Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cinda Williams Chima


I went to Cinda Williams Chima's book signing at Tattered Cover Bookstore here in Denver yesterday. She was great! I got a copy of her new book, The Demon King, and gave her a copy of The Fire Stone.

In other news, I'm on Twitter now so check out my tweets.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prairie Winds Elementary School Visit

Hi Everybody!

Yesterday, I visited Prairie Winds Elementary School in Monument, Colorado and spoke to the third, fourth, and fifth grade classes. I had a great time! The kids were great listeners and asked some really thoughtful questions. There were some avid readers there and a lot of kids seemed really interested in writing, which is great to see!

Here's some pictures from the event:

Thank you to everyone at Prairie Winds, especially the Hapkes and Tiffany Brown! I had such a great time!

At the moment, my next event will be at the Cherry Hills Village Elementary School in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. Right now it looks like I will be speaking to the kids and signing books at the book fair the week of November 9th, but I'll post more on that as we get closer.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review - The Hunger Games


I know it's been a while (again) since I last posted, but as always things have been very busy. I am more than halfway finished with my latest book, the first of an urban-fantasy trilogy for teens, and things are still going strong with The Fire Stone. I have an appearance at Prairie Winds Elementary School on Tuesday. But today, I thought I would do something different, so I wrote a review of one of my favorite books, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The sequel, Catching Fire, was released a few weeks ago. Both books are fantastic reads as you'll see below. Enjoy:

Imagine living in a world build upon the ruins of civilization, where twenty-three children are annually sentenced to death. The Hunger Games, a teen science-fiction novel by Suzanne Collins, takes place in the futuristic nation of Panem, built in the ruins of North America. Every year, two children between the ages of twelve and eighteen are selected as Tributes from each of the twelve districts to go to the capitol to compete in the Hunger Games, a brutal death match that leaves only one victor standing.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen saves her sister's life by stepping forward to enter the Hunger Games in her stead. Joining her from her district is Peeta Mellark, a boy who once saved Katniss from starvation. Katniss and Peeta are joined by the other twenty-two Tributes from the various districts at the Captiol, the ruling body that keeps strict watch other the districts. Sent to an arena with treacherous landscapes, the teenagers are forced to battle for their lives. Katniss is forced whether to fight for her survival or for her heart.

As Katniss narrates her heart-stopping story, the reader feels her raw emotions and experiences the perverse methods of control used by the Capitol. The violence of the Hunger Games is televised throughout Panem, and the Tribute that emerges alive from the brutal ordeal is awarded fame, fortune, and glory. The parallels that Collins draws between Katniss's world and our own provide an alarming illustration of the unsettling prevalence of violence in our own society. The barbarity that is so commonplace in the Hunger Games is constantly relfected in our culture through newspapers, magazines, television, books, and video games.

Collins pressures us to examine our society's emphasis on violence through this often gut-wrenching story. The destructive effect of violence on Katniss and the other teenagers is a battle that is currently being waged in the streets of American and around the world. The Hunger Games is an introspective look into our society and what it could become; the acceptance of violence in entertainment is the precursor for the application of violence in the real world. By creating and emotional, and very real connection to her characters, Collins entreats the reader to amend the tacit approval of violence. The first book of a trilogy, The Hunger Games leaves room for expansion upon and exploration of Panem society, promising to further thrill and challenge the reader.

So there's my review. I thought Catching Fire was even better and I would definitely recommend both books. They're probably for ages 13 and up.

Check back soon!