13 November 2011

Censorship Pathfinder


Censorship of Literature
Grade Level: 10-12 grade
Resources:
Books:
1.    120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature

Karolides, Nicholas J., Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova. 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. New York: Checkmark, 2011. Print.
120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature is an updated listing of banned books and the reasoning behind their banning.
2.    Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. Print.
What if you lived in a world where reading was against the law? Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopic version of a future in which firemen light fires in order to destroy books.
3.    The Encyclopedia of Censorship

Green, Jonathon, and Nicholas J. Karolides. The Encyclopedia of Censorship. New York: Facts On File, 2005. Print.
Encyclopedia covers many but not all hot topic issues in censorship in overview from 1990-2000
4.    The Last Safe Place on Earth

Peck, Richard. The Last Safe Place on Earth. New York: Delacorte, 1995. Print.
The Last Safe Place on Earth, deals with censorship in the light of religious fanaticism

5.    Farhenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451. Dir. Fran├žois Truffaut and Laurent Bouzereau. Perf. Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. Vineyard Films [production Company, 1966. DVD.
1966 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel on a world in which censorship has become law and the possession of a book is punishable by the burning of the book, your home, and you within.
6.    The Kid’s Right to Read Project
"The Kids' Right to Read Project." The Kids' Right to Read Project. National Coalition Against Censorship. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://ncac.org/Kids-Right-to-Read>.
The Kids’ Right to Read Projects was established in order to provide education and advocacy in helping those who are faced with challenges to the right to read.
7.    Challenged Children’s Books
"Challenged Children's Books | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign." University Library at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.library.illinois.edu/edx/challenged.htm>.
S-Collection located at the University Library at the University of Illinois in which the titles are banned books and are divided into reading levels.  
8.    NCTE Anti-Censorship Center
"Anti-Censorship Center." National Council of Teachers of English - Homepage. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.ncte.org/action/anti-censorship>.
The NCTE website (National Council of Teachers of English, helps teachers and librarians to establish policies that help when confronted with censorship challenges. The site provides a variety of links to other censorship websites.
9.    The Online Books Page
"Banned Books Online." The Online Books Page. Dec. 2002. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/banned-books.html>.
General article and overview of a variety of censorship issues and imbedded with a various hyperlinks to those books and authors discussed.
10. ALA Banned Books
"ALA | Banned & Challenged Books." ALA | Home - American Library Association. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/index.cfm>.
The ALA (American Library Association) is the primary association for those within the library community and the Banned Books page provides links and statements issued by the ALA concerning the right to read and student rights.
11. Controversial and Banned Books
Banned and Controversial Books. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http://www.banned-books.com/>.
Celebrate the right to read in October and take a tour of authors and books that have been banned. Hyperlinked encyclopedia type page.
12. Websites on Banned Books and Censorship
"Websites on Banned Books and Censorship." Websites on Banned Books and Censorship. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://lib.williamson-tn.org/YA/bbwwebsites.pdf>.
List of 10 websites that discuss censorship or provide copies of banned books.

10 November 2011

WebQuest--Twilight Diary


WebQuest-Twilight Diary

       I.        Basics:

a.    Background information.

Twilight is the beginning of a four part young adult fantasy series. This is an introduction into the young adult paranormal genre. The characters and their actions are vital to any story. Although set in modern times, there are a multitude of characters from different places and different times, and these characters add to the story as a whole, defining them.  Understanding these characters and where they come from is important to understanding the whole book and whether or not the author has been true to the history she has laid the groundwork for.

b.    Purpose and objectives.

In order to understand who these characters are and where they come from, in pairs, you will choose two characters and develop a journal for them. This will be a set of diaries and you will research where they come from in order to help with the entries. At the end, you will present the diaries to the class and will justify your position as to whether or not the author was true to the history these characters supposedly came from.

Age Group: This novel being a young adult work would be best suited for grades 9 and over.

      II.        Activities:

Before starting you must pick a pair:

Bella and Edward

Bella and Jacob

Jasper and Alice

Rosalie and Emmett

Esme and Carlisle

You will be researching each characters background or birth place and time, along with their current setting. While the characters are fictional, their settings are very real places. It is important to write these journal entries with the current setting in mind, use the characters voice in the writing.

You will create both a front and back cover. Inside will include at least 6 images—these can be drawn, printed from the Internet, or taken from magazines.

Each character should have at least 15 journal entries. Each entry should be 1-2 paragraphs long and should be written in the distinct style of the character, reflecting their grammar, style, and by association their education level and unique character traits.

Prepare a short 10 minute presentation on your journals and highlight what makes them important to understanding the characters. During your presentations you will also justify whether or not the book’s portrayal of these characters was in line with the research you conducted on their environments and times.

    III.        The Tour:

The following are a list of websites that will help you in understanding where the characters came from.

Welcome to Forks

The Quileute Nation

Mississippi Encyclopedia

Mississippi Archives

Rochester Historical Society

Encyclopedia.com—New York

Everyday Life in the Stuart Era

Encyclopedia Britannica—London History

Tennessee History for Kids

Tennessee Encyclopedia

Library of Congress Digitized Newspapers (1836-1922)

Ohio History Central

Encyclopedia of Chicago

The City of Chicago

Under the Rebel Flag-Texas and the Civil War

The Texas Calvary

Stephanie Meyer-Twilight

 

   IV.        Evaluation:

 

Beginning

1

Developing

3

Accomplished

5

Score

Diary Entries

Entries are incomplete. Less than 15 per character or/and not a full paragraph long.

Entries are the absolute minimum, exhibiting in the work and effort.

Entries are detailed and thorough. The student goes above and beyond instructions.

 

Visuals

There are no visuals present.

There are only 4 or 5 visuals.

There are 6 or more visuals.

 

Internet Research

Did not research the characters at for the diaries.

Collected some information online for the diaries.

Collected all needed information in order to produce a genuine entry.

 

Teamwork

Did not work with partner. Severely uneven workload.

Worked well with partner, but the workload was still uneven.

Worked well with partner and the work was evenly distributed.

 

Presentation

Obviously unrehearsed and lacked cohesive delivery. No justifications present.

Moderately effective but was a little unorganized and needed more rehearsal. Justifications were provided but not backed by research.

Presentation clear, effective, and concise.  Justifications were grounded in research.

 


01 November 2011

September/October Books 2011

First off, I'd like to apologize. This semester has been excruciating for me and as a result, I've fallen off the blog universe. September was especially hard when it came to reading as well. I was desperately trying to finish a series that really didn't endear itself to me in the fifth book, but more of that below. This will be long as I'm including pictures and both months here. As always, any questions, send me a message. . .
Title: A Song of Fire and Ice: A Dance with Dragons, Book 5
Author: George R. R. Martin
Pages: 1016
Age Level: Adult

This book just about killed me. It took me most of the month of September to finish it because it simply dragged on and on. The book could have been half as long and been far more engaging. I swear, half the book is simply a listing of everything they eat at feasts, and apparently the people eat ALOT!! It really stalled the book whenever something like that came up, because it would go on for pages describing every serving and they didn't settle for one or two, no there were usually like fifty. One or two of these scenes would have been enough to show what the people ate, it was totally unnecessary to go on and on like Martin did. I got half way through and seriously considered stopping, but when you've read more than 500 pages already, it's so hard to just give up. The main story line is compelling, but while this is both a companion and extension of book four, I was really disappointed in it as a whole. Too much was left out and I'm getting tired of the bad guys always winning. After a while, while that may be "reality", it becomes taxing. Eventually you want the good guys to win, and this book really makes you think that's not going to happen ever.

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 198
Grade Level: 8-12 grade

Speak is about a girl entering the ninth grade with a big black mark on her. She called the cops at a party over the summer and got alot of people in trouble. The problem is that while everyone hates her for this, they don't understand why she did it. At that party she had been raped, and she told no one. She tried to tell the police, but couldn't speak when she called them. She doesn't speak about it at all for most of the book but spirals and deals with the hate all around her and the torment of her rapist as well in silence and alone. Through one teacher who allows her time to find her voice again, she finally begins a path back. This is a great book that really makes you think about how to deal with the student or person in your life that needs the most help but never asks for it.

Title: Dragon's Oath
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
Pages: 145
Grade Level: 6-10 grade

This is a background spin off novella of the House of Night series. It tells the story of Dragon Lankford and Anastasia. It's short, it's sweet, and it's intense. It really shows a piece of a character that is not delved into in the main books.

Title: The Gray Wolf Throne, Book 3
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Pages: 517
Grade Level: 6-12

Fighting for a throne is hard work especially when you don't have anyone you can really trust. This is the third book in this series and it is apparent the series isn't over. It's a story of strength, love, magic, and deception.

Title: The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune, Book 2
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages: 521
Grade Level: 5-10

Welcome back Percy Jackson! This is the adventure of Percy at the Roman encampment. The timeline is in conjunction with the first book. I just love Riordan. He really has a talent of bringing the ancient Gods and all the drama around them to life.

Title: The Death Cure, Book 3
Author: James Dashner
Pages: 324
Grade Level: 9-12

This is one wild ride and the conclusion of the trilogy. At the end of the book, all I could think was "duh!! why didn't they do that in the first place." This book deals alot of death and struggle and in the end one is left with both hope and despair. Definitely a fitting end for the series.

Title: Crescendo, Book 2
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Pages: 427
Grade Level: 9-12

I just received the third book in this series and realized I'd never gotten around to the second, oops. This is a paranormal romance.


Title: Silence, Book 3
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Pages: 438
Grade Level: 9-12

The third book in the series and definitely not the end. This book shows that love, real love, can break down any barrier.

Title: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, Book 1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 325
Grade Level: 9-12

Faeries are dangerous and tricky. They sure don't like it when you fight back. For Deirdre it is even harder because she is a cloverhand, which makes her magical and a threat to the current Faerie Queen. Add in that the assassin sent to kill her falls in love with her instead and you have a fun tale with heavy Irish lore and a romance you both root for and despair over.


Title: Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie, Book 2
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 353
Grade Level: 9-12

A sad second part when you realize that love doesn't conquer all afterall. Deirdre's voice is all by absent in this second book and that is actually quite well done, as it shows her severe isolation and just how lost she is.

Title: The Ranger's Apprentice: The Lost Stories
Author: John Flanagan
Pages: 422
Grade Level: 5-9

These are supplemental stories to the series and also serve as a bridge between The Ranger's Apprentice series and the upcoming Brotherband Chronicles. It answers some fan questions about the series and finally Will and Alyss are married.

October was a much better month than September. Only the first three were read in September, I felt like an utter failure, but thankfully October was blessed with a lot of new releases that I have had on preorder for months. This next month, I will be beginning again with the Eragon series since the final book is finally being released this month!!!!

Total for September: 1,359
Total for October: 3,327
Total for 2011: 31,643

06 September 2011

King Hugo's Huge Ego

Title: King Hugo's Huge Ego
Author: Chris Van Dusen
Pages: 38
Grade Level: K-4

This is a children's book. The rhyming on the first read sounded forced but the more I read the book the more I loved it. The illustrations are beautiful, large, and colorful. The text and pictures together make for wonderful harmony. I read the book to all my kids (ages 3, 5, 7, and 9) and they all absolutely loved the book.  It is funny and sweet all while teaching the lesson of how being full of yourself doesn't make you loved it only makes you full of hot air!

01 September 2011

Reading Log-August 2011

First off I would like to apologize for the total lack of reviews lately. I have times when I struggle with things and this is just one of those times, lasting a bit longer than I would like but that is just the way of life. Trust me, just remembering to put up my log is hard enough, but I am always up to questions. If you have any about anything I read, no matter in what context--as a reader, a researcher, a teacher, a librarian, and so forth--please, do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for your patience.

Reading Log

The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen, Book 8          400
By: Joseph Delany

A Song of Fire and Ice:
   A Game of Thrones          835
   A Clash of Kings              1009
   A Storm of Swords           1175
   A Feast for Crows             1060

Total for the month of August:  4479
Total for 2011:  26,957

07 August 2011

July 2011 Reading Log

The Maze Runner          374
By: James Dashner

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks         345
By: E. Lockhart

Magyk         562
Flyte            532
Physik         544
Queste         596
Syren           628
Darke           641
By: Angie Sage

Forever: The Wolves of Mercy Falls          390
Book 3
By: Maggie Stiefvater

The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel         380
Book 5
By: Michael Scott

Total for the Month of July: 4992
Total for 2011:  22,476

***Any questions give me a yell. And I really apologize for being so behind on reviews. Honestly, after two semesters of Grad school and all the writing I have to do, I just needed a break. So, if you have questions about a book or a series, drop me a line. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

19 July 2011

Literature Project--The Supernatural

An annotated bibliography for my Literature and Media for Young Adult class. Topic--The Supernatural.


Literature Project: The Supernatural

House of Night Series (Authors: P.C. and Kristin Cast)
Cast, P. C., and Kristin Cast. Marked. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2007.
Marked

 
Marked begins the tale of Zoey Redbird, a fledgling vampire who has been gifted with special abilities by the goddess Nyx. In this tale, vampires are not made; simply, some among us are born to be vampires. These vampires are not immortal although they do live a VERY long time. The change to become a vampire also takes time. They may be “marked” as a future vampire, this entails the crescent moon showing up on their foreheads, but surviving the change that growing up causes to occur is another thing altogether. Not all vampires marked survive the change to become fully fledged vampires.  In the first book of the series, Zoey is marked by a tracker, but she is further marked by her goddess Nyx. Zoey is unusual in that she is a mere fledgling, but her crescent is filled in, something that does not usually occur until after one becomes a real vampire. Zoey must learn to walk the social dangers that surround her, including an evil “headmistress,” a power hungry socialite fledgling Aphrodite, although Aphrodite does become Zoey’s friend throughout the series, in this first book, she is a very dangerous force to be reckoned with, and of course there are always boys! Boys and men, who wish to have Zoey for their own. Through it all Zoey must learn to harness the powers she has been gifted with, the ability to use and control the five elements—earth, air, fire, water, and spirit—and still remain true to herself.
***The series continues with the following books, the 9th book to be released later this year: Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, and Destined.

The Mortal Instruments Series (Author: Cassandra Clare)
Clare, Cassandra. City of Bones. New York: M.K. McElderry Books, 2007.
City of Bones

The City of Bones is the first book in the series known as The Mortal Instruments. While at a nightclub with her friend Simon Lewis, Clary Fray witnesses a murder, a murder no one else can see. She is shocked and confused when Jace tells her that those killed were demons. When she returns home she finds her mother is missing and while in the apartment, Clary is attacked by a demon. Using the tracker that Jace gave her, she is able to kill the demon but is injured during the attack. Jace comes to her rescue and brings her to the Institute, where she recuperates, and meets Jace’s tutor, Hodge Starkweather. Hodge calls in the Silent Brothers to open Clary’s mind, but they find her mind blocked. During the process, Clary is able to remember things which lead them all to the home of Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn. During the party at Magnus’s house, Simon is taken by a vampire coven. Jace and Clary go to rescue him, and all three are saved by Luke, a werewolf. Through this all, Clary discovers the location of the Mortal Cup, and upon its retrieval, Clary, Isabelle, Alec, and Jace give the cup to Hodge. Only then does Hodge reveal that he is actually working for Valentine, a man who is meant to be dead—a fallen Shadowhunter and Clary’s real father. Valentine kidnaps Jace and when everyone goes to rescue him, Valentine reveals that Jace is also his son. Although Clary is able to rescue Jace and her mother, Valentine escapes, leaving Clary haunted by who her father is and the knowledge that she has fallen in love with her “brother.”
***The series continues through the following books: City of Ashes, City of Glass, and City of Fallen Angels.

The Last Apprentice Series (Author: Joseph Delany)
Delaney, Joseph, and Patrick Arrasmith. Revenge of the Witch. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2005.
Revenge of the Witch

Published as the beginning of The Last Apprentice series in the U.S. (the Wardstone Chronicles in the U.K.), begins the adventures of Tom Ward. The seventh son of a seventh son, who is apprenticed to the local Spook, a man who fights against the Dark. The Dark includes creatures such as, witches (both “normal” and lamia—which are far from looking human, unless they live around humans long enough), boggarts, ghosts/ghasts, and a host of other unnatural creatures that generally tend to feed off of humans.  In the first book, Tom, although warned to beware “women with pointy shoes”, comes across Alice. Alice is a witch, a girl with pointy shoes, who tricks Tom into releasing one of the witches imprisoned on the Spooks property. Although he doesn’t know what he’s doing, nor does Alice really, it is the beginning of a dangerous life for Tom and a precarious friendship with Alice. 
The books, narrated from Tom’s point of view, are supposedly taken from Tom’s diary. They chronicle Tom’s life as an apprentice, which is never easy and on occasion, downright terrifying and horrible. Tom, however, is very special. He is the seventh son of a seventh son, and his mom—well, read the book for that one, let’s just say her genetic code definitely helps make Tom pretty spectacular.  Tom must follow his own journey, no matter what the Spook says, and he above most adults around him, learns that the world is not so black and white.  Sometimes, to defeat the Dark, one must walk a Grey path instead of the Light.
***The series continues through the following books: Curse of the Bane, Night of the Soul Stealer, Attack of the Fiend, Wrath of the Bloodeye, Clash of the Demons, Rise of the Huntress, and Rage of the Fallen.

Hush, Hush (Author: Becca Fitzpatrick)
Fitzpatrick, Becca. Hush, Hush. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009.
Hush, Hush

Nora Grey is both repulsed and intrigued by Patch Cipriano. His behavior is beyond odd, and after several life threatening moments that involve him, Nora is determined to find out exactly who he is. Turns out, Patch is really a fallen angel, a fallen angel determined to be human. In order for him to become human, he must kill his Nephilim vassal, and as it turns out, Nora is the descendant of Patch’s Nephilim vassal, so she qualifies as the right sacrifice. If Patch kills Nora, he can finally be human. However, Patch takes a wrong turn in his path and winds up falling in love with Nora. This makes killing her quite the dilemma for Patch. He wants so much to be human, but he can’t help wanting Nora to know who he is. As it turns out, his Nephilim vassal, a one Chauncey Langeais is actually pretending to be Jules, a friend of Nora’s. He wants revenge on Patch for the oath he swore to him that allowed Patch to inhabit his body one day a year. In the final battle, Nora chooses to sacrifice herself so that Patch can be human and by so doing she kills Chauncey. However, Patch’s love finally wins out and Patch saves Nora’s life. In so doing, he becomes her Guardian Angel, and they are finally able to be together. At least for now. . .
***The series continues through the following books: Crescendo and Silence.

The Stoneheart Trilogy (Author: Charlie Fletcher)
Fletcher, Charlie. Stoneheart. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2007.
Stoneheart

When George Chapman breaks the head off of a stone dragon on the outside of the London Natural History Museum in a fit of anger, he is plunged into another layer of London aptly named Un-London. After breaking the dragon, George is pursued by the stone creatures on the surface of the Museum. In this new world, the statues of London live. Spits are the human statues, and they are more “human” in their natures; they can speak because they have the spirit of their creators within them. Taints, generally the animal statues, are ruled by “The Stone;” they are unable to speak, being without a spirit. George is hunted throughout this Un-London on his journey of self-discovery and to repair that which he broke. Along the way, he meets Edie—a “glint”, which is someone who can touch the stone and feel everything that happened to it, which usually means, the horrible things that happened to people within the stone’s walls. The Gunner, a spit, helps George in his journey, which is extremely dangerous, as there is a war between spits and taints all around them, and repairing the damage he did, is not a simple task at all. To make it all more complicated, it turns out that George is himself a ‘maker’ which is exactly as it sounds, a person with the gift of creating the life of statues. His gifts cause both chaos and repair to occur all around him as he navigates this new world in the hopes of making it home.
This trilogy must be read all together to really have a grasp on the entire plot. None of the books could really stand alone. The other books in the trilogy are: Ironhand and Silvertounge.

Need Series (Author: Carrie Jones)
Jones, Carrie. Need. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.
Need

Need begins this series. The Need series is a paranormal romance that includes Pixies and Were. Were exist in many forms, not just werewolves, but werebears, wereeagles, and so forth. Were exist to fight pixies and to keep humans safe from them.
In the first book, Zara White goes to live with her grandmother in Maine. Zara’s step-father has recently died of a sudden heart attack, and her mother is worried about her, thinking she will be much safer with her grandmother. Zara loves to run and is obsessive about her Amnesty International letter writing. Even though she should be safer being with her grandmother, her grandmother is afterall a weretiger (which is not known to Zara through most of the book), she is far from safe. There is a war brewing. Zara’s real father is actually a pixie king, and he is losing control of his pixies, which is what happens when a pixie king is without a queen, the role Zara’s mother promised to take and backed out of. New pixies are beginning to infiltrate the area and wage war on Were and human alike, all to get to Zara. As the daughter of a pixie king, Zara, if turned, would make a formidable Queen and everyone wants her to be there’s. Added complication, Zara and Nick, who happens to be a werewolf, fall in love with one another. Nick absolutely hates pixies. Zara must fight for her life, her love, and her right to choose her own path.
***The series continues through the following books: Captivate and Entice.

Blood and Chocolate (Author: Annette Curtis Klause)

Klause, Annette Curtis. Blood and Chocolate. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997.

Blood and Chocolate


            Vivian Gandillon loves being a werewolf. There is nothing better than the change that turns her from an insignificant human to a power wolf. She is beautiful and strong, but the loss of her father, who had been pack leader, has caused chaos to surround her. Vivian fills alone in a crowd, and she cannot stand the fighting of her pack. Vivian wants nothing more than to feel like she belongs and to find peace. Vivian falls in love with a “meat boy,” a human named Aiden. Aiden is fascinated by the supernatural and his kindness and gentleness is a welcome distraction from the fighting all around Vivian. When she finally reveals herself to Aiden, he is well and truly freaked out, and Vivian is lost once again. A brutal murder is committed the very night she leaves Aiden and all the signs point to Vivian. The pack knows that this could lead to exposure, and so they determine that it is time to stop fighting and choose a leader. In order to do so, all the wolves who wish to be leader must fight until first blood. Gabriel becomes pack leader. After his win, the women who wish to be his mate also fight to first blood, but when Vivian’s mother is attacked, she jumps to save her, unwittingly naming herself Gabriel’s mate. More murders occur, and Vivian begins to believe that she has become a danger to her pack. She decides the only way to stop the killing is to kill herself. Gabriel stops her, and they are able to prove that the murders were committed by others in the pack that wanted to destroy Vivian. In Gabriel, Vivian is finally able to find that other part of herself, a man with whom she can share all that she is.

Twilight Series (Author: Stephanie Meyers)
Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown and, 2006.
Twilight

Twilight is the first part in a four part series. This series is another paranormal romance. Vampires and werewolves are real and Bella Swan finds herself mixed up in it all.
When Bella Swan moves to Forks, WA to live with her father, Charlie, all she was trying to do was give her mother the freedom to be with her new husband without the responsibility of feeling like she had to stay home with her daughter all the time. Her first day of school, she meets Edward Cullen. He disappears after she first sees him for several weeks, and upon returning to school, he saves her life. The circumstance of which are weird, but only Bella seems to notice. She becomes determined to discover the truth. Her search for the truth brings her into Edward’s world, a world of vampires. Falling in love with one another is a dangerous business. Edward is afterall a vampire, and there is no human blood that calls to him like Bella’s, but they are determined to be with one another. When another group of vampires come into the neighborhood, people start dying. An encounter between the two clans brings Bella face to face with her death. James, one of the other vampires, is a tracker and he lives for the hunt. Noticing the way Edward is with Bella, he realizes this will be his greatest hunt. Bella is lured into James’s trap and is bitten. Edward and his family arrive in time to save her life and to kill James. Bella wants nothing more than to be with Edward forever as a vampire herself, but he simply loves her too much to allow that to happen. Their falling in love with one another is the catalyst for the entire series.
***The series continues through the following books: New Moon, Eclipse, and  Breaking Dawn.

Fablehaven Series (Author: Brandon Mull)
Mull, Brandon. Fablehaven. [Salt Lake City, Utah]: Shadow Mountain, 2007.
Fablehaven

When Kendra and Seth are sent to stay with their grandparents for two weeks while their folks go on a cruise with their mother’s family, all they can think is BORING! Upon arrival, the kids are told their grandmother is off visiting their great aunt. They are introduced to the housekeeper, Lena, and Dale who is the groundskeeper. Seth and Kendra are given only two rules: they must stay in the yard or the house at all times and they are never to go into the barn. Their grandfather brings them to their room and gives them three keys, to “see what they can unlock.”  Kendra continues to explore the key situation, and Seth decides to adventure into the woods, in direct violation of the rules. Kendra finds a journal and following the clues within, Kendra learns she must “drink the milk.” Once she does, a whole new world opens up before her eyes. She of course shares this with her brother. Their grandparents are actually keepers of a very special preserve full of magical creatures. On Fablehaven, there is an evil stirring. When Kendra and Seth’s grandfather is taken, they must find the courage to release an evil witch to save their grandmother and Kendra must find the strength to seek the Fairy Queen’s aid, raising an army of fairies to save the preserve and all of their lives. Together Seth and Kendra find what is really worth fighting for.
            ***The series continues through the following books: Rise of the Evening Star, Grip of the Shadow Plague, Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary, and Keys to the Demon Prison.

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica (Author: James A Owens)
Owen, James A. Here, There Be Dragons. New York: Simon Pulse, 2006.
Here, There Be Dragons

            When John’s mentor Stellen is killed, John and his friends Charles and Jack are entrusted with a very special book, The Imaginarium Geographica. The holding of the book puts them in danger from the Winter King. Bert comes to their rescue, and journeying on Bert’s ship the Indigo Dragon, they enter the Archipelago. The Winter King is after the High King’s Ring. The Archipelago is in disarray, having lost its line of kings, held by Arthur. The men soon realize that The Imaginarium Geographica could be dangerous in the wrong hands and are determined to destroy it. The only one who can destroy the book is the one that made it, the Cartographer of Lost Places. They journey to the Keep of Time to find the cartographer. The book is stolen before they make it to the keep, but along the way they learn that their potboy, Artus, is actually a descendent of Arthur and therefore King of the Archipelago. They also learn that the Winter King is using Pandora’s box to create shadow minions, creatures with no will of their own that do the bidding of the Winter King. The final battle takes place on an island at the end of the world. Charles is given the task of closing the box, Jack is to fight on the battlefield, and John is to take Artus to the bluffs where with the right incantation and the ring of power, a descendant of Arthur could summon the dragons to their aid. The dragons are able to defeat the Winter King, who turns out to be Mordred, and he is thrown off the edge of the world. The men are finally able to return home and add their names to the list of guardians of The Imaginarium Geographica: Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien.
The series continues through the following books: The Search for the Red Dragon, The Indigo King, The Shadow Dragons, and The Dragon’s Apprentice.

Septimus Heap (Author: Angie Sage)
Sage, Angie, and Mark Zug. Magyk. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2005.
Magyk

Silas Heap is returning to the castle when he finds a baby girl, Jenna, hidden in the snow. He saves her, bringing her home to his wife and their seven children. The same evening, Sarah Heap has given birth to their seventh son, Septimus. Silas Heap himself was a seventh son. The boy is declared dead by the midwife and she runs off with him before anyone can stop her. On Jenna’s tenth birthday, Marcia Overstrand arrives at the Heap’s door; she is the ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Marcia reveals that Jenna is in fact the princess, whom Marcia was able to save ten years previous from assassination. However, those who killed the Queen are after Jenna again. Jenna goes with Marcia to the Wizard Tower and on the way they save the life of a young army lad known only as Boy 412. Silas and Nicko—one of Jenna’s brothers—comes to the tower to tell Marcia that they best place to hide would be at their Aunt Zelda’s house. When the assassin comes to the tower, all of them escape to Aunt Zelda’s cottage. Once at the cottage, Boy 412 discovers a magic dragon ring and he learns that he himself has magyk. Marcia is tricked back to the castle and captured by DomDaniel. DomDaniel is a necromancer, a former ExtraOrdinary wizard who turned to evil Darke Magyk. He has returned to take over the Wizard Tower and the kingdom. Imprisoned on DomDaniel’s ship, Marcia is finally rescued by Nicko, Jenna, and Boy 412 with the help of a Dragon Boat that they discover in a hidden chamber under Aunt Zelda’s cottage. In the end, it is revealed that Boy 412 is really Septimus Heap, and he finally accepts the appointment of apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard.
***The series continues through the following books: Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, and Darke.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Author: Maggie Stiefvater)
Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. New York: Scholastic Press, 2009.
Shiver

            When Grace was a child, she was dragged into the woods by a pack of wolves. She was saved by one wolf in particular, one with yellow-eyes, her wolf, who brought her back home. Grace has watched the wolves ever since, haunted by a feeling of wanting to join them. Sam lives two lives, in the winter he is one with the pack. In the summer, the warmth turns Sam human again. Grace meets Sam, a boy with yellow eyes just like her wolf’s. As with all the other wolves before him, Sam is aware that he only gets so many summers. His seem lifetime of shifting is shorter than most, and no one knows why. Finally getting up the courage to talk with Grace, he wants so much to remain human. The weather is not on their side. Sam knows if he turns this time, he won’t be coming back, and that is simply unacceptable. Grace is determined to find a cure, and Sam only has to hold out until that happens. Together they discover that heat may hold the key to the cure, and they decide to inject Sam with a virus that will cause a fever so high as to hopefully kill the wolf within. Sam turns before he can be injected, but Grace is able to give him the injection anyway. In the end, the cure works for Sam, and finally Grace and he can be together, at least for now.  
            ***The series continues through the following books: Linger and Forever.