Thursday, February 9, 2012

New fantasy series: The Crowfield Curse

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh is #1 in a new series. Part historical fiction part fantasy this first installment is atmospheric, dark, rich in detail and gripping. Set in 1387 England, 14 year old orphan William Paynel is trying to manage a life as a servant at Crowfield Abbey. At the very bottom of the pecking order, William is still grateful to have a roof over his head and meals, even meager ones. While taking care of the monks' pigs he encounters a strange creature caught in a trap. With little fear he saves the creature and from that point on his life takes some wild and frightening turns that  involve very old secrets, a very long feud and possibly a dead angel.
Readers will drawn into the amazing secret world of the forest, the hard life at the abbey in middle ages Britain and William himself, who is more than even he knows.

Lisa Yee's Junior High students

So Totally Emily Ebers by Lisa Yee is one part of a four part group of books that is not so much a series as individual stories about the same group of students at same middle school.
Emily has just moved to California with her mom after her parents' divorce.  In a series of letters to her dad, you will experience Emily's various wants and needs missing her dad, missing her friends, making new friends, not understanding her mom and trying to cope with junior high school.  Emily is funny, bright, creative, prone to drama and sometimes confident and sometimes not. The letters eventually turn in to diary entries as she does not hear from her dad very much and begins to better understand both her parents. Emily is well worth getting to know.
Other characters from the three other stories appear in each installment and will prompt most readers to want to continue to get to know each of them better: Sanford Wong, Millicent Min and Marley Sandelski. 
They are also people worth meeting through their own stories.