own skin.     

 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sudeuced by moonlight

File:LaurelKHamilton SeducedByMoonlight.jpgRelease Date: February 3, 2004
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Ballantine
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age group: MA
Book Subjects:
Politics
Sexual Advantages
Power
Reawakening's
Death
Faeries
Overall:3/5

Book Summary:
When her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, becomes obsessed with securing an heir to the throne of Fairie, Meredith spends unfruitful evenings with the Queen's immortal guards and finds her magical powers evolving in unexpected ways.

My Review:
Well, I give Laurell credit for knowing how to keep the readers on their toes, that's for sure. It's like reading a modern day Game of Thrones but with faeries. But I do have this one niche that I can't seem to shake when I reading the Merry Gentry series, it's like a love/hate relationship. I feel like Merry has been nothing more than a commodity for sexual breeding since the first volume, and she can't do anything of the little free will that she does have because it'll cost her life and the love she shares with her guards. She has to do everything to sustain the little time of alliance she has with the goblins, she has to put up with people trying to kill her, and making a baby to claim the throne. It's...a hot mess! At the same time I commend Merry because she's doing everything she has to do in order to survive. So that is my main dissatisfaction with the story, other than that the differentiating politics, culture, and gender roles between the humans and fairies is quite intriguing. Can't wait to see what happens next.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sybil: The Backpack Fairy

Nina loves having her backpack fairy Sybil around! Nina is the only person who can see or hear Sybil and the two have formed a special bond. But when Sybil unexpectedly disappears, a new fairy named Amanite shows up to take her place. Amanite brings Nina to a magical underwater world, where Nina is magically transformed into a tiny mermaid! But then thigns go horribly wrong when sea monsters decide that Nina look mighty delicious! Where’s Sybil when Nina really needs her?


Nina is a girl in middle school with a little brother and a single mom who barely has enough time to spend with her. Put down at school by nasty cliques, Nina’s life is not much fun. All this changes when a magical fairy named Sybil turns up in Nina’s backpack! Sybil and Nina have a blast giving Nina’s tormentors a taste of their own medicine. There’s only one problem: demons from the magical world that Sybil comes from have followed her to our dimension, and they’re out to cause some damage of their own!





 Having a fairy friend can be fun, but it’s not easy. When Nina first met the fairy Sybil and her companion Pandigole, she had no idea the fate of the world would end up resting in her hands. After her defeat in SYBIL THE BACKPACK FAIRY #2, the black fairy Amanite has teamed up with the King of Evil, Aithor, planning to destroy the “trees of life” that are found throughout the world of the Fairies. If these trees are destroyed, not only will the fairy world fall, but the world of humans, as well. In response, the King and Queen of the fairies charge Sybil and Nina with the task of stopping Aithor and Amanite, as Nina gets closer to discovering the truth behind a mysterious prophecy that seems to foretell her future.


When Nina is assigned a history report, she and Sybil decide that the only proper way to research is to travel through time and see history for themselves! Though they have a great time meeting Ramses II, Leonardo da Vinci, and Napoleon, the evil fairy Amanite is observing from the sidelines. While Amanite schemes to turn their adventure against them, Nina and Sybil have to figure out a way to stop her . . . or risk being lost in time forever.

 

Poem of The Month


Friday, February 28, 2014

Wench

Release Date: January 5, 2010
Author: Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Publisher: Amistad; HarperCollins
Age Group: Mature Audience
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Subjects:
Rape
Slavery
Antebellum 
American South
Overall: 4/5

Book Summary: 
Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory--but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

My Review: 
I came across this book a couple of years ago but never got a chance to read it because I had a list of other books in line, so now I've decided to review it for black history month--even though I finished it on the third of March; late review. 
It is the summer of 1852 in Ohio at the Tawawa House, where southern slave owners and their black "concubines" gather in open secrete. The story tells of a women named Eliza (who goes by Lizzie) and her master and father of her two children Nate Jr. and Rabbit-May. At only twenty-three years old life as she once knew is staring to transition along with her friends Sweet, Rennie, Mawu and Phillip. There's a lot going on in Wench.  First off, Lizzie has this teenage puppy-love/slave/master mentality for Drayle that begins to decrease as the book progresses. What I picked on Drayle part was, he was educating and prepping Lizzie to keep her happy and shut her up at the same time.  The only time she sought real solace was when she was around her friends. Through it all the four women encounter horrific turn of events by the hands of their masters, and through each little time they grow from the encounter even if they don't want to. I scuffed at the negative commentary regarding this book because, although I didn't care for Lizzie I understood her motives and why she was afraid to act on running-away. This fear was even more heighten when she realized that Drayle was using their kids as bait to keep her from running away. Although I thought the ending was awkward with how the rest of the novel is set-up, I was glad to see that Lizzie grew up. 
 
Favorite Quotations:
"Long as he a slave, he ain't gone never be a man."
-Phillip

"This just the life you got. Until you do something about it, 
you got to deal with what the Lord bring you."
-Clarissa 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Song: to Celia

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Belle
 
Come, my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever;
He at length our good will sever.
Spend not then his gifts in vain.
Suns that set may rise again;
But if once we lose this light,
’Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our joys?
Fame and rumor are but toys.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poor household spies,
Or his easier ears beguile,
So remov├Ęd by our wile?
’Tis no sin love’s fruit to steal;
But the sweet thefts to reveal,
To be taken, to be seen,
These have crimes accounted been.
-Ben Jonson


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Strang Fruit


Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
-Abel Meeropol


Written as an anti-lynching song the idea of “strange fruit” is a haunting one. “Southern trees” refers to the American South, where at the time of writing lynching was still prevalent. One could take “strange fruit” to mean the black bodies hanging from the trees. “Blood at the root” suggests the cycle of violence. The lynch mobs water the tree with blood breeding evermore hateful fervor.