Posts tagged ‘demons’

SITTING ROUND THE CAMPFIRE

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE….This one is dedicated to my dad, who loved to tell stories.

The American StoryBag: A Collection of Tales

Written by Gerald Hausman

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This author has been collecting stories since 1965. He loved to listen to stories which he scribbled down and later retold on paper. These tales focus on every aspect of American life. As I was reading them, I had the distinct feeling that I was sitting around a campfire listening to a storytelling master. Hausman has won numerous awards for his yarns, which speak of ghosts, demons, fantasy, humor, truths, and everyday life.

The author divides his tales into sections like Heroes, On the Road, Humor, Reflections, Out of this World, Moments of Truth, and Yarns. He has been compared to Mark Twain. The reader feels as if he is there in the story. Some stories will inspire you like the tale about an autistic child who survived a struggle in the swamp, some of them portray the legends of Native Americans as in The Horse of the Navajo or the bravery of a father and son in A Real Life Goliath.

The Discussion Questions that Hausman suggests are a wonderful beginning for students or book groups to use as a jumping off point for further exploration of the subject matter in individual stories. These questions could also be the basis of interesting essays on many topics. Teachers might want to use them in connection with other curriculum areas. The questions also assist in understanding the deeper layers of culture surrounding them. Finally, the author interview included at the end of the collection provides insight into why the author is so successful as a storyteller, lecturer and writer.

Recommended for readers age eight and older, all those who love to tell stories or listen to them!

A MAGICAL JOURNEY

Peter, Enchantment and Stardust:The Poems

Written by William O’Brien

William O’ Brien is not only a talented storyteller but a gifted poet as well. This collection of poems is meant to accompany his children’s book, Peter, The Darkened Fairytale. In that story, Peter is the protagonist who must fight and overcome the forces of evil.

In this wonderful poetry collection, the author presents us with a mix of
lighthearted poems that inspire us with hope and love. On the other hand, we meet dragons, demons and witches waiting to snare the unwary child. O’Brien
sets the tone in his first poem, “Drawers and Doors.”

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The thoughts one thinks may not be real
And sometimes they will make you squeal
Biting, scratching, tastes hang true
Inside this book, you’ll meet things new
Must be careful, for if you fall
These evildoers will seize all.

These words present a challenge that most children will be glad to take up! There are silly poems like “Wandering Twondle” and “Cuthbert,” scary poems like “Devil’s Wish” and “Zombie Queen,” and fantasy creature poems titled, “Elves and Goblins,” and “The Vaandorg Dragon.” Some of the nature poems remind me of William Wordsworth.

Spells that dust the sleeping flowers
May just drip with April showers
In summer lands frolic and sing
Still protected by nature’s wing

One thing children always seem oblivious of is the element of time. O’Brien addresses the concept in his poem titled, “Eternal”

Fairy love
Starlight blessed
In your heart
Feel the test

Touch and wander
Your spirit through
Flowers speak
Holding new

Bash of rain
Sleet and snow
Leaves do fall
Please don’t go

Apples, chestnuts
Tease my eyes
Always there
Never dies

The author employs alliteration, personification and metaphors to make the reader feel that she is on a magical journey to a very special place. So close your eyes and lose yourself in the recesses of your mind. Tweens, teens and adults will enjoy the ride.

SEBELLA’S SOJURN

The Magical World Of Sebella (The Magic Castle)

Written by Thea Berg

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This book is the author’s first short novel. The plot moves along quickly with well developed characters and lots of twists and turns. Vocabulary in the book is not too difficult allowing most beginning chapter readers to access it without too much difficulty. The author provides a comprehensive list of questions which may be used as a guide to developing a discussion and comprehension of the tale. Sebella is a nine year old witch who is part of a “unique” family living in Skullvilla. On this particular rainy day, she is bored so she begs her mother to allow her to see who has just moved across the street. Her mother does not want to go out and get her hair wet, but Sebella manages to use her powers to suddenly end the rain and clear things up quickly. The neighbor turns out to be the witch Eloise, a former friend of her mother.

Sebella, the new neighbor’s daughter, Kendall, Sebella’s cousin, Prudence, and Sebella’s, brother, Drac are now playing a board game in the living room. Suddenly, Prudence drops a gargoyle statue and its red laser eyes bore a deep crack in the fireplace wall. So the adventure begins! The children crawl into the tunnel which opens to a castle. Dimitrius, the Lord of the Castle, informs them they must get rid of the Shadows, slay the dragons and eliminate the Villainous Mentalist (who used to own Sebella’s house). Certainly a tall order! Though it seems an insurmountable task, the children are ready and willing to attempt it. Their journey forces them to explore many rooms of the castle. Turns out they receive some unexpected help along the way. Will they succeed in all three tasks and find a way to escape and find their way home? If they are successful, will their lives be changed forever?

A delightful and exciting read for tweens and teens and/or adults. Looking forward to reading more adventures from this new and talented author.

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