The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Uncategorized / September 28, 2013

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson Book Review by Sharon Powers. I don’t always tell you why I’ve selected a particular book to review, but today I want you to know that I’ve selected one of my favorite author’s books for a very good reason. Earlier this month Brandon Sanderson won the Hugo Award for The Emperor’s Soul. My congratulations go out to Brandon Sanderson for the award on this fine story. This book was released on November 1, 2012, but I wasn’t able to get it and finish reading it until January 26, 2013 [FYI: I keep a reading log of all the books I’ve read, just so I will have access to information, like this.]. Photo by Eddie Schneider from Brandon Sanderson’s blog. Brandon Sanderson with the two Hugo’s he won earlier this month for his fantasy novella, The Emperor’s Soul, and for his work on the podcast, Writing Excuses.     Brandon Sanderson actually won two Hugo’s this month, one for Writing Excuses, a podcast done in episodes of fifteen minute increments on various topics of writing, and the second Hugo for The Emperor’s Soul.     I love Brandon Sanderson’s work and am thrilled to be able…

The Treasures of Venice by Paola Zoffoli and Dario Cestaro
Uncategorized / September 23, 2013

See book information at bottom of post. The Treasures of Venice by Paola Zoffoli and Dario Cestaro Book Review by Sharon Powers I have a rare chance to review for you, today, a new pop-up book, just released this month (September 10, 2013). I was so excited when I discovered this book was coming out. I preordered it so I could have it just as soon as it was available. I love all manner of books and genres, including pop-up books, like this one.  This is a book for children of all ages (from 10 and up). The little girl in me delights in turning the pages and watching scenes–literally–unfold before me.  Let’s start with the cover. All six of Venice’s landmarks as they appear on the front cover (see above, top left) are in beautiful pastel colors and the texture of the book is smooth and silky. It feels wonderful in my hands and appeals to my eye. The back cover shows all six pop-up landmarks that appear on the inside of the book. The back cover shows the landmarks popped open so you can see them the way they appear inside the book itself. Alright, I guess you…

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Part 2 [Monomyth: The Hero’s Journey]
Uncategorized / September 16, 2013

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Review, Part 2, by Sharon Powers DEDICATION: This posting is dedicated to all teachers–especially those who teach others how to read, write, and analyze literature; also, those teachers in particular who teach Ender’s Game as part of their curriculum in their classrooms. Just as an aside, my beautiful daughter, an incredible teacher who teaches at Hardin Middle School in Salinas, is part of this distinguished group of people…all of whom deserve our thanks and support. RECAP: Last week we looked at some of Orson Scott Card’s writing techniques including third-person narrative, empathy, character building, a couple of the themes in the book, and how Card advanced the story through the withholding of salient facts (another way of saying this is that Card utilized the technique of an “unreliable narrator“). I also left you with a number of questions to ponder. I have a lot of information to share with you today about monomyth, the hero’s journey, and Ender’s Game. On top of all that, I also have a couple of fun surprises down at the end of the post for you to enjoy, so, let’s get going. MONOMYTH: Today, let’s look at Ender’s Game as it relates to the monomyth….

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Part I. [The Series, Writing Techniques, and Questions.]
Uncategorized / September 8, 2013

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Review, Part I, by Sharon Powers. DEDICATION: This blog is dedicated to the students at Hardin Middle School in Salinas, California. Ender’s Game is part of the curriculum at Hardin Middle School, and is used to help students learn improved reading skills, writing, and literary analysis. THE SERIES: Ender’s Series, sometimes referred to as Ender’s Saga or Enderverse, is a series of books creating an epic adventure about what happens to planet earth and its people when the horrific happens–earth is invaded and nearly destroyed. To save the planet, a young man is chosen to train and eventually become their savior…by committing xenocide. This series chronicles the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a child gifted not in art or music, but in the art of war and strategy. A visual Chart of the Chronology of the Ender’s Game Book Series can be found by following this link. When you get to the template, click on the link that says “show” to be able to see this wonderful template.  So…what makes this book, arguably, the best sci-fi book ever written? To begin with, Ender’s Game appeared in my very first post in this blog on my Top Ten Favorite Books List. Initially, I placed…

Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Uncategorized / September 2, 2013

Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde Review by Sharon Powers. The author of this intriguing book, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is a prodigious writer and is the author of the well-known and widely-acclaimed book, Pay It Forward. Pay it Forward is included in ALA’s 2001 list of Best Books For Young Adults; also, the book was selected to be turned into a major motion picture movie with the same title: Pay It Forward. Additionally, she is the founder of the Pay It Forward Foundation. And, no, this is not a review of Pay It Forward; I include this information, here, for those readers who may not be aware of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s body of work. Right from the get-go, I have to say, “I like the photograph used for the book cover.” This wonderful landscape photo (done in portrait mode), entices the reader to pick up the book and delve its pages to find out why…why are two young girls are walking along a deserted highway all alone? As the story opens, we find two girls, Carly and her sister Jen, outside in the night sneaking past a big house –trying with all their might to be quiet so as not…