Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Crown's Game

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by Evelyn Skye

Enchanters. A duel to the death. Mystery and intrigue. Russian royalty. Romance.  The Crown's Game has them all.

Russia is in turmoil and the tsar realizes he needs an Imperial Enchanter to help them through a difficult time. Two people have unknowingly spent their whole lives training to fill the role of Enchanter. Unfortunately, mystical law states that only one of them can reign; they must enter a magical duel to the death.

To complicate matters, one of the enchanters is Nikolai, the tsar's son's best friend and the other is Vika, the tsar's son's love interest. Not only is the heir to the throne interested in Vika, but Nikolai and Vika feel an undeniable bond to one another that can't be ignored. Needless to say, the game becomes very complicated for everyone involved.

I found out about this book on a list of new YA books that are getting lots of attention and I can see why this one would be on the list. While it isn't a book I would normally pick up on my own it has a lot to offer and I really enjoyed reading it. If you liked The Selection series you will probably like this book as well. I would recommend this book for Grade 6-8.


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by Sara Pennypacker

I was excited to see that Sara Pennypacker (think Clementine) had a new book out and, even better, to see that it was also illustrated by Jon Klassen (think This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back).

The story is much different that any of the other Sara Pennypacker books I have read. The tone is much more serious and the plot is more intricate. Pax is a wolf who grows up domesticated because he was abandoned by his family as a baby. After living for many years with his beloved boy Peter, Peter's dad is called to war and forces Peter to leave Pax alone in the wild.

Peter is filled with regret and realizes he should never have abandoned Pax. The rest of the novel is Peter's attempt to find Pax back and Pax's experience of being in the wild for the first time since he was a baby.

This book is a story of friendship, bonds, forgiveness and love. If you love animals, especially foxes, you will love all the chapters that explain about Pax's integration into the wild. In terms of age range,  I would say this book would be best suited for kids in Grade 4 or 5.  It is part of the Global Read Aloud as well so kids all over the world will be hearing or reading this story. Join the fun and read this book today!