Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Family Romanov

YALSA Reading Challenge Book 2

Even though it is off of the Nonfiction list, The Family Romanov: Murder, rebellion, and the fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming is a page-turner!  While familiar with the time period, this book is rich with nuances that are often overlooked.  Fleming allows the reader to join the Romanov family in their final years, understand them as rulers, and connect with them as people.  It is easy to grow frustrated with the decisions made, though there is a deeper level of understanding with expanded knowledge of events.  While the end was unsurprising, I found myself hoping the myth of Anastasia may somehow have been true.  Every student of world history should read this book!

The Story of Owen

YALSA 2015 Reading Challenge - Book 1

A snow day is a cherished opportunity to catch up on some reading - and finally start some of this year's books!

From the Morris list, The Story of Owen: Dragon slayer of Trondheim by e.k. Johnston is a clever, humorous, and heart-warming account of a young high school dragon slayer living in rural Ontario as told by his new friend and bard, Siobhan.  Owen and Siobhan soon realize the number of dragon attacks in their little town has been increasing and work to discern the reason for this shift.  Ultimately, they must decide if it is worth risking everything to stop the dragons from taking over.  Rich in detail, Johnston's writing is filled with snippets of history and references to pop cultural events re-told with the presence of dragons. There are also undertones warning of the real dangers of environmental changes.  Great as a stand alone book or ripe for a sequel, this fun book was a great read!