The Last Kingdom is a terrific historical television series produced by BBC2 and based on the books by Bernard Cornwell (which we also have in the library and on Overdrive). Season one has just arrived in the library and it is based on the first 2 books: The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman. If you have an interest in early English history or the vikings then this is a must-watch series. (There are a few adult scenes so this series is best for HS and up.)
Miss Katya gave me tip last week about a terrific series in the Words&Pics section, Timmy Failure. Since I didn’t want to take book #1 away from our readers I jumped ahead in the series to book #5. These books are funny! Timmy is a boy detective though he has gotten into so much trouble with his spy activities that he has been banned from this line of work by his mom. Of course this doesn’t stop him and he sets up shop in a garden shack on display at the Home Depot look-a-like store. Great comics and a clever plotline. Give this series a try. (Recommended for age 8 and up.)
K just finished Seveneves. It was a really incredible sci-fi novel. I’m not much into sci-fi as a genre, but I picked this one up out of a recommendation, and was so pleased with the results. The story and the characters are female heavy, and that is uncommon for this genre.
It goes through the story of the moon exploding, and the human race trying to survive through the complete destruction of earth. They find their new environments up at the International Space Station and some mad things happen. This book is highly recommended for high school and adult readers, especially fans of hard sci-fi.
Have you also been hearing about The Lion from all of your friends? If so, then stop in at the AAS library and borrow our copy right away. I don’t want to spoil anything about your viewing experience so I’ll give you just the barest of details. The movie begins in India where a 5-year-old boy falls asleep on a train and ends up far from his family and in the heart of Calcutta on his own. After some harrowing episodes there he is adopted by an Australian family. And that’s all I’m saying. It’s a beautiful film and based on a true story. Enjoy! (rated PG-13)
Over the weekend I finished listening to the Overdrive audio version of Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill. It was fascinating. I have been a fan of Candice Millard since reading her account of Theodore Roosevelt’s expedition in South America, River of Doubt. This book about Churchill is equally detailed and also examines a giant of history from a lesser known chapter of his life. What struck me most was Churchill’s abiding belief that he would have a prominent place in history. Also of great interest to me was Millard’s in-depth look at his family and both the challenges and strengths that they brought to their son’s future. (Recommended for history fans 10th grade and up.)
The library just received copies of the Witches of Benevento series which is a collaborative work between the writer John Bemelmans Marciano and the illustrator Sophie Blackall. First of all it must be said that the illustrations are just gorgeous. Blackall is famous for the Ivy and Bean series and last year she won the Caldecott for Finding Winnie. Her expressive, classic and mischievous drawings have made her an artistic star in children’s lit. Marciano’s creative weaving of Italian folklore with active village children was totally clever as well. Although the storyline didn’t quite hit the mark that the illustrations did for me, it was certainly engaging and the characters were full of spirit and courage. The book that I read was the second in the series and it was the character Primo’s story. The other books focus on other cousins and friends in the same village. The team also has a terrific website the includes a studio visit and information about the real town of Benevento – cool stuff! (Recommended for ages 7 and up.)