magic – CYAPodcast

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Fairies: Indi Review

One emotion at a time. Here are our indi reviews.

Adrienne – Slate’s doubleX Podcast on the Panoply Network (warning this podcast is intended for mature audiences)

Karl – “House of Leaves: A Novel” by Mark Z. Danielewski

Kelly – author Nnedi Okorafor. Books mentioned during the podast: “Akata Witch,” “Zahrah the Windseeker,” “Shadow Speaker,” “Kabu Kabu,” “Who Fears Death,” and “Lagoon.” Visit Okorafor’s website for more of her books with annotations.


Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

“Burning Sky” by Sherry Thomas

A written review by Adrienne

In Atlantis, a kingdom that exists parallel to our own world, in 1883, Iolanthe discovers quite by accident that she is able to command the very powerful elements. This discovery, however, completely changes her life in a matter of minutes. She is quickly taken by Prince Titus to hide for her own safety in a school for boys. Iolanthe reluctantly becomes Archer Fairfax and with the help of the Prince learns about her powers.

Prince Titus with a prophecy of his own to find the one mage powerful enough to overthrow Bane whose oppressive rule has made anyone who opposes him disappear. Titus is haunted by his mother and the fate she foresaw as he shepherds Archer (Iolanthe).

What I liked was the world building. Atlantis co-exists with the non-magical world. There are several of our world historical events that have ramifications in the magical world. The story is told in third person from Iolanthe/Archer and Prince Titus’ point-of-views in alternating sub-chapters. Footnotes within the story correspond to citations in the back of the book where excerpts from magical historical texts further deepen the world building. This is the first book in a series. Recommended for fantasy lovers, middle school and up.


Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

lumatere chronicles froi quintana

A written review by Adrienne

“Lumatere Chronicles” by Melina Marchetta, including “Finnikin of the Rock”, “Froi of the Exiles”, and “Quintana of Charyn.”

Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
I am reluctant to hang the heavy mantel of Game of Thrones onto any YA book. So, I’ll say this, if you like the political intrigue, and how decisions have a ripple effect in ways nobody could truly comprehend and a world steeped with a deep history entwining magic and religion and strength then this series is for you. You won’t find a Tyrion, or Jamie, but you will find yourself consumed.
These three books comprise of an epic fantasy filled with love, hate, war, revenge, destruction, pain, life changing decisions and in-decisions, extraordinary feats and devastating consequences. You will have a front seat to see the consequences war wrecks onto a country and ultimately to the world: what it does to the people, how it changes them, and what it does to the land.  
“A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere. This is the story, as told to those not born to see such days, recorded so they will never forget. The story of those trapped inside the kingdom, never to be heard from again, and those who escaped but were forced to walk the land in a diaspora of misery.”
We start with Finnikin who spends his formative years trying to raise an army to open the gates of his country. When he was young a witch cursed Lumatere and Finnikin was outside the walls. There was no getting in or getting out. Those Lumaterans trapped inside were cruelly ruled by a madman bent on destroying anyone he felt threaten him.
Then we have Froi. Once a child slave and saved by Finnkin he is under orders by his queen to go to assassinate his adopted country’s enemy. It is his travels and what happens that will engross you. As a reader there were times I shook the book to try and stop Froi from doing something that scared me. 
Finally, there is Quintana. Everybody believes her to be bat dung crazy, and maybe she is. You’re introduced to her in Froi, but it is in her own book that we see the wheels and the methods of her craziness. This book is filled with pain, dark pain, (I had to hold my daughter’s hand in order to read a particular harrowing event) and devastation and the small flame of hope. 
My advice, should you choose to read this series is to check them out all at once. You will not want to waste time trying to get the next book, especially after you finish Froi. There is a cliffhanger not to be believed and if you don’t have Quintana right next to you, woe is you. 
What I liked is the world building. Marchetta has mastered the art of creating one rich in history, setting and people. Each country has its own unique culture. Marchetta is equally up to the task in creating women who are not dependent upon a man to either save them or complete them. Mindful of the horrible treatment of women by either long held beliefs, religion, or revenge by men, men in power and other women, I liked how strong-willed and resilient whether for right or wrong, the women were depicted by Marchetta, and, they are just as fallible as men. This series is one to read and keep. Recommended for High School and up.

Super Human by Michael Carroll


A written review by Adrienne

“Super Human” by Michael Carroll

Krodin came to Earth 4,500 years ago and with lots of slashing and gashing brutally ruled our world until he suddenly vanished to reappear in present day. It was the Helotry who caused Krodin’s magical feat, a fanatic group who created a plague that only affects adults in their attempt to align themselves with the evil warrior. It’s left up to a group of super-powered teens to save the world.

This is an action-packed book that starts and ends with a bang. The story rollicks along with Carroll’s amusing characters. Part X-Men, part Michael Grant’s “Gone” series and all action, action, action. This is book 4 in a series: “The Quantum Prophecy / The Awakening”; “Sakkara / The Gathering’; “Absolute Power / The Reckoning”; “The New Heroes: Superhuman”, “Super Human”; ‘The Ascension”; “Stronger.” A fast exciting read for middle grade and up.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Roll call:
What reading habit do you have that is a pet peeve for somebody else?

Fall 2011-2012 TV

Short stories
Welcome to Bordertown edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner

  • Shannon’s Law
  • A Tangle of Green Men

Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan

  • Goodnight moons
  • Wahahla

Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities by Chris Barton,illustrated by Paul Hoppe

  • Cherokee Author
  • Black Man, White Man

White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick


Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Cloaked by Alex Flinn (author website)

Elves and the Shoemaker
The Frog Prince
The Six Swans
The Golden Bird
The Valiant Little Tailor
The Salad
The Fisherman and His Wife

Grimm Stories has some of the tales here

Read Alikes

Modern Witches Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan, grades 5 – 8
Scribblies is a writers group with Emma Bull. The story Karl is citing is Jack the Giant-Killer by Charles de Lint. It’s easiest to find now in the volume called Jack Of Kinrowan, which puts it together with the sequel, Drink Down The Moon (

The series is just called The Fairy Tales Series, and you can see a listing of the books here:


Roll Call Questions

What author created a world so appealing you wanted to live there?

Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Mary Sue

Cathie Sue
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce – book 3 of the Beka Cooper series
Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry – book 2 of the Rot & Ruin series
You Don’t Know About Me by Brian Meehl
Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard

Local hardware stores for art supplies

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin with videos
Forger’s Spell by Ed Dolnick
Codex Alera by Jim Butcher – 5 book series
Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger
L.A. Story (movie) with Steve Martin

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Game of Thrones on HBO
So You Think You Can Dance -Fox
Playaway View
Mugglefest: The Last Chapter – Norman Public Library
48 Hour Book Challenge by MotherReader
Interactive Fiction – text-based games, archive, and history

Upcoming Books
I Am J by Cris Beam
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
6 Children’s Books

The Wager

Extended Resources

Donna Jo Napoli website

SurLaLune Fairy Tales

Bearskin and Other Tales


Best and worst read in 2010



  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • For the Win by Cory Doctorow
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • Fire by Kristen Cashore


  • Geek Charming by Robin Palmer
  • Vamped by Lucienne Diver
  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer



  • Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
  • Willoughby and the Lion by Greg Foley
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan


  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Cathie Sue


  • The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
  • The Young Man and the Sea by Rodman Philbrick
  • Trickster by Matt Dimbicki
  • Foiled by Jane Yolen
  • Christopher Farnsworth by Blood Oath (adult)
  • Ship Breaker byPaolo Bacigalupi


  • Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick



  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (highly recommended – best female character in YFic. Better than Katniss, even!)
  • What It Is by Lynda Barry (highly recommended – great graphic memoir and creativity exercise book)


  • Swoon by Nina Malkin
  • Geek Charming by Robin Palmer


Karl: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and other books by Cory Doctorow, all available as free e-books at
62 Projects to Make With a Dead Computer and Other Discarded Electronics by Randy Sarafan (see my library Instructable at

Cathie Sue: @cathiesue on Twitter
@booktalker Nancy Keane on Twitter, website, Booktalks Quick and Simple, on iTunes
WorldCat app

Adrienne: The Magicians by Lev Grossman –  2010 Alex Award Selection