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Dazzling Diverse Fantasy: Fevered Star and The Gilded Ones

27 Apr

Myth, legends, and traditions have always worked their way into fantasy, but for years much of what was written in English drew from European history or if it looked elsewhere it was through an “exotic” outsider lens. It is exciting to see so many People of Color, especially women, writing and getting published fantasy works inspired by their own cultures. Here are two powerful works I enjoyed recently.

Fevered Star
Fevered Star is alive with strong willed characters that kept me turning the page. I was especially drawn to Xiala a Teek whose voice has power and Serapio who though literally now a powerful god still manages to have the complexity of a lesser man. This is a second book so the various strands of each main character are interwoven together, but they are distanced from one another. The series is set in a Fantasy American Continent drawing from native myths and legends. I would recommend to other readers starting with Black Sun and then reading Fevered Star to better understand the underlying political dynamics at work. The end of Fevered Star definitely left me hungry for the third book in the series. Rebecca Roanhorse is an African American and Indigenous author. I was provided an advanced copy of Fevered Star by Net Galley/SAGA Press.

The Gilded Ones
The Gilded Ones is the first in a series by Namina Forna. The next book, The Merciless Ones, will be coming out at the end of this month. Forna immigrated from West Africa as a child and her experiences there helped to inspire some of the novel’s story. In The Gilded Ones, women are considered impure if they bleed gold when cut. They must choose between death and becoming warriors whose service to the emperor will purify them. But all is not what it seems, in this inspiring work of feminist fantasy. Although it is listed as a Young Adult work, adults will also enjoy this book. We read it as part of our monthly HPL Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group.

Both series are available from elibraryNJ and in print from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Service Manager

A Rare Life Well Done: Picture Books and Juvenile Biographies about Julia Child

20 Apr

Last month I had fun helping my son research Julia Child for a Women’s History Month Project (he came up with the title for this post).  He picked her due to his interest in baking and his love of online cooking competition shows.  Julia Child continues her popularity as reflected in the new cooking competition, The Julia Child Challenge, and the dramedy, Julia, which just began airing.  I wanted to share a few of the books we checked out from BCCLS libraries for you to enjoy with your own novice chefs.

Born Hungry: Julia Child becomes “The French Chef”
by Alex Prud’homme

Born Hungry follows Julia on her journey in Paris from a curious foodie to a chef who shared her love of French Cooking with the world.  It is written by Alex Prud’homme, Julia Child’s great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, My Life in France, a great choice for adult fans.

Bon Appetit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child
by Jessie Hartland

Children can learn about how Julia Child went from being a girl in Pasadena, California, to becoming a spy in WWII, to writing the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and becoming a beloved TV icon.  This was my son’s, who loves graphic novels and mangas, favorite with the panel style formatting.          

Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures
by Erin Hagar

Another charming illustrated biography, this one features more realistic and less stylized illustrations of Julia’s life. 

Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat
by Susanna Reich

Although this sweet picture book includes biographical information about Child, the true charm comes from the sweet story of Julia’s Parisian kitty companion, Minette. 

Julia, Child
by Kyo Maclear

This fun picture book features a fictional story about Julia Child during her girlhood having culinary escapades with her best friend Simca (based on Child’s friend, French Cookbook author Simone Beck).

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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