March 8, 2019

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

One bright and starry night, the gods, the goddesses, the demons, and the spirits gathered together in heaven for a dinner party. Their music and the scent of their wine drifted down...down...down where flowers bloomed year round and fruits hung heavy with nectar and monkeys frolicked under the watchful eye of the magical monkey king.
Sita's Ramayana
Samhita Arni, Moyna Chitrakar

Sita's Ramayana

By: Samhita Arni, Moyna Chitrakar
Recommended for grade(s): 5

The Ramayana is an epic poem by the Hindu sage Valmiki, written in ancient Sanskrit sometime after 300 BC. It is an allegorical story that contains important Hindu teachings, and it has had great influence on Indian life and culture over the centuries. Children are often encouraged to emulate the virtues of the two main characters -- Rama and Sita. The Ramayana is frequently performed as theater or dance, and two Indian festivals -- Dussehra and Divali -- celebrate events in the story. This version of The Ramayana is told from the perspective of Sita, the queen. After she, her husband Rama and his brother are exiled from their kingdom, Sita is captured by the proud and arrogant king Ravana and imprisoned in a garden across the ocean. Ravana never stops trying to convince Sita to be his wife, but she steadfastly refuses his advances. Eventually Rama comes to her rescue with the help of the monkey Hanuman and his army. But Rama feels he can't trust Sita again. He forces Sita to undergo an ordeal by fire to prove herself to be true and pure. She is shocked and in grief and anger does so. She emerges unscathed and they return home to their kingdom as king and queen. However, suspicion haunts their relationship, and Sita once more finds herself in the forest, but this time she is pregnant. She has twins and continues to live in the forest with them. The story is exciting and dramatic, with many turns of plot. Magic animals, snakes, divine gods, demons, sorcerers and a vast cast of characters all play a part in the fierce battles fought to win Sita back. And in the process the story explores ideas of right vs. wrong, compassion, loyalty, trust, honor and the terrible price of war. -- From Groundwood Books

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

American Gods
Neil Gaiman

American Gods

By: Neil Gaiman
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12, College Plus

The storm was coming.... Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place. On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter — all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does. Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought — and the prize is the very soul of America. —from the HarperCollins website

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Devil and the Bluebird
Jennifer Mason-Black

Devil and the Bluebird

By: Jennifer Mason-Black
Recommended for grade(s): 7

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass. Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself up to finding family in unexpected places. In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a captivating depiction of loss and hope. -- From Abrams

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

American Born Chinese
Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese

By: Gene Luen Yang
Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10

Jin Wang starts at a new school where he's the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn't want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he's in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee's annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny's reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He's ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there's no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They're going to have to find a way—if they want fix the disasters their lives have become. National Book Award Finalist. 2007 Michael Printz Award Winner. —from the website at Macmillan

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.