A story of honor, loyalty, betrayal, and love, The Boy from the Snow by author Maria Johnson is a historical fiction novel that follows a soldier - Daniel, son of Kellan - on his journey of survival and self-discovery. Set in Northwest Celtic England, 590 AD, behind the backdrop of bloody battles and political deceit, at the heart of this epic tale is a love story.
With The Boy from the Snow, Johnson gives readers an easy-to-follow plot, plenty of action, and an honest and loyal main character they can root for from beginning to end.
For me, one of the things that stands out most about The Boy from the Snow is Johnson’s use of strong female characters. Princess Evelyn, along with Daniel’s friends Aife and Sarah, are critical to the storyline and are never overshadowed by the male characters in the book, not even on the battlefield. This is a story where the men respect females for their abilities and strength, which made me enjoy reading it even more. Female warriors are the bomb. Hoorah!
The Boy from the Snow is the first of its series and does a good job of piquing reader’s interest in following Daniel’s story into Johnson’s second novel, The Veiled Wolf.
All in all, if you’re a fan of historical fiction and/or tales of war and love, pour yourself a mug of mead and consider checking out Maria Johnson’s The Boy from the Snow. It just might warm your heart.
The call came in early, around 0800.
“Quincy’s on line two for ya, Sarge.”
I answered Deputy Mullins with a sigh and a nod before picking up the receiver. I cleared my throat. “It’s a bit early, isn’t it?” Grabbing my coffee, I leaned back in the chair. “What do you got today, some chickens choked by a crazy cauliflower?” I took a sip. “A pesky Pekinese pummel a Pomeranian?”
Quincy frequently reported fictitious crimes. He had found a dead cow once along Route 4 and called it in as a UFO probing gone deadly. A gang of rogue raccoons broke-in to Petey McGee’s barn, and for the assault on Darla Jenkins’ cat by an armed and dangerous Blue Jay, he had secured two witnesses who had seen the whole thing. As irritating as his antics were, you couldn’t blame the guy. He was the Medical Examiner in a town that had never had a violent crime. He was bored, but in all my years as Chief of Police, Quincy had never called this early.
“Uh, Sarge, I think we’ve got a problem. I’m over here at Eagle Ridge, and you know how they’re doing all those renovations on the houses?”
Usually booming, Quincy’s voice was quiet, borderline shaky. I became suspicious. He was a good actor, had a hankering to hitchhike out to Hollywood in his youth to take a gamble at the silver screen, so I played along. “They got some loose pigs pillaging the pantries?”
“Uh, no,” Quincy said. “Looks like the boys found what appears to be…human remains.”
Outside of regular classroom interactions and participation in team sports, I was pathetically anti-social in high school. Fairly positive I was confusing Betty Cole for Deidra Cole, another girl from high school only two years younger, I shrugged. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Yes,” I said, unable to conjure a mental picture.
Gibbons was glad she hadn’t married that jerk Cole brother, in hindsight. She said that when she had first met John, she thought he was funny.
There was a lull in conversation, and I noticed the lunch rush buzzing around us. We had finished our meals and were now occupying valuable real estate. Our waitress approached and cleared the plates.
“Will this be on one check?”
“Yes,” I said.
She hurried away, and I brought the conversation back to the main task at hand. “So, you still interested in these tickets?”
Before Gibbons could answer, the waitress was back. She set the check on the table and refilled my Coke, though, again, it didn’t need refilling.
I pulled out my wallet and handed my debit card to the waitress. “I’ve got this.”
Gibbons pulled out her wallet. “What? No. Are you sure?”
“Yes, my treat.”
“No. You sure?”
“You can buy next time.”
“Well, okay, and, yes, I want those tickets.”
She pulled out some cash and exchanged it for the tickets as the waitress returned with my debit card.
After I signed the bill, Gibbons and I walked out of The Burger Barn and she told me about the Chicago vacation she had planned with her sons. They were going to see the Cubs and White Sox play, visit museums, take an architecture tour, eat pizza, and now, thanks to me, Adam and Bryant would go to Lollapalooza while she enjoyed a spa day at the hotel.
When asked what John would be doing, Gibbons said. “I haven’t even told him we’re going.”
“He's not going with you?”
“God, no.” She laughed and gave me a big hug. “It was so good to see you. We should do this again some time.”
“I’ve got a cruise then a Spanish immersion slash surfing trip before Chicago with the boys, but after that would be perfect.”
I laughed. “Well, text me whenever, and we’ll pencil it in.”
Gibbons promised to send me pictures from Lollapalooza to post on social media so my mom could comment about how I should bring her back a Bruno Mars autograph as a thank you for the wonderful birthday gift she had given me.
We hugged again before parting ways. I waved and watched her peel out of the parking lot and zip down the street. As I pulled out after her, I thought – the next time Gibbons and I meet, we’ll skip the burgers and go for bourbon instead.
|ˈflagət| n. a person who likes to display flags outside their home or car.
Ex. Wow, Paul I didn't know you were such a flagit for the Thunder.
Ex. A true flagit knows one should always let the American flag fall freely.
| skōōl yiərz ' rezə'lōōSHən | n. a tradition in which students and teachers make promises of self-improvement such as better attendance and study habits or more timely grading.
Promises can be made any time of year but are most typically found at the beginning of an academic semester and during final's week.
Ex. My School Year's resolution is to wake up early so I can eat breakfast before my 8 a.m. class.
Ex. Not taking an 8 a.m. class is going to be my School Year's resolution next semester.
If you haven't read The Color Purple by Alice Walker then you need to put down whatever you're reading and dive in to this heartbreaking and uplifting story.
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia the story is about Celie, a poor, uneducated, fourteen-year-old black girl living in the south during the 1930s.
This story is not for the faint of heart, and you will find yourself angry and disgusted with how black women, and men, were treated and the hardships they had to endure.
The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction in 1983, but the novel has been repeatedly censored.
It's currently documented as the seventeenth most challenged book in the American Library Association's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009.
The book was adapted into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah, and Danny Glover. Though the movie is good, we recommend you read the book before catching the flick. There's something about the way Alice Walker tells the story that the film just can't capture.
After the First Death
by: Robert Cormier
After the First Death is a young-adult novel about a group of terrorists who hijack a school bus full of children.
Though it was written by Robert Cormier in 1979, the story could have taken place today.
The main characters include Kate, a high school student driving the bus, Miro, one of the terrorists, and Ben, the son of a general for an anti-terrorism group. This is a gripping story that will put you on the edge of your seat.
Robert Cormier is a pioneer author for the young-adult genre. He wrote to teens before it was cool or profitable.
There's not a lot of fluff with Robert Cormier. His work is serious, and he explores a variety of dark and deep issues.
Other great Cormier books include: The Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, We All Fall Down, and The Rag and Bone Shop.
Afterlaugh |ˈaftərˌ laf | n. Reflecting on a joke or situation from a previous experience and laughing about it again later.
Ex. I had a good afterlaugh at lunch today when I thought about Jim falling out of his chair at the morning meeting.
Beatnik Books is part bookstore part poetry venue. Owned by the Mooseville Poet Laureate, Beatnik's is simply a comfortable place to hang out and soak up the written word.
The Mooseville Poet Laureate:
She's been a magic rock dealer, the president of a lawn mowing service, an umpire, a photographer, and a peddler of expensive vacuums. Her responsibilities have included feeding anorexics, wiping the elderly, issuing cigarettes, and keeping an eye on people who see ants crawling all over their shoes. In record time, she's dropped checks, delivered oysters, filled coffee, boxed leftovers, shaken martinis and crafted daiquiris. She can bean count and number crunch, counsel and educate, smooth talk and copy sling. Currently, she's a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, a warrior, a poet, a jester, a dreamer, and the leader of her own lip sync band.