THE GREEN MAN

TALES FROM THE MYTHIC FOREST

The spirit of the forest is celebrated in stories and poems by 18 well-known authors and talented newcomers, in another fine fantasy collection by Datlow and Windling (A Wolf at the Door, 2000, etc.). The leafy incarnation of the title appears in various guises in most of the stories; sometimes mischievous or vengeful, for the most part he brings healing and renewal, often to troubled contemporary adolescents. Others take a sideways slant on nature magic: Jane Yolen (“Song of the Cailleach Bheur”) invokes a dangerous Scottish winter fairy; Carolyn Dunn (“Ali anugne o chash”) reworks an eerie Choctaw legend of the river panther; and Kathe Koja (“Remnants”) balances recycling on the fine line that slices between madness and genius. Tree-women also have their say, both in ancient Greece (Michael Cadnum’s “Daphne”) and in modern New York City (Delia Sherman’s “Grand Central Park”). On the lighter side, Gregory Maguire (“Fee, Fie, Foe, et Cetera”) wonders what Jack’s family was up to while Jack explored that beanstalk; M. Shayne Bell (“The Pagodas of Ciboure”) examines the intersection between musicological history and obscure French legend; and Katherine Vaz (“A World Painted by Birds”) ventures into magical realism with a lyrical fairytale of political revolution. Overall, the tone is dreamlike and meditative, like a drowsy afternoon in the woods. Best taken in small doses, this collection is a treasure trove for teens and teachers exploring themes of ecology and folklore. Illustrations by noted fantasy artist Charles Vess not seen. (introduction, author notes and biographies) (Short stories. 12+)

Pub Date: May 20, 2002

ISBN: 0-670-03526-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Wrought with admirable skill—the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly...

THE GIVER

From the Giver Quartet series , Vol. 1

In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility.

As Jonas approaches the "Ceremony of Twelve," he wonders what his adult "Assignment" will be. Father, a "Nurturer," cares for "newchildren"; Mother works in the "Department of Justice"; but Jonas's admitted talents suggest no particular calling. In the event, he is named "Receiver," to replace an Elder with a unique function: holding the community's memories—painful, troubling, or prone to lead (like love) to disorder; the Elder ("The Giver") now begins to transfer these memories to Jonas. The process is deeply disturbing; for the first time, Jonas learns about ordinary things like color, the sun, snow, and mountains, as well as love, war, and death: the ceremony known as "release" is revealed to be murder. Horrified, Jonas plots escape to "Elsewhere," a step he believes will return the memories to all the people, but his timing is upset by a decision to release a newchild he has come to love. Ill-equipped, Jonas sets out with the baby on a desperate journey whose enigmatic conclusion resonates with allegory: Jonas may be a Christ figure, but the contrasts here with Christian symbols are also intriguing.

Wrought with admirable skill—the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 978-0-395-64566-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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