Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Book review on Seventh Son August 12, 2014

I’ve been reading quite a lot, since my internet is variable, and I got about ten free books in the last two weeks, so that means book reviews! The first is on Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
As always, I must praise Card for his excellent choice in stories. He always seems to pick something that is familiar enough to let you feel at home yet unique enough that you are not bored. This book is about an alternate America, one that developed slightly differently than the one in real life, where folk magic is a real power, and where he states developed and grew very differently. The book focuses on one family, the Millers, who have 14 children. One of those children is a seventh son of a seventh son, which is an important placement in folk legends. This child, Alvin Jr., is very special. He has qualities that are different from other children, yet he is still a normal boy. The story revolves around his early years and the mostly unseen battle that rages around him.
While the story is about Alvin, Card does an amazing job of incorporating the culture and history of his alternate America. He seamlessly weaves the folk magic, emigration tales, and politics into the lives of his characters, and while his America is far from perfect, I found myself longing for it to be true. He gave new roles and histories to well know figures like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, and one of the pivotal characters in the story is a famous poet. The story definitely requires that the reader know some American history and literature in order to be fully effective, but even without that background, it is wonderfully written and told.
I would highly recommend Seventh Son to any Card fan and to any person who loves historical fiction or fantasy, as the style is kind of a mixture of both those genres.



Review on Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi February 10, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Dorothy Lynn @ 10:20 pm
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I read this book mostly because I love young adult literature, but also because on of my students is going to start reading it for class (which gave me a perfect excuse to gobble up this great piece of fiction).

I like Avi as a young adult author, although I cannot offhand remember any specific works of his that I have read before. I do have vague recollections of browsing the YA section of my library as a kid and picking up a few of his books.
Crispin is a great story, in the historical fiction genre. It is about a boy in the Middle Ages, after the time of the Black Death, in England. He lives in the small village of Stromford, as a poor widow’s son. He is shunned by his village, but does not know why, and when his mother dies, he is chased from the village after an unjust accusation. After this, he embarks on a journey to find safety, and in the process finds out who he truly is. It is fast paced, and extremely informative, with excellent information about the life and times of people in who lived then. Really my only complaint is that the ending was a bit anticlimactic.
I am excited to have my student read this, and also glad that I get to have an excuse to read good books for my job. I read this book in about 4 hours or so (stretched out over a couple of days). If you like the YA genre, you should definitely partake in this story.