Fantastic Fiction Firsts #75

Alright, I haven't read it yet but the critics are heaping high praise on David Blixt's debut novel The Master of Verona.

This first-time novelist+actor of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival has deep roots in the Ann Arbor Community (see the A2News interview), and will be at Borders Downtown on Wednesday, July 25th at 7 p.m. for a reading and signing.

Set in the Italian Renaissance and populated with such luminaries as Dante (Inferno) and the reimagined Montagues and Capulets, this historical is narrated by Pietro Alighieri, the 17 year-old son of Dante. Amidst the excitement of war between Padua and Verona and the drama of the Paduan court, Pietro witnesses his two best friends, Mariotto and Antonio being pushed to the edge of rekindling an ancient blood feud by their joint love of the same woman.

"Intricate plotting, well-staged scenes and colorful descriptions enhance head-spinning but lively entertainment" ~Kirkus.

"The precipitous ending, marked with dizzying revelations by the protagonists, do nothing to mar a novel of intricate plot, taut narrative, sharp period detail and beautifully realized characters." ~Publishers Weekly

BitTorrent > Scholastic

Now that the potterdammerung surrounding the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has subsided, its publisher, Scholastic, has some debriefing to do. Despite some pretty extensive security, a bonafide copy of the book was released on the peer-to-peer file sharing network BitTorrent several days before the book.

The leaked copy consisted of a digital photograph of every page of the much sought-after volume, a fact that may help Scholastic track down the culprit. Nonetheless, the event is making book publishers wonder if they, like the music recording industry, should worry about internet piracy. Their concerns may grow as the market for ebooks increases, as they may prove just as easy to copy as digital music files.

What do you think? As books are increasingly being digitized, should book publishers be worried about pirates?

A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow

A little boy without a father describes how the perfect father would be: He would banish nightmares, play checkers, and speak in a soft low voice even when he was angry in Charlotte Zolotow’s, A Father Like That.

Courtney Crumrin

Not sure what to read now that you've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (or while you wait for your copy)? Still haven't had your fill of magical creatures and spells? Then Courtney Crumrin might be for you. Courtney's family moves to Hillsborough to care for her eccentric Great Uncle Aloysius and she soon finds that things are not what they seem. Uncle Aloysius is far from decrepit and mysterious creatures are lurking in the nearby forest. Courtney learns that knowledge of witchcraft runs in her family and Uncle Aloysius has plans for her education. Courtney is a bit more pessimistic than Harry, but Ted Naifeh has done a wonderful job of taking the edge off of darker moments by mixing stylized characters (such as cute and noseless Courtney) with some more realistically rendered designs--reminiscent of Arthur Rackham.

Harry is Tops!

Here are some of's Teen Top Sellers and as you might have guessed, Harry is numero uno. All of the HP excitement brings a song to mind, "Check it out now, the funk soul brother..."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
and the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass

Kid Bits - the TAJ MAHAL of India

"Echoing the style of the magnificent manuscripts that chronicle Emperor Shah Jahan's rule" ... the reader is transported to the Mughal era in India and the combined history and legend of one of the world's most famous monuments. Experience this with Taj Mahal for elementary school-age readers/listeners.

Kid Bits - A FLYING bed ?!?

How can this happen? A FLYING bed??
She said, "A bed I WANT and a bed I shall HAVE, even if it carries me to the ends of the earth." And then ....
If you enjoyed Me, All Alone At The End Of The World by M.T. Anderson, you might enjoy The Flying Bed. It has more words than a picture book, and fabulous enough pictures to win the 2006 Hamilton King Award.

Kid Bits - Who's Your GODDESS ?

"For thousands of years stories of goddesses have inspired girls all over the world."
Pick up Godesses: A World Of Myth And Magic and FIGURE OUT which Goddess inspires you.

Preschool Bits - First Tales

Storytime: First Tales For Sharing is a newly illustrated collection of fairy tales .... just perfect for bedtime reading. Seven classic tales with large pictures. Each story is five pages long. Especially good for preschool ages just getting into longer tales with more words ... the Three Bears, Ugly Duckling and the Gingerbread Man.

Kid Bits - Imagine THIS !

Imagine you're a PIRATE, a PRINCESS, a KNIGHT, or a MERMAID, a WIZARD and more !!
"The Imagine This!" series helps you know what you need to be an Imagineer... Pirate codes... Equipment and accessories... words... food and drink...
Have FUN !

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