Monday, August 31, 2009

Fantasy: Discordia

Lance is a level 19 zombie sorcerer in the online MMOG Discordia (an online multiplayer game, like Warcraft). He battles monsters with his friend, MrsKeller (level 23 hobgoblin brigand) and collects gold and experience to advance to the next level. Dying is certainly not something to seek out, but it's no big deal; his character will resurrect with no harm done. Real life seems dreary in comparison, and Lance can't wait to get home every day to play.
But when Lance and his friend are transported to the real Discordia, things become serious very quickly. Lance and Adam (MrsKeller) must complete a high-level quest, or the entire world will collapse, with them in it. Worse, Lance will soon disintegrate into the character he plays; a zombie!
Full of action, adventure and role-playing lingo, this book will have huge appeal for players of online games like runescape, WOW, and neverwinter nights. Every player has occasionally wondered what would happen if the game suddenly turned real, and this book takes the concept and runs with it. The straightforward plot and light characterization make this book perfect for reluctant readers and action fans. Best for boys or roleplayers in grades 6-9.

Grades 6-0
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Graphic Novel: Jellaby

Ten-year-old Portia meets Jellaby, a huge purple monster, when it tries to eat her flashlight while she's out in the woods iin the middle of the night. It doesn’t say anything, and is actually very timid and sweet, so Portia takes it home and feeds it a tuna sandwich. Life becomes increasingly exciting as she tries to keep Jellaby a secret.
Lonely classmate Jason discovers Jellaby's existence, and helps Portia care for the monster. When Jellaby points out a photograph from the newspaper, the kids think the monster has given them a clue to its home, but they’ll need to visit Toronto to learn more. Portia and Jason have the physical proportions of the Peanuts gang, and Jellaby is too cute to be scary, but Soo grounds the story in a fairly gritty contemporary reality, where kids deal with bullies and well-meaning adults try to help. Clear, clean lines and easy-to-follow panel layouts round out the package. An excellent graphic novel pick for kids in grades 4-7.
Graphic Novel
Grades 4-7
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Nonfiction: Down Down Down: a journey to the bottom of the sea

This fascinating nonfiction book takes the reader down to the very bottom of the ocean. Each two page spread features a different ocean strata, and provides information tidbits about the creatures that inhabit each plane. More details are provided in an appendix at the back of the book, for those who are curious (and who wouldn't be curious about the Hatchefish, or the mysterious Vent Octopus!)
The lovely collage illustrations are scientifically accurate, with even tiny details of antennae carefully rendered. Beautiful, bright colours and clear shapes make this book as suitable for preschoolers as it is for older elementary students.
A fascinating introduction to our staggeringly deep oceans. Kids will want to read more about this engaging topic!
Grades k-5
Click here to check out the Port Moody Public Library's catalogue!