Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! The Lure of the Dead

Happy Halloween! Here's a question for school librarians out there: I deliver a three minute lesson to most of the language arts classes during their weekly visits. I've covered plagiarism, internet safety, genre, book care, the newspaper, blogs, reference resources, and several other topics this year, but want something new and exciting, especially  since I give the same lesson to all three grades. Any ideas for something fun that I can cover in no more than five minutes without an LCD projector?

Delaney, Joseph. The Lure of the Dead. (Last Apprentice #10)
21 August 2012, HarperCollins

Tom Ward and the John Gregory, the Spook, are back after Grimalkin: The Witch Assassin, trying to repair the damage to their house while making sure the Fiend's head stays hidden so he can't come back and give them trouble. Tom finds out that he is essential to doing away with the Fiend permanently; it will just take getting possession of three powerful knives, one of which Alice must retrieve from the dark. The problem? Tom will then be required to sacrifice Alice with the very knife she brings back. He wants to avoid telling anyone this, however, so he and the Spook concentrate on rebuilding their library. They have been given the name of a Romanian woman, Cosmina Fresque, who is willing to sell some of her books in order to fix up the house she inherited. The two travel there and look at the books, finding the dangerous grimoire Doomdryte as well as a book by a former apprentice. But, as it often is in this world, Madame Fresque is not all that she seems, and danger is lurking around every corner. It will take Tom, the Spook, Judd, Alice, Grimalkin and many other characters, alive and dead, from the past to keep the Fiend at bay. And this isn't the last book! Slither's Tale, book eleven, comes out in January of 2013!
Strengths: I do not like violent, gory books, but I love these! In between the action and killing monsters with pikes through their hearts, they are deeply philosophical about the nature of good and evil, and I just can't stop reading them! The relationships are always intriguing-- the Spook and Tom, Tom and Alice, even Alice and his mother, the Lamia-- all have such depth and interest. Then there is always the question of whether the Fiend will escape, and more importantly, will characters go to the Dark. It takes a really good series to hold my attention for ten books and keep me wanting more!
Weaknesses: I don't think book 11 will be the last, and any series over 12 books really tries my patience, even if it is awesome. I do want to see the movie when it comes out, although it's probably too scary for my tastes!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:16 PM EDT

    Did you already cover book banning? That always gets them pretty riled up :-)

    How to read a graphic novel? Even a few little tips could enhance their experience.

    Mythology review with the recent Riordan book's publication - or also have you done the current words we use that are all related to mythology lesson?

    And there's a fun common phrases (and insults) that come from Shakespeare lesson, too. Let them know that literature is really everywhere!

    will try to think of some others. Am fairly dependent on the LCD projector myself...

    Also - sort of random - have you heard of the 90 Second Newbery project?
    Great fun! There's curriculum available, too. Let me know if you want it to share.