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Blog Posts by Subject: Mythology and Folktales

Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: International Books on May 5, 2012

Introduction of Speakers

Elizabeth Bird started the Children's Literary Salon, as usual, with an introduction of the speakers: Constance Vidor, Sharon Elswit, Pnina Moed Kass, and Rebecca Linde. Linde is the director of sponsorship and marketing for the New York International Children's Film Festival. She explained that the program would be started by a presentation on the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 

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"Once Upon a Time" … Reading Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales at the Library

Popular fairy tales are coming back to life in the 21st century to put true love to the test once again in a time travel battle between good versus evil.

Once Upon a Time is a drama filled with adventure and fantasy. Every fairy tale character is linked to another in a parallel, ancient world full of mystery and magic They are all entangled and stuck under a spell in the small town of Storybrooke, Maine, where Regina Mills (the Evil Queen) is the mayor.

Wait a minute... What's going 

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A Secret Commonwealth: The Otherworld in Nonfiction

Most people have experienced brushes with the Otherworld, that liminal place where dimensions overlap and reality shimmers, shivers, and breaks apart: seeing ghosts, dreaming "true" dreams, meeting that strange and uncannily helpful "person" at just the right moment... These situations are more common than we collectively admit — but attitudes are shifting. According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences, "The paranormal is no longer a fringe subject. Need proof? Only 32 percent of Americans report no 

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2012: The Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. In the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is equivalent to the Aries in Western tradition.

January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013 will mark the Year of the Dragon. According to tradition, the dragon is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes loyalty — it is noble, gentle, and intelligent, but also tactless, stubborn, and dogmatic. Those born on 2012, 2000, 1988 or any 

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Far Memory: Ancient Egypt Through Western Eyes

Ancient Egypt has long held a fascination for the West. The idea of Egypt was transmitted to Roman culture through Greek accounts, and after Late Antiquity, existed in the European imagination as an exotic and ancient location in the Bible's Old Testament account of the 6th century BCE Israelite diaspora.

The Western Mystery Tradition had its earliest beginnings in the cult of Isis, which reached Rome in the 

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"Drink, Slay, Love": A Review

Pearl is like a lot of 16-year-old girls. She likes to steal cars and drive too fast with her handsome, dangerous boyfriend Jadrien. She wears a lot of black. She is extremely flammable in direct sunlight.

Okay. Maybe Pearl isn’t exactly an average teenage girl. But she is an average vampire. Completely ordinary and almost completely evil, Pearl is the perfect predator at the top of the food chain in her Connecticut town. And she is fine with that.

With the vampire king of New England coming soon for the annual fealty ceremony that marks the start of a 

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Being Spirited Away on Halloween: A Review

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to avoid the typical horror films of vampires, zombies, ghosts,

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"Raised by Wolves": A Review

When Brynn was four years old, her life changed forever when a rogue werewolf killed her parents. Rescued by the Stone River Pack and Marked by the pack’s alpha, Callum, Brynn’s safety is a matter of pack law.

The only problem is Brynn is human. Even as a member of the pack, living with a bunch of werewolves is dangerous. Weres can smell fear. They are faster. They are stronger. Most of them are older and more experienced. One lapse in control could leave a human very dead.

Even if that human is a 15-year-old girl named Brynn who knows almost 

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Enchanted Ivy: A Review

Lily Carter’s future is at Princeton University. Her grandfather went to Princeton. Going to Princeton would allow Lily to move away from home without feeling guilt about not taking care of her mother. It’s the perfect school. Most importantly, Lily desperately wants to follow in Grandpa’s footsteps to make him and her mother proud.

Turns out her chance at Princeton might come sooner than she thinks when Lily accompanies her grandfather and mother to Princeton Reunions weekend where, thanks to Grandpa’s connections, Lily has a chance to take 

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Reader's Den: "Incarceron" Discussion Wrap-up

Thank you for joining this month’s Reader’s Den featuring Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. Although the month is over, feel free to return to this post to continue to discuss and comment on the novel.

If you enjoyed Incarceron you might also enjoy the titles below:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins   ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: "Incarceron" Discussion Questions

I hope all of you enjoyed Incarceron by Catherine Fisher this month as much as I did.

Feel free to share your favorite moments, characters, or whatever below.

Here are some discussion questions to sink your teeth into:

What did you think of the ending? Did you anticipate the prison's location or was it a total surprise? Finn, Keiro, Claudia and even Attia are not always morally upright. How did you feel about reading about a ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: "Incarceron" Reviews, News, and Clues?

Incarceron was originally published in Great Britain in 2007 before coming to US readers three years later in 2010. The Times also selected Incarceron as its book of the year. In 2007 Incarceron was also selected as a finalist in the YA Science Fiction and Fantasy category of the Cybils—a book award given each year by book bloggers.

If you haven't seen it already, be sure to

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May at The Reader's Den: "Incarceron"

Greetings and welcome to the May installment of The Reader's Den.

This month we'll be reading Incarceron (2010) by Catherine Fisher.

Incarceron is a prison like no other.

It is a closed system; nothing enters the prison. And nothing ever leaves. Incarceron was built to be self-sufficient. Nothing goes to waste. Food is recycled, materials made over and over. Prisoners, 

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Girls in Pants: Girls Disguised as Boys

The idea of girls masquerading as boys to infiltrate the male world is not new; in fact, it's a literary staple. From William Shakespeare to Amanda Bynes, all it takes is some cloth to bind and flatten the chest, short hair, a lowering of the voice, some rolled up socks artfully placed, and voila — a boy is born! Of course, it also helps if there is a clueless boy who befriends the masquerader and then suddenly begins to question his sexuality when he wants to kiss the girl in disguise. And, to make things even more complicated, another girl arrives on the scene. 

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Hot Historical Fiction Part Two: The Tudors, Fairies, Ladies, and Fools

Okay, I confess, I am a history geek and an Anglophile, meaning I am sucker for anything with a bit of British history and culture. However, that doesn’t mean dry, boring or high brow. I still insist that the historical novels I read be interesting, fun to read, and perhaps romantic, and if they have magical elements, even better! The fairies, witty dialogue, and romance may pull you in, but you finish the book with a better understanding of history and society without even realizing it.   The Legend of Tam ... Read More ›

"Guardian of the Dead": A Review

Ellie leads a typical life for a 17 year old. She goes to class, hangs out with her best friend Kevin, and wonders about Mark, her mysterious (and good looking) classmate. She has a black belt in tae kwon do, and after a night of ill-advised drinking with Kevin, has also volunteered her time to staging fight scenes for a play at the local university. Even if the play is being directed by Kevin’s oldest friend Iris, who is annoyingly perfect and makes Ellie feel like an ugly, ungainly giant.

After that, things start to get less typical.

The news keeps 

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Sita Sings the Blues: A Groundbreaking Film For Teens, Adults, and Just About Everyone

I first learned about the animated film Sita Sings the Blues when it was featured in the New York International Children's Film Festival (Since I know you're wondering, I'll tell you that I got on their mailing list originally because of my deep and abiding love for the short films of Wallace and Gromit).  Anyway, since I'm a fan of animated films, especially films that I can enjoy and also recommend to my teen patrons, I 

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Old Tales, New Twists: A Fantasy eBook List

Do you have an eReader? Is part of the appeal that it looks like you're living in the future? Have you found yourself wishing for more fantastical books to match your futuristic reading device? 

Look no further.

The premises might sound familiar but these books all take traditional story elements and turn them upside down. And you can get them on your ereader for free right here.

Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart For Gretchen Yee, life as an artificial red head is anything but glamorous, especially when she feels too ordinary to fit in at her artsy 

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"Shiver": A Review

Years ago, when Grace was attacked by wolves, Sam saved her life. He has been a presence in Grace’s life ever since, always lurking on the periphery each winter in Mercy Falls, watching her, protecting her.

Yet they have never spoken.

Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn’t remember her name, he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what he was.

No matter how Grace and Sam might feel about each other, there is always one insurmountable 

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The Talking Dead: A Book List

They might not always be walking, but in the books on this list the dead are always talking. Ten books, in no particular order, where the dead sometimes walk, sometimes talk, and always play a huge part in the story. Books with that perfect eerie feel to get you in the mood for some candy... er, for Halloween I mean—obviously.

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

The dead are walking in Oakvale, Connecticut—at least 

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