Tag Archives: girl power

Calling all thinking girls

14 Aug

My brother in law’s friend one described someone (Debbie Gibson?)  as “the thinking girl’s Tiffany”. The phrase has stuck with me through the decades. It recently popped back into mind with David D. Levine’s Arabella of Mars.

This is such a fun book, full of the adventure and the chaste romance you would expect of a Regency novel, but it is set on Mars. Thinking girls just want to have fun, too!

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Publisher’s Summary:Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of theDiana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut novel by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space!

It reminded me of a lot of books and series I like. It has the “dress up as a boy and go on an adventure during the Napoleonic wars” adventure of the Jackie Farber seriesIt has adventure in space like Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. It is an alternative history like Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. And, it is by a local Portland author.  Although I started y talking about thinking girls enjoying this book, I can think of a number of boys in last year’s class that would enjoy reading Arabella of Mars. 

This might be one of my favorite  reads of the summer and I think it would be highly appropriate for the kids I teach. It might be one of my first book talks of the year.

 

 

 

Princess Me

17 Jul

I felt as powerful as a Queen this weekend as I zipped around town doing last-minute errands in preparation for the 2016 Oregon Basset Hound Games. As you read this post, I am probably on my way to, or already  in, Woodburn, Oregon for the fabulous event and fundraiser for Oregon Basset Hound Rescue.

Adrienne is not a name that appears often in literature, so imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered a series featuring Princess Adrienne, heroine of the Princeless  a Canadian all-ages comic book series by Jeremy Whitely.

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The first volume Princeless Vol. 1: Save Yourself,  introduces us to Princess Adrienne  and her plight.

Publisher’s Summary: Adrienne Ashe never wanted to be a princess. She hates fancy dinners, is uncomfortable in lavish dresses, and has never wanted to wait on someone else to save her. However, on the night of her 16th birthday, her parents, the King and Queen, locked her away in a tower guarded by a dragon to await the rescue of some handsome prince. Now Adrienne has decided to take matters into her own hands!

And so, Princess Adrienne escapes, and accompanied by her companions, Bedelia the Blacksmith and Sparky the Dragon , sets off to rescue her six sisters (Alize, Antonia and Andrea, Angoisse, Angelica, and  Appalonia). Their  rescue stories are told in the subsequent volumes. So far, there are five books total.

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This excellent series  was nominated for two Eisner awards, “Best Single Issue” and “Best Comic for Kids Ages 8-12”, and five Glyph awards, winning the categories “Best Female Character”, “Best Writer”, and “Story of the Year.

If you are looking for good graphic novels with strong female characters, give Princeless  a try!

 

 

 

Girls save the world….again

29 May

I have two really great sequels to rave about today. They both have exclamation points in the title and both feature girls who save the world. Isn’t it always thus!

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Dragons Beware!  is a sequel to Giants Beware, both written by Jorge Aguirre and  illustrated by Rafael Rosado.

Goodreads Summary: Scrappy Claudette sets out once again with her pal Marie and her little brother Gaston to right wrongs and fight evil. And this time, it’s personal. Claudette is out to get the dragon who ate her father’s legs…and his legendary sword. But as usual, nothing is as simple as it seems, and Claudette is going to need Marie and Gaston’s help more than ever.

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Smek For President! is a sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday  by Adam Rex.

Goodreads summary:After Tip and J.Lo banished the Gorg from Earth in a scheme involving the cloning of many, many cats, the pair is notorious-but not for their heroics. Instead, human Dan Landry has taken credit for conquering the Gorg, and the Boov blame J.Lo for ruining their colonization of the planet. Determined to clear his name, J.Lo and Tip pack into Slushious, a Chevy that J.Lo has engineered into a fairly operational spaceship, and head to New Boovworld, the aliens’ new home on one of Saturn’s moons.

But their welcome isn’t quite as warm as Tip and J.Lo would have liked. J.Lo is dubbed Public Enemy Number One, and Captain Smek knows that capturing the alien is the only way he’ll stand a chance in the Boovs’ first-ever presidential election.

With the help of a friendly flying billboard named Bill, a journey through various garbage chutes, a bit of time travel, and a slew of hilarious Boovish accents, Tip and J.Lo must fight to set the record straight-and return home in once piece.

The first book came out in 2007, so it took me a few pages to get back into the Boov groove, but before long, I remembered why I liked the first book so much. They are just so funny and you can’t help liking the endearing Boovish way of speaking.

Randy Ribay

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