Hoffman has brought to life a huge world worth exploring for young girls in search of exciting stories about female...

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CHAOS UNLEASHED

BOOK THREE OF THE SHAMRA CHRONICLES

Having saved her people from enslavement, Dara must now save the world from the forces of Chaos in the concluding chapter of the Shamra Chronicles.

In the third volume of his Shamra trilogy, Hoffman winds up the threads he had set in place in the two previous volumes. Dara finally reaches Stone Mountain to join forces with the hunter clan left behind when the rest of the Shamra people migrated two centuries before. She knows that ultimately she must defeat Chaos, the powerful force that had been disabled but not destroyed by the clanswoman Anis. But first, Dara must reunite the two estranged factions of Shamra and teach them how to escape the dogmatic religion and corrupt social standards that had led to their dire circumstances in the first place. Drea and Atyra—two other legendary women featured in a previous volume—also return from the shadowy otherworld where Shamra go after death, but Dara can’t be sure of their intentions. Are they her comrades or her enemies? Or are they simply using her for their own ends? After Dara gives birth to twin girls named Elise and Janae (featured in the bonus novella Safe Haven), she gains insight into the dynamics of family loyalties, which helps her overcome the interpersonal conflict that complicates her quest. The many people—Mitchkeys, Rulan, Shrieks and others—whom Dara had encountered on her previous adventures all join forces to finally defeat the Chaos that threatens them all. Although the previous volume, Shamra Divided, seemed disjointed, in the end Hoffman manages to tie together most of the strands that were laid out in the first two books. The most moving subplot involves the redemption of Heber, the Shamra male who had alternately supported and betrayed Dara, while other elements—like the fate of Garz, the evil Troc, whom we last saw chuckling ominously at the end of book one—disappear from the sprawling narrative.

Hoffman has brought to life a huge world worth exploring for young girls in search of exciting stories about female empowerment.

Pub Date: May 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-1934267240

Page Count: 369

Publisher: Edge Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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