This is a debut novel by Richard Levine. It explores the tragic events of two preteen kids….Ron AKA Runner Boy and long-legged D.C. Both kids have had horrible events happen in their life which has forces them to grow up faster than their twelve years. They meet at a party the summer before their 7th grade year, and immediately are drawn to each other through witty banter. Keep in mind this is all rate G. D.C. is a twelve-year old girl who towers over all at the party while wearing the brightest neon shirt in the room, but this does not deter her from being confident. She is comfortable in her own skin…a strong female character. Ron also exudes a calm confidence when he is not influence by the other boys’ taunts about D.C.
After the party, summer begins and tragedy hits both D.C. and Ron. The two meet again at the start of the school year and a natural and rare friendship begins. They join the Biology Club at school together, spend time with each other’s families, and begin to rely on each other. They seem to be wiser than the other kids in their school on some level.
Island Eyes, Island Skies is a book that has fun with language….lots of play on words and similes and metaphors. It will be a favorite of English teachers who can pull fun passages out of the text for some meaningful lessons on language. I also believe this book would be an asset for a young adult who has experienced death of a loved one. It is a heavy topic. Richard Levine has written of it in a way that kids can feel they are not alone. A tough topic to tackle.
The love of dystopia, steampunk, vampires, and things that go bump in the night are trends that are still going strong (as they should). Thanks to authors like Rick Riordan, P.C. Cast, and Josephine Angelini, mythology is a YA trend that has also made a name for itself.
Here’s 3 reasons why I believe mythology is worth the hype.
1. Writing mythology is two-fold: an impressive imagination and extensive amounts of research. I personally love this combination that’s seen in various genres.
2. As we all know… Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are the three main Greek Gods. Which means, there’s potential for story lines in the sea, the underworld, and all of earth’s land and sky. Really makes ya question the saying, “the sky’s the limit.”
3. Sure, there’s Greek Mythology (as I just mentioned), but that’s just scratching the surface. In fact, mythology is defined as “A collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.” In other words, lots of fun variations, prophecies, and adventures to behold.
So are you ready to dive into mythology? Below are a few books that aspire to be hot buttons in the YA mythology trend. Pick ’em up and become a part of this growing genre.
I have just finished the first novel by YA author Leigh Michael, and what a tale she has spun. The book is called Sprite: Annabelle’s Story. Michael’s has created a vivid underwater world with spunky characters who lead us on a quest to find a missing conch shell. Annabelle appears to be a typical 18 year-old girl who excels on the school swim team, has plans of becoming a doctor and has a perfect boyfriend. Life is sweet for Annabelle until she is kidnapped and taken into this underwater world where her adventure begins.
In the spirit of mythology, she offers up many creatures that come to life in our imaginations….such as, Adrian, the cute and sweet and brave Merman who leads Annebelle on her journey as she discovers who she truly is….a water spirit! Along the way, we hear stories of Greek Mythology with the three big Gods: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. Yet those are not the only stories and creatures we encounter….not all are as helpful as Adrian. Take a dive into this first novel by Leigh Michael….you will be enchanted.
This is a great first book in a new trilogy by Veronica Roth. The title of this one is Divergent, and it was recommended to me by my friend Chris. We both like books with some sci-fi and some intrigue and a little dystopia thrown in for good measure. This is a great example of that! The book takes place in Chicago after the destruction of the country due to selfishness, aggression, dishonesty, cowardice, and arrogance. In order to combat this, there have been five factions created to prevent these qualities from taking over. These are Abnegation which values selflessness, Amity which values peace, Candor which values truth, Dauntless which values courage, and Erudite which values intellect. Everyone is born into a factions, and when they turn 16 years old they have ya choice to change factions permanently. No turning back. “Faction Before Family” is the motto. If they fail or have a change of heart, they become factionless…wandering the outskirts of town performing jobs that no one else would willing choose.
This is the story of 16 year old Beatrice who soon becomes Tris. She is born into Abnegation, yet she never feels completely comfortable in this faction. She shocks everyone on the day of the Choosing utilizing the information she received from her aptitude test. Her choosing triggers a string of events that kept me reading even when I had a ton of other things to do. She begins her initiation in her new faction and meets many well-drawn out characters….Four is my favorite. I really don’t want to write too much without giving so much away…..needless to say, I have ordered book 2 and am expecting it today in the mail! Cannot wait! Thanks Chris! Great recommendation!!