Author Archives: charlesprogers
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
The first installment in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a unique, heartbreaking, brutal and captivating story for teens.
Todd Hewitt is on the run from Prentisstown, the only place he’s ever known. Alone with his talking dog Manchee, he’s been sent out into the swamps with nothing but a book from his mother and a big knife. He’s only a few weeks from becoming a man, the last child to grow into a man in Prentisstown.
This is not a normal place. Everyone who moved here became infected with the Noise. You can hear everyone’s thoughts and everyone can hear yours. You can hear the crocs saying, “Food. Food” as they approach. It’s a sickness that destroyed the women and left the men isolated at the edge of a huge swamp. Or so Todd has always been told. So when the two men who raised him tell him he has to leave, and leave now to save his own life, he has no idea what is going on. And when he learns that the holy man, Aaron, is hunting him, he knows he needs to learn the truth behind Prentisstown. Maybe the only one who can help him is the book from his mother and a mysterious girl he encounters in the swamps. He’s never met a girl before but immediately he notices she has no Noise. Who is she and where did she come from?
Full of twists and turns, lovely and brutal, violent but sweet, The Knife of Never Letting Go is not for the faint of heart but it tells a great story. If you want to read this one in bed, I recommend a few funny comics afterward to ease your dreams.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
On Midwinter’s Day, on his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son, will awaken. His true calling will be made known to him, as the last of the Old Ones, those destined to fight the forces of the Dark, to keep the balance intact.
What a fantastical mystical premise for a series! The Dark is Rising is technically the second book in a series of five, but you can really skip the first one, Over Sea and Under Stone and not lose the thread of the story. The real story picks up as Will Stanton approaches his eleventh birthday. Until then, he was just another boy, the youngest of seven children in a happy home in England. But on the morn of his eleventh birthday, he awakes to find himself out of time in a place that is his village and yet not his village. Here he meets Merriman, one of the Old Ones, whose task is to guide Will, the newly awakened and last of the Old Ones, on his quest to collect the six signs, circles quartered with a cross, each of a different element: iron; bronze; wood; fire; water; stone.
Will must learn how to be an Old One, with all the knowledge and power that has been unlocked within him, and still be a young boy. How do you celebrate Christmas when time may stop at any moment, when danger may come in any form? How do you stand up to evil in front of your parents, who think the terrible Rider is a friendly colleague? It’s not easy being a kid. And it’s not easy being an Old One.
This series of books is a wonderful adventure and magical quest as Will and his allies strive to defeat the Dark once and for all. Great for kids, especially disturbingly mature eleven-year-olds.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Rustic and cottagey, this dreamy, shabby chic bedroom relies mostly on neutral tones, but the pale pink flowers and celadon bring some pastels into the lovely mix.
A transitional Nantucket bedroom uses muted greens with white to create a sophisticated guest space using a daybed. This cozy room boasts just the right amount of texture.
Pale pink rose is the primary color in this traditional bedroom with modern touches. Whitewashed floors and lots of natural light keep the space feeling bright and airy.
Baby blue keeps this room feeling elegant and classy. A touch of bolder blue in the throw pillows adds punch while the rest of the space stays muted.
Various shades of pale yellow give this traditional room a monochromatic look. The 19th century Victorian home in Boston has been restored and expanded yet hasn’t lost its character. Brimming with pattern, the room doesn’t appear busy, but rather, soothing and homey.
Which pastel color is your favorite?