Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Curses, assorted

Curses, The "F" Bomb-- Thank you, Jeanne Willis, for using the "f" bomb by page three of Walking Naked Without a Hat (2003). It wasn't justifiable, and I won't buy the book. There are some war books, or inner city drug abuse books, that use the word, but this wasn't justifiable.

Curses, Ancient Greek-- Thank you, Paul Shipton, for writing The Pig Scrolls (2004). My favorite joke when I was a Latin teacher was "Pig walks up to a travel agent, and the travel agent says 'So, how was the island of Circe?'" Gryllus has been turned into a pig during his travels with Odysseus, and decides he likes being a pig, albeit a talking one. However, when Chaos is in cahoots with Thanatos (death) in making a plutonium toaster to kill the gods and reduce the earth to, well, chaos, Gryllus has to stop eating pies long enough to help a Junior Assistant Pythia in Training save the world. The fans of Kate McMullan's Myth-oMania series and Riordan's The Lightning Thief (2005) will go wild for this. I hope there is a sequel in progress.

Curses, Bogey Man-- I had to stop reading E.E. Richardson's Devil's Footsteps (2005) when I realized that no one else was awake in my house. It was that creepy! There is something in Bryan's town, something not right, something that is snatching children, including Bryan's brother. Three boys go in search of the mystery behind the Dark Man, and finally have to decide if they can be brave enough to put him to rest once and for all. One nicely gory scene (but it's all an allusion), vicious dream-wolves, and an overwhelming, palpable feeling of dread make this book perfect for horror fans without being something I couldn't stomach. Bravo.

Also read Mary Pope Osborne's Pompeii: Lost and Found (2006), which has beautiful illustations and would be great to read to a class before starting the study of Pompeii, but since it is a picture book, I will probably not buy it.

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