Tag Archive | war

G is for GODDESS: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints…by Dr. Janina Ramirez & Sarah Walsh (MG nonfiction book review) #A2Z

book cover of Goddess: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints, and Other Female Figures Who Have Shaped Belief / written by Dr. Janina Ramirez, illustrated by Sarah Walsh. Published by Nosy Crow

We’re familiar with Greek and Roman goddesses like Athena and Diana, but many others around the world have escaped our notice and regard.

This large-format book, published in collaboration with the British Museum, introduces and expands our knowledge of female deities and spiritual beings, ten exemplars in each of five categories: Ruling and Guiding, New Life, War and Death, Love and Wisdom, and Animals and Nature.

Meet rulers and guides like Mami Wati, African water spirit and bringer of riches, and Rhiannon, Welsh queen of horses and courage.

Honored as bringers and protectors of new life are Pattini, Sri Lankan goddess of purity and fighter against injustice, and Mokosh, mother of the earth and Slavic goddess of spinning and fate.

Presiding over war and death, we find Sekhmet, Egyptian lioness and bringer of destruction, and Anat, Middle Eastern goddess of war and peace.

Revered for their gifts of love and wisdom are Tara, Buddhist mother of compassion and wisdom, and Pte San Win, sacred prophet of the Lakota people.

Related to animals and nature are Papatuanuku, Maori earth goddess, and Sedna, Inuit mother of the sea and all its creatures.

You’ll find female saints and goddesses who hold power over contrasting ideas (Izanami, Japanese goddess of death and new life) and those who concentrate their attention on just one thing (Chang’e, Chinese goddess of the Moon).

Browse through this compendium of fifty faith figures or read it straight through, as you appreciate vibrant painted illustrations by Sarah Walsh, photos of items from the Museum’s collections, and a useful glossary.

Which goddess would you like to encounter?
**kmm

Book info: Goddess: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints, and Other Female Figures Who Have Shaped Belief / written by Dr. Janina Ramirez, illustrated by Sarah Walsh. Nosy Crow, 2023. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Audiobooks teach us about weapons of war – legal, illegal, deadly. (audiobook recommendations)

This week’s free AudioSYNC audiobooks tell of war and weaponry, during declared armed combat and on America’s streets outside the law!

You have until Wednesday 21 June 2023 to download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf. They expire in 99 years, so you can listen to them whenever you like, as long as you keep them on your Sora shelf.

Sign up here for a free Sora account and see the entire AudioSYNC season, too.

On to the front lines!

CD cover of Spearhead (Adapted for Young Adults): An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II,  by Adam Makos | Read by Johnathan McClain. Published by Listening Library

Spearhead (Adapted for Young Adults): An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II (free Sora download 6/15-6/21/23)
by Adam Makos | Read by Johnathan McClain
Published by Listening Library

Tank warfare during World War II was brutal, grinding, and deadly – especially for the first tank in formation.

Hear the true story of a 21-year-old American gunner in the newest Pershing super-tank and a 17-year-old German crewman in the legendary Panzer tank as their units battle to the death in the ruined streets of Cologne!

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/209608/spearhead-(adapted-for-young-adults)-by-adam-makos-read-by-johnathan-mcclain/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Tommy: The Gun That Changed America,by Karen Blumenthal | Read by Maggi-Meg Reed. Published by Listening Library

Tommy: The Gun That Changed America (free Sora download 6/15-6/21/23)
by Karen Blumenthal | Read by Maggi-Meg Reed
Published by Listening Library

The Thompson sub-machine gun was created by John Thompson as a more efficient weapon during World War I.

But soon the Tommy gun became the gangsters’ firearm of choice during the 1920s and ’30s, to the inventor’s dismay.

An engaging historical look at this iconic gun and its notorious users, as well as its influence on today’s conversations about gun safety and gun rights.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/229594/tommy-by-karen-blumenthal-read-by-maggi-meg-reed/

What war stories do you recommend?
**kmm

divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

Neighbors at war, peril under THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY, by Hanna Alkaf (YA book review)

book cover of The Weight of Our Sky, by Hanna Alkaf. Published by Salaam Reads | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Underdogs win in an election,
Status quo pushes back –
Deadly fighting in the streets!

The small good-luck counting actions of childhood became full-blown obsession when her father died. Now 16-year-old Melati protects her mother through counting rituals as the djinn within her shows gruesome images of how Mama will die if the teen doesn’t do them perfectly (always in threes, always).

These days, in 1969 Malaysia, she and best friend Saf love new music, enjoy the street food in their Malay neighborhood, come home when the sunset call to prayer sounds. They’re at the movies when fighting about the recent election turns violent with Chinese and Muslims and Indians attacking each other’s communities – run, run home!

Improbably rescued by a Chinese auntie, Melati is panicked at Mama not knowing where she is, at leaving Saf behind, at being with Chinese people she’s always been warned not to trust…

The djinn inside Melati reproaches her constantly, Auntie Bee’s two college sons Frankie and Vincent argue about who started the fighting, and Uncle arrives home after seeing fires all over Kuala Lumpur.

Oh, 24-hour curfew! Rioters are burning everything, and soon Auntie Bee’s house is packed with her neighbor of all faiths – how long will the food last?

Frankie is eager to fight against the Malays; Vince loves music and understands a little about how it helps Melati drown out the djinn’s terrible words.

Is there any way to get back to Melati’s mom? Wherever she and Vince travel on his motorbike, one of them will be the outsider and in danger!

Malay, Chinese, and Indian groups all worked together to declare independence from Britain 12 years ago – why can’t they govern together now?

In Melati’s time, mental illnesses like OCD were ignored, not treated, so she is doing the best that she can during unbearable stress.

The debut novel by the author of Queen of the Tiles (recommended here).
**kmm

Book info: The Weight of Our Sky / Hanna Alkaf. Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster, hardcover 2019, paperback, 2021. [author site] [publisher site] Personal copy; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

CODEX BLACK: A FIRE AMONG CLOUDS – adventure, danger, evil arising! by Camilo Moncada Lozano (Graphic novel review)

book cover of Codex Black: A Fire Among Clouds, by Camilo Moncada Lozano; colored by Michi Desantiago. IDW Publishing| recommended on BooksYALove.com

Now he can use his crow powers!
Now she can search for her father!
Now they are hunted by thieves and gods!

A new alliance of three city-states seeks to conquer all of Mesoamerica in the 1400s, as does an evil being conjured from the depths of darkness!

At age 15, stubborn Donaji leaves their Zapotec village to find her father who vanished on a trading journey years ago. Her poncho is the earthly abode of Chicahualizteotl, god of Fortitude, adding to her bravery.

Rookie warrior from Mexica, 17-year-old Itzcacalotl is separated from the Alliance expedition, follows crows to a high place, falls into a pit, and emerges days later wearing crows’ wings!

When their paths cross, the teens decide to travel together to the city where her father was last seen, before trying to reconnect with Itzcacalotl’s expedition.

Attacked by vicious gods on the trail! Few clues about her father in the city. A thief steals Donaji’s poncho!

But daring Citlamina wants more than some textiles – the 19-year-old seeks the Mexica caravan’s riches and a dark, dark secret place.

Can Donaji and Itzcacalotl continue searching for her father?
Are the gods on their side?
Will Citlamina truly unleash a great evil to break the world?

This graphic novel is an exciting journey with humans and gods trying to keep the young people from their goal!

What do you know of Mesoamerican legend and history?
**kmm

Book info: Codex Black: A Fire Among Clouds / Camilo Moncada Lozano; colored by Michi Desantiago. IDW Publishing, 2023. [author interview] [distributing publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

MYTHOLOGY CLASS for fighting Philippine monsters! by Arnold Arre (Graphic Novel review)

book cover of The Mythology Class: Where Philippine Legends Become Reality, by Arnold Arre. Published by Tuttle Publishing | recommended on BooksYALove.com

“All of you are worthy to join her quest. We need you!” said the ghost lady in their dreams.

Friends at University of the Philippines get an invitation to join a mythology class meeting off-campus, and their teachers are time travelers from the past!

Nicole’s thesis about the myth of Bathala’s creation of the worlds – human and mystical – was slammed by her professors, but now she learns it’s true.

Now enkantos have been released into our world, some benign and others incredibly evil.

A perilous transfer has gone wrong, and the most dangerous foul-mouthed enkantos are gathering beneath the largest shopping mall in Manila to begin their reign of terror!

It’s up to these students to learn how to fight and capture all kapres to be returned to their spirit world – by spear and arrow, dance and music, knowing when to challenge and when to flee.

Lane’s telepathic skills get just a little better, Nicole is amazed by legendary Kubin’s emergence from myth into now as a young warrior, and Gina allows herself to be convinced by a tiny kapre that it should stay right here.

A super-concert at the mall? Uh-oh…

Throughout all the training and chases and battles, Rey and Misha keep quarreling, each hoping the other will apologize so they can get back together.

Arre introduced the Mythology Class characters in 1999, later collecting all issues into this omnibus edition; Tuttle Publishing has brought the full 2014 version across the Pacific for the first time.

What mythological being would you be brave enough to meet?
**kmm

Book info: The Mythology Class: Where Philippine Legends Become Reality / Arnold Arre. Tuttle Publishing, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Dare she travel ROAD OF THE LOST into lands of fae? by Nafiza Azad (YA book review)

book cover of Road of the Lost, by Nafiza Azad. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Helping a girl trapped as a stone statue cracks Croi’s glamour, making the brownie visible to courtiers in the human palace!

The 17 year old flees back to her guardian’s home in the Wilde Forest, and the Hag gives her two books about the fae – why?

Croi, who isn’t a brownie after all, cannot resist the summoning spell taking her away from the Forest to the Otherworld of fae and dryad and pixie.

With the other half of herself now awakened (and talking so much in her mind), Croi won’t be completely alone. Perhaps she’ll meet the young man Iriel who invades her dreams as he searches for the Forever King’s descendants.

As she travels in strange lands whose magick is dwindling, Croi meets a dryad with a desperate request, a catkin seeking his kidnapped brothers, a fire princess leading a rebel army, and a pixie with attitude.

Who sent Croi to the Wilde Forest as a child?
Why is this summoning spell calling her into the Otherworld?
What is Iriel’s part in all this?

Many want the high fae Robber Queen to lose her power over the Otherworld at the upcoming Saol ceremony – the battle is on!

By the author of The Candle and the Wind, recommended here.

Which being of legend would you want to meet?
**kmm

Book info: Road of the Lost / Nafiza Azad. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Lessons for life, to read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

This week of AudioSYNC summer, we visit the past for timeless life lessons.

You can download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf by Wednesday 17 May 2023 – free!

Learn more about starting your free Sora account and the entire AudioSYNC season here.

Now, on to this week’s selections, as we are taught by history.

CD cover of The Republic, by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, read by Leighton Pugh. Published by Naxos

The Republic (free Sora download 5/12-17/23)
by Plato, Benjamin Jowett [Trans.] | Read by Leighton Pugh
Published by Naxos Audiobooks

The famous “Allegory of the Cave” is among the musings of Socrates on education, justice, and politics that Plato recounts in this influential work.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/206993/the-republic-by–plato-benjamin-jowett-trans-read-by-leighton-pugh/

swirling lines divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of The School That Escaped the Nazis: The True Story of the Schoolteacher Who Defied Hitler, 
by Deborah Cadbury, read by Julie Teal. Published by Hachette Audio

The School That Escaped the Nazis: The True Story of the Schoolteacher Who Defied Hitler (free Sora download 5/12-17/23)
by Deborah Cadbury | Read by Julie Teal
Published by Hachette Audio

In the early 1930s, principal Anna Essinger was dismayed by the Nazis’ increasing power and decided to move her entire school and its students from Germany to England. Despite challenges and peril, “Tante Anna” saved many children who otherwise would have been imprisoned or worse.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/216509/the-school-that-escaped-the-nazis-by-deborah-cadbury-read-by-julie-teal/

What other stories from history do you recommend?
**kmm

divider clipart: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

W is for wonderful AudioSYNC summer – reading with your ears starts NOW! #A2Z

Once again, audiobook publishers have teamed up to give us two FREE professionally produced titles through AudioSYNC every week for a summer of great listening, starting today!

Each theme-related pair of audiobooks will be available for one week (Thursday-Wednesday) so I will alert you about new titles for all 13 weeks.

You’ll need to download the free Sora reading app (instructions and sign-up link here) if you don’t already use it with your school or library.

It’s all free, and once you save either or both weekly selections to your Sora shelf, you can read them with your ears whenever you like – no expiration dates.

AudioSYNC summer begins now, with these two titles about the Freedom to Know:

CD cover of TOP SECRET: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. Published by L.A. Theatre Works | recommended on BooksYALove.com

TOP SECRET: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers (free Sora download 4/27-5/3/23)
by Geoffrey Cowan, Leroy Aarons | Read by John Heard, Susan Sullivan, James Gleason, and a Full Cast
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Dramatization of the Washington Post’s publication of the secret Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War and pushback from the Nixon White House – recorded with a live audience.
https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/38585/top-secret-by-geoffrey-cowan-leroy-aarons-read-by-john-heard-susan-sullivan/

CD cover of YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! Writers for Young People Talk about Censorship, Free Expression, and the Stories They Have to Tell. Published by Brilliance Audio / Candlewick | recommended on BooksYALove.com

YOU CAN’T SAY THAT! Writers for Young People Talk about Censorship, Free Expression, and the Stories They Have to Tell (free Sora download 4/27-5/3/23)
by Leonard S. Marcus [Ed.] | Read by Tom Parks, Roxanne Hernandez, Arthur Morey, Janet Metzger, Thom Rivera, Susan Dalian
Published by Brilliance Audio / Candlewick

A noteworthy collection of YA authors share their experiences of their books being challenged for ‘controversial issues’ – Matt de la Peña, Robie H. Harris, Susan Kuklin, David Levithan, Meg Medina, Lesléa Newman, Katherine Paterson, Dav Pilkey, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Sonya Sones, R. L. Stine, and Angie Thomas.

I recommended the 2021 print book earlier on BooksYALove.com here

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/198953/you-cant-say-that!-by-leonard-s-marcus-ed-read-by-tom-parks-roxanne-hernandez/

How many audiobooks do you read in a year?
**kmm

divider clipart – http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

K is Kyr battling in space for vengeance and SOME DESPERATE GLORY, by Emily Tesh (YA book review) #A2Z

book cover of Some Desperate Glory, by Emily Tesh. Published by Tordotcom | recommended on BooksYALove.com

“While we live, the enemy shall fear us.”

They’re the last true humans, hidden in a hollow asteroid, living on scant food, training for vengeance after Earth was obliterated by the alien Majo.

Genetically-enhanced Kyr expects the other teen girls to train for combat with her focused ferocity, so they’ll be placed on a battleship instead of being trapped in the nursery as breeding stock.

Only her brother Mags is a stronger warrior, yet he is sent on a suicide mission to a planet of Majo-cooperating humans, and the Commander assigns Kyr to her worst nightmare.

Desperate to save Mags and herself, Kyr enlists the help of his tech-savvy friend and crush Avi to escape their fates by using the recently-captured Majo ship and its alien pilot Yiso.

Away they flee, to the same planet that their big sister defected to, the planet that the supreme Majo leader will soon visit…coincidence?

The history relentlessly drilled into Kyr gets a reboot, a shadow engine of subreality makes their toughest training sims seem like babies’ play, and the young people have only a short time to help Yiso keep things from getting worse.

And then time twists… and twists…

Who’s the hero here?
How can anyone gay survive in a society where reproduction is paramount?
What other ways could Kyr’s life have turned out?

In the future, as now, different views of the same events bring conflict as well as opportunities for peace.

What “fact” of history learned in childhood have you unlearned?
**kmm

Book info: Some Desperate Glory / Emily Tesh. Tordotcom, 2023. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Searching for THE LOST RYU, dragon of his memory, by Emi Watanabe Cohen (YA book review)

book cover of The Lost Ryu, by Emi Watanabe Cohen. Published by Levine Querido | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Kohei still dreams of being three years old at the last dragon parade, holding his smiling grandfather’s hand as huge winged Western dragons flew overhead and sinuous Japanese ryu dragons strode along Osaka’s streets at the end of World War II.

His maternal grandfather was so angry about Kohei’s father dying soon afterward that he made the boy take his mother’s family name – maybe Ojiisan would be happy if he had a big dragon again, bigger than ryu Yuharu who rides on Kohei’s shoulder.

Isolde moves in downstairs, with her Japanese-American mom, Polish-American dad, and winged dragon Cheshire (very small, Kohei is so disappointed) – imagine starting middle school in a new country and language!

When Ojiisan is suddenly hospitalized, Kohei decides that he must bring a ryu to him. Isolde never knew her grandparents who died in concentration camps in the United States and Poland during the War, so she wants to help.

Venturing into Papa’s study, Kohei finds details about how ryu are hatched, so he and Isolde travel to the faraway New Ryugyu-jo where their dragons will help bring a special ryu into the world.

When the biggest ryu Kohei has ever seen snatches the baby ryu, of course he has to follow and save her!

His memories shift like a kaleidoscope as Kohei learns more about his father’s and grandfather’s pasts.

How far, how far will we go to bring comfort to those we love?
**kmm

Book info: The Lost Ryu / Emi Watanabe Cohen. Levine Querido, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.