ENNA BURNING

From the Books of Bayern series , Vol. 2

Those who thrilled to Hale’s re-imagining of The Goose Girl (2003) will probably be as delighted with this sequel, as Enna the forest girl takes the stage. Enna (once the closest companion to Isi, formerly the Goose Girl and now queen) watches, not understanding, as her brother learns to control fire, to hold it within himself, and to send it forth as he wills. When he chooses to consume himself in battle, she takes on his gift. Extraordinary images of fire, heat, and light fill this slightly overlong tale. Enna’s fire can be seen as desire, or a drug, or the will to power, or simply as a gift that must be made manifest. Hale’s burning prose, while weighted to talk rather than action, allows for many themes: the devoted friendship between women, as Isi and Enna risk their lives for each other; the appeal of the bad boy, as the soldier who holds Enna prisoner also lays dark siege to her heart; the gentle, devoted suitor Finn, who always manages to find a place by Enna’s side to do what needs to be done. Powerful and romantic. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2004

ISBN: 1-58234-889-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2004

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An artfully crafted tale with mesmerizing details and a subtle exploration of free will and good versus evil.

BEHIND THE BLUE

A fan of magic and her reluctant companion embark on an adventure when the mysterious Blue Man charges them with a mission.

Little Katherine contemplates what exists behind the scrim of the sky, and she gets her answer after she meets a boy named Charlie, who literally runs into her upon fleeing a blue man and a talking salamander he encounters in the nearby forest. The man is non-threatening, and asks the two to help him recover some lost items, to which Katherine heartily agrees. He doesn’t provide much information, however, so once she and Charlie enter this enchanted universe, they must take it upon themselves to figure out what the Blue Man has lost and how to go about helping him find it. With the help of guides like snarky, enigmatic Gerald and good-natured Frank, the children travel through very deep puddles to different realms behind the clouds, learning about the Blue Man’s nemesis, Grey Lady, who may have snatched his magical dragon stones. Schilling’s well drawn, vibrant world elevates his story above the standard adventure quest. His lively, amusing dialogue complements a fantastical world where fish flit through the air like bees (and may accidentally transport you elsewhere), manta rays make shy cabbies, crushed flowers pop back to life and magic permeates everything. While adults will find the narrative captivating, this book is tailor-made for storytime read-alouds.

An artfully crafted tale with mesmerizing details and a subtle exploration of free will and good versus evil.

Pub Date: July 15, 2005

ISBN: 0-595-36189-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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H.I.V.E.

THE HIGHER INSTITUTE OF VILLAINOUS EDUCATION

How do super-villains become super-villains? Apparently, graduating from H.I.V.E. would be a good start. This fun romp starts with the arrival of a new class of students, kidnapped out of their daily lives and whisked away to an unknown hidden island. Whether sent by super-villain parents or snatched out of an orphanage because of a precocious prank on the Prime Minister of England, these teens must adapt to a new curriculum, consisting of Villainy Studies and Stealth & Evasion 101 in lieu of the traditional three Rs. Of course, some things never change—living up to a parent’s reputation, dealing with the bullies from the Brute Squad and making new friends are part of every teen’s life. And while some students are clearly happy to be where they are, there are those who are looking for a way out—any way out. This is a fun, intelligent and rapid read, an astringent breath of fresh air, in counterpoint to the sweetness of Hogwarts. Technology replaces magic, and brains are the key asset. This is Walden’s first novel, but clearly not his last, as this is a six-year program. Let the adventure begin! (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 22, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3571-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2007

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