“Across the Nightingale Floor” by Lian Hearn
In light of the Far East Night the teens held two weeks ago (yes, this is a bit belated, alas), I wanted to include a book recommendation for “Across the Nightingale Floor” by Lian Hearn for readers interested in Japan, ninjas, romance, and a little bit of magic. Even better, it’s the first book in the series!
The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo’s village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor*—and to his own unimaginable destiny…
While the story doesn’t exactly take place in Japan, and there are definitely some fudges with Japanese history, it is an interesting take on medieval Japan – a historical fantasy, if you will. It’s a lot of fun and very good for reluctant readers with its mix of action and suspense.
“The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger
I’ve been on a Star Wars kick lately, and “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger is my “You must read this!” recommendation to Star Wars fans, especially those young at heart.
Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
It’s a clever story told through “case files” of the different kids at the middle school relating their interactions with Origami Yoda and how their problems were solved with Origami Yoda’s help. But was it really Origami Yoda or was it Dwight?
Fun book with details that will put a smile on a Star Wars fan’s face (like “McQuarrie Middle School”). Highly recommended.
“Brand New Human Being” by Emily Jeanne Miller
Title/Author: “Brand New Human Being” by Emily Jeanne Miller
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
WV Reader Review: I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down! Set in Montana, it tells the story of a young family dealing with a variety of issues. Though I don’t relate directly to this family, I felt like the author pulled me in and made me part of the story.