Monday 30 November 2015

Guage - Chris d'Lacey - The Dragons of Wayward Crescent #2

The Dragons of Wayward Crescent #2
Chris d'Lacey
Orchard Books
ISBN 9780545168311

My son and I started this series with book two. There was nothing on the cover or inside the title page to indicate the place in the series. But that did not matter; we loved the story and have finished most of the other 3 books in a very short time. I know a series of books I am reading with my kids is great when I want to keep reading when we have finished their chapters for the day. It has taken an amazing amount of personal willpower not to read ahead in the books and finish the series without my son and just reread them as reading with him. My youngest has even joined us and read one of the books.

These are delightful tales to enthral children of all ages, in our household from 4-45 we all love them. Lucy Pennykettle and her daughter Liz have a secret. Not all the clay statues Lucy makes are what they appear, ever now and again she makes a special Dragon and through some magic, and the ancient dragon languages things always become exciting. In this particular story the town council has decided that in order to save money they will be replacing the broken clock in the library tower with something more modern. This is not something Lucy will stand for. And as Lucy gets more and more worked up Liz gets more and more worries.  This story has a protest rally, a sit in, a ghost, evil henchmen, and let's not forget dragons; what kids not like about such a wonderful mix?

Chris writes wonderful books, they capture the imagination of children and keep the parents interested and engaged. We love these books and as this was our introduction Gauge will always have a special place in our hearts. A wonderful read for child and adult alike!

Books by Chris d'Lacey:
Dragons of Wayward Crescent
Gruffen (2009)
Gauge (2008)
Glade (2009)
Grabber (2010)

The Erth Dragons
The Wearle (2015)
2. Dark Wyng (2016)
3. The New Age (2018)

The Last Dragon Chronicles with David Rain
The Fire Within (2001)
Icefire (2003)
3 Fire Star (2005)
4 The Fire Eternal (2007)
5 Dark Fire (2009)
6 Fire World (2011)
7 The Fire Ascending (2012)
Rain and Fire: A Guide to the Last Dragon Chronicles (2010)

The Unicorne Files
1 A Dark Inheritance (2014)
2 Alexander's Army (2015)
3 A Crown of Dragons (2016)

Fly, Cherokee Fly Series
Fly, Cherokee Fly
Pawnee Warrior

Other Books
Henry Spaloosh! 
Shrinking Ralph Perfect
The Snail Patrol
The Table Football League
Riverside United
From E to You
Scupper Hargreaves, Football Genie
The Salt Pirates of Skegness
Falling for Mandy
The Prompter

Picture Books:
A Hole at the Pole
Juggling with Jeremy
A Break in the Chain
Read With Bubble and Float
Dexter's Journey
Frankin's Bear

Contributed to:
On Me ‘ead, Santa
Nice One, Santa
The Usborne Book of Christmas Stories
Heroes and Villains
In the Frame
Midnight Feast

Author Profile and Interview with Chris d'Lacey.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Advent 2015 Reading Plan Preparing for the Season

Advent 2015 Reading Plan

I have been thinking about the season of advent that begins tomorrow, Sunday November 29th 2015. It is the beginning of the liturgical year, and we have many beginnings each year. For me having spent 20 years in university September is often when I think of a new year. And for many January first the beginning of the calendar year is a new beginning. But having been out of school for 5 years now, I am slowly slipping away from September. This year Advent really feels like a new beginning. It is a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus, a time to prepare and be working on myself. As I have been thinking about this season over the last few weeks I have decided what resources I would use this year. There is an amazing resource by Felix Just SJ available at It has an amazing list of resources at the bottom of the article. But I have narrowed down my list for the season to the following:

Best Advent Ever - Matthew Kelly
The Dynamic Catholic Institute

This is a series of daily messages and videos delivered directly into your mailbox. Last year I did the lent series and really got a lot out of it so I am looking forward to the advent messages again this year.

Rediscover Advent
Matthew Kelly
St. Anthony Messenger Press
ISBN 9781616361648
eISBN 9781616361648

I am using the eBook version of this book. Each day has a separate meditation, The meditations all start with a biblical passage, followed by a reflection, a meditation followed by a prayer. I have really become a fan of Kelly's writings over the last few years look forward to these reading.

Welcome Baby Jesus
Sarah A. Reinhard
Liguori Publications
ISBN 9780764819971

This is the book I have decided to incorporate into my reading with my children. Each day is broken down into three sections based on that reading. They Are Think, Act and Pray. Having read the book Sarah edited this year, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary I am really looking forward to her insights and reflections for the kids.

In Conversation With GodVolume #1: Advent and Christmastide
Francis Fernandez
ISBN 0906138205
Scepter Press
ISBN 0906138191

I love this series, It is intensive 6 pages for each day of the year a 2 volumes of special feasts with 6 pages each for those. I have read through this series a few times and now it is available in eBook formats which make it much easier and portable. This series was originally published in Spanish and was completed in January 1991; the English translation was completed in 1993. It has been immensely popular since they first started coming out in1988. They are published around the world, and have helped thousands of readers in enriching their spiritual lives. You can read my full review of this book here.

Those are the resources I am using this year. How are you preparing for the coming of Christ Jesus?

Related Articles:
Advent Reading 2012
Thinking About Lent 2015

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Updated 2016-04-13

This post has been redacted because of personal conviction. I would appreciate if you say a prayer for me. 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Need - Joelle Charbonneau

Joelle Charbonneau
HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780544416697

I have read a few books by Joelle Charbonneau, and to be honest have liked them all. But this book was amazing. Of the 110 books I have read to date this year it is one of the best! I had a really hard time putting it down. The premise is rather intriguing, but the plot and characters are incredibly well done. The big questions is how far will you go to get something you want or think you need. 

The students at Nottawa High School in Wisconsin are drawn into a complicated plot. A new social networking site has popped up called 'Need' and you simply make a request. If it is a want you will be given a task and you will get what you requested. If it is a need the system will notify you that it is being worked on. But the stakes quickly rise. The first few members only needed to invite members to the site. Soon the tasks and consequences get much, much higher. 

Most teenagers have complicated lives, school, friends, cliques, work, family and more. But for Kaylee it is even more so, her brother is sick, her father has disappeared, and she has alienated most people in town trying to get them tested to see if they match her brother. 

As the requirements to get your request escalate life in this small town starts changing. So there are bodies, and Kaylee seems to be the only one making the connection. And then her life is threatened. Can she solve the riddle and figure out who is behind Need or will she become another statistic in the escalating experiment? 

This story takes a look at the darkest facets of human nature, and of social medial with anonymity mask what you are doing. There is an old saying "No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better." And the students in Nottawa are manipulated into a devastating high stakes game.

This is a dark gripping tale and I had a really hard time putting it down and reflected upon the story for days afterwards. Another excellent read by Joelle!

Books by Joelle Charbonneau:
Time Bomb

Dividing Eden:
0.5 Into the Garden
1.0 Dividing Eden
2.0 Eden Conquered 
2.5 Forbidden Fruit 

The Testing:
The Testing Guide - Short Story Prequel
The Testing - The Testing Book #1
Independent Study - The Testing Book #2
Graduation Day - The Testing Book #3

The Skating Series:
Skating on the Edge
Skating Over the Line
Skating Around the Law
Skating Under the Wire

The Glee Club Series:
Murder for Choir
End Me A Tenor
A Chorus Lineup

Contributed to:
Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light
Terminal Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Crime Factory Issue 7