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To be honest, I was first drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover. Who wouldn't fall for the jeweled toned rich hues suggesting autumn evenings wrapped up in cashmere? Then I noticed the girl, front and center oddley white except for a hint of a blush on her cheeks and gold toned eyes. I was curious.
Furthermore joined me on my journey upstate to my summertime reading retreat. It's August pub date meant it wasn't the first book that I read, but I kept eyeing it as I pulled others from the shelf. Clocking in at 393 pages, this is not a slight read, but once I started it, I put it down only to sleep.
Alice, almost twelve, is filled with anticipation for Ferenwood's annual Surrender. She is anxious for life to change, because frankly Alice's life hasn't been so easy lately. Not only is Alice considered odd, even by Ferenwood's magical standards, her father is still missing. Alice's father is the one who really cared for her and understood her despite her differences from everyone else in Ferenwood. He indulged her and listened to her. And now it was only Alice, her three little brothers and her mother.
"Alice was beginning to realize that while she didn't much like Mother, Mother didn't much like her, either. Mother didn't care for the oddness of Alice; she wasn't a parent who was predisposed to liking her children." (p.10)
Because of her situation, the Surrender is more important to Alice than she can really say. Ferenwood is a magical place, and everyone who resides there has magical gifts. The Surrender is the time when all the 12 year olds share their gifts upon the stage. At the end of the surrender, only one child would be celebrated and given a task. The task is always an adventure of some sort and is rather secretive as well. This year there are 86 twelve-year-olds. Alice meeds to win the task in order to leave her home.
But Alice is odd, and she believes that in this magical world, her love of dance is her gift. After all her father always encouraged her to listen to the earth and to dance when she feels it.
Alice's failure on the stage, however, is not the death knell for adventure. An acquaintance of hers named Oliver approaches her with a request. One that will bring her on the adventure of her life if she chooses to accompany him.
What follows is an adventure reminiscent of the Phantom Tollbooth, with a dash of Through the Looking Glass and a coming of age bent. Furthermore is a place like no other. The orderly magic of Ferenwood is wild here, and the rules seem to change from town to town. Will Oliver and Alice be able to find her father and bring him home?
This is a fantasy adventure that will keep readers on the edge of the page. Interestingly both Alice and Oliver are unlikeable at times for very different reasons which get slowly revealed as their adventure moves along. At first I was worried about the idea of Alice being white in the sea of color that is Ferenwood. What did it mean? But it works in that it others Alice in a way but helps explain her own magic as the story unfurls.
I enjoyed the voicey nature of Furthermore. Alice, though exasperating, is endearing as well. I was charmed by the chapter sections' headings as well as the fox! There is a cinematic aspect to Furthermore and I would *love* to see it on the big screen.
It's time for holidays! Your suitcase is packed, you're ready to leave, and cannot wait to get a proper tan to show on social media. Mark Twain used to say that “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”, but unfortunately the health problems we may come across while travelling are far less poetic. Danger is always lurking, especially in far-flung and unexplored destinations.
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Last November, I went to the grocery store and saw a display of Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - stuff on display - imported from a non-Latin American country overseas, in plastic. I was... Read the rest of this post
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Aquafortis got me thinking about comfort reads a few weeks ago. While I really started reading fiction mostly late in high school, I have some read-again books which resonate with me mostly because of... Read the rest of this post
Synopsis: With cover blurbs from the likes of Rachel Hartman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Anne Ursu, and Ingrid Law, the MG fantasy Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe should have caught my eye earlier. I met Eleanor at a conference this summer and I'm a... Read the rest of this post
Synopsis: The first book in this trilogy, The Falconer (reviewed here), was one of those surprise reads for me—as a combination of historical fantasy, faeries, and a dash of steampunk and romance, I wasn't sure I would like it. I've read a lot of... Read the rest of this post
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Full disclosure: Gwenda is a blog buddy, and she and AF share the same agent, so this is more of a "hey another Bond book!" advertisement than a terribly critical booktalk. AF reviewed the first book in... Read the rest of this post
Synopsis: Much as the cover of this one might suggest a romance novel or something particularly girly, don't be fooled. The Winner's Kiss is the conclusion to the trilogy that started with The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime, both of which I... Read the rest of this post
Synopsis: If you keep up with Finding Wonderland, you'll know I already have plenty of awe and amazement for graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks. (See reviews here, here, and here, and interview here.) Her latest contribution—officially to be... Read the rest of this post
Preparation for the Spelling Congress is underway. The more people will send in their proposals, the better. On the other hand (or so it seems to me), the fewer people participate in this event and the less it costs in terms of labor/labour and money, the more successful it will turn out to be. The fate of English spelling has been discussed in passionate terms since at least the 1840s.
It’s a madcap tale of one bright Nate Bannister, who – rather admirably – makes a conscious effort to keep his life interesting; every Friday the 13th he chooses to do three things which are either a challenge or likely to bring some adventure. This year this includes creating an enormous, invisible cat who does indeed make life rather more exciting… by going on the rampage.
Fortunately Nate has a loyal friend (indeed, his only friend), Delphine, and together they try all sorts of things to stop the crazy cat from destroying their neighbourhood. Inventions galore and smart thinking abound, but it’s not at all straight forward, because the Red Death Tea Society (ominous baddies of the most evil variety, who just happen to have astonishing tea brewing skills) are set on preventing Nate and Delphine from saving the day.
This riotous book, ideal for 9-12s, celebrates being a little bit different and being curious and clever. Brilliantly, it does this with a great dose of silliness and laughter, so it always feels exhilarating and never sanctimonious. Pacey, eccentric, highly imaginative and with characters and a story line likely to appeal to both boys and girls, I’d suggest How to Capture an Invisible Cat to anyone who loves off-the-wall adventure and thinking outside the box.
There’s something very mysterious about the Red Death Tea Society and so we couldn’t resist having a go at making up some tea they might enjoy. We gathered our tea making ingredients; a mixture of warm spices (cinammon, cardomum, cloves, star anise), fresh herbs (rosemary, sage mint), citrus zest (lemon and orange) and sugar lumps, plus small muslin squares to make the teabags (alternatively you could make teabags out of coffee filters using these instructions, or be inspired by this tea bag themed pinterest board).
Deciding on tea flavours was a bit like mixing up magic potions.
Once the flavours were carefully selected, the muslin squares (about 12cm long on each side) were tied up with red thread, and a tea bag label was stapled onto the thread (using a knot to hold it in place).
M designed the logo for the teabags, but if you’d like to use them you can download them here (pdf).
Once all our teabags were ready, we made boxes for them:
Thinking of three things which would make your life more interesting and attempting to achieve one of them! They don’t need to be quite as crazy as Nate’s ideas – you could decide as a family to learn a new language or skill, try a new cafe or just asking your local librarian for a book recommendation. And if you want to know when all the Friday the 13ths are – here’s a handy table.
If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: Long ago, Fei's community of hearing impaired people was cut off from others by a huge rockslide. Their mining community continued to mine, and to send down their wealth of metals via zipline... Read the rest of this post
Check it out--no whitewashing here!Synopsis: The Fog Diver was this year's Cybils Award winner for Elementary and Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction, and I've been intending to read it for several months now—so when it won the Cybils I made a... Read the rest of this post
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: Safiya fon Hasstrel is a Truthwitch, who can discern the truth in all situations, and of the upper class. Though she usually doesn't look or act like it, as her uncle has drank away much of the... Read the rest of this post
StoryMakers guest Steve Light returned to KidLit TV HQ to read his latest book, Swap! A young first-time pirate barters his way around the port to help a friend in need.
Swap! is one of several new books Steve Light will have published in 2016. Steve revisits his signature illustration style; black and white drawings — with a pop of color — and tons of detail. Steve continues to encourage young readers to explore and collaborate with the aid of friendly and helpful characters.
KidLit TV’s Read Out Loud series is perfect for parents, teachers, and librarians. Use these readings for nap time, story time, bedtime … anytime!
Written and illustrated by Steve Light
Published by Candlewick Press
An old ship. A sad friend. A button … An idea. Let’s SWAP! In a young scalawag’s first tale of bartering, a peg-legged youngster sets out to help his captain repair his vessel. One button for three teacups. SWAP two teacups for four coils of rope. SWAP and so it goes, until the little swashbuckler secures sails, anchors, a ship’s wheel, and more … including a happy friend. Steve Light’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations, punctuated by brilliant blue and other hues, anchor this clever tale of friendship and ingenuity.
ABOUT STEVE LIGHT
Steve Light is the author and illustrator of several books for children. When he isn’t writing, he’s teaching pre-k students in New York City. Steve is a collector of fountain pens; he has more than 80. When Steve isn’t writing and illustrating he can be found creating models — some of which are inspired by his books –, or carving storyboxes; wood dolls and props that fit in a box, which can be used to tell stories. Steve lives in New York City with his wife.
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: This book was my Valentine's gift to myself. upon a time in Hans Christian Andersonland, an evil troll creates a mirror which reflects things as they are not. Facing beauty, it regardless shows... Read the rest of this post
Two very different titles (genre- and style-wise) to cross my desk this past week were Terry Pratchett's final Tiffany Aching book and S.A. Bodeen's latest action-packed suspense tale. The Shepherd's Crown brings to a close that subset of the... Read the rest of this post
Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day! Get out those library cards at get thy self and children (don’t have any, borrow one or more from a mom needing a break), and get to the library. Check out the new books, the old books, storyhour, and everything else your local library offers. Today’s …
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Synopsis: It was pretty well going to be the most depressing visit to Blackheath 17-year-old Rosie Clayton had ever taken. Though she visited her grandparents in the London neighborhood from Nashville... Read the rest of this post
Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity - whose last name does indeed mean "truth" can't stop herself from blurting the truth. All of it. All the time. The weird thing is, though, that she can't exactly... Read the rest of this post
Sky Jumpers depicts a post-apocalyptic world after World War III. Its spunky heroine, Hope Toriella, her best friend, Aaren, and their acquaintance, Brock, are risk-takers who like to climb the cliff at the town’s edge, hold their breaths, and jump through the Bomb’s Breath.
Summary: Calling all Regency period enthusiasts! Historical fantasy fans! Fans of books like A Dark and Terrible Beauty, the Stoker and Holmes books, anything by Robin LaFevers—I know those aren't Regency period, but you will definitely want to... Read the rest of this post