Posts tagged ‘modern vs. traditional’

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME….

Bex Carter #1 Aunt Jeanie’s Revenge

Written by Tiffany Nicole Smith

BexCarter,pic

First book in the series about twelve year old Bex and her struggle to fit in a difficult situation. Not only is Beth having the usual coming of age issues with school and peers, but she is living with Aunt Jeanie and her family because Bex’s mother disappeared long ago and her father is in prison. While her aunt is obsessively concerned with “fitting in with society,” Bex enjoys sports and really wishes to be left alone. Things get tough for Bex when she is forced to audition for the “Silver Rose” group. Bex hates the idea, but she really needs to have her own space, the bribe her aunt holds in front of her.

Much of the story involves the adventures and pranks that Bex must endure, and her struggle to walk the line between what is truly right and wrong. Middle school and young teen readers will be sure to find many situations that parallel their own at home and school. Throughout the tale, many of the characters grow and change. The book is both serious and humorous with a good mix of the traditional and modern.

This book will appeal to readers nine and older. There is just the right mix of dialogue, shift from first person to third person narrative is well done. Can’t wait to see what happens in Bex’s next adventure.

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A STUDY IN CONTRASTS

Thiel: One Foot in Front of the Other

Written by Lynne Pearl

Thiel,pic

This author has a gift for selecting the right words at the right time. Thiel Clay is a young man who has a crooked face and a cripple’s body, but in the words of the author, “Nature had given Thiel an ugly outer shell and a fine inner core.” He lived with his poor family and spent his days working on Squire Turo’s farm. He dearly loves his grandmother, Narn. One day his life dramatically changes when she passes away and she leaves him a box with a letter and a key inside.

Thiel cannot read or write; he takes the letter to a neighbor, Mr. Bunmet. The young man is astonished to learn that his grandmother left forty pieces of the realm in trust at the home of Justice Thwaite in the city of Goneton. Thiel is afraid; he has never been far from his village. Now to ponder a trip on foot to the city is an unthinkable task, but his kindly neighbor encourages him to be man and claim his fortune.

Thiel does not tell his parents, Sara and Ed, because he instinctively knows that they will claim that he is a simpleton and take it away from him. So Thiel carefully constructs a plan for his journey with his faithful dog, Heap. When they reach the house of Farmer Weeks, they are welcomed with food and warmth. More importantly he supplies Thiel with a warm coat and a map indicating a traveling plan for the journey. He volunteered to take care of Heap, while he was gone.

Thiel soon became homesick and scared as he reached the city outskirts and the terrifying crowds of noisy people. After much travail, Thiel finds the home of the Justice where he gets another surprise, he has also inherited the key to an estate far away in Minark. So begins another difficult journey….

Pearl uses personification effectively to describe nature and the medieval-like surroundings of Thiel and his time. The characters are well developed. Thiel is a character you want to embrace and hug. The contrast between city and country and modern versus traditional is played out well. Looking forward to reading more of this series. Suitable for children in middle grades and young adults. Mature readers will find it quite entertaining as well.

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