Archive for February, 2009

The Dragons of Deltora

Posted in books, Homeschooling, kids, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 28, 2009 by simpleheresy

So we finished the second installment in the saga that is Emily Rodda’s Deltora.  The books have grown, quite a bit,  in vocabulary and scope.  The third step of the series starts off with Lief Barda and Jasmine destroying the last connection the banished Shadowlord has to the palace in Del.  Then they set off to destroy the four sisters who are slowly killing the land itself.  They must rouse the dragons that are part of the land and older than Deltora itself.

The books have grown to nearly 200 pages each and the plots are twisting so much so, Fish can just barely follow them.  If he wasn’t so enraptured with the characters his intrest would have tapered off in the last book.  But the new complexity has drawn me further in.  I’m glad we started this series.  It is getting scarier as we go on and the detail is intensifying.  For how much I like the series, I am glad it’s drawing to a close.  I cringe when I read the detailed accounts of death at the hands of the Shadowlords monsters.  I don’t think I could keep reading it to the kids, if it were any more graphic.  Of course the kids are eating it up!  They hide under the covers as the tension builds, jump when the monster finally shows itself, tear up when a brave companion has fallen then laugh out loud when Ms. Rodda presents well timed comic relief. The kids have also started speculating the next step in the story.  They have both absorbed the story so completely.  It’s been a great journey!

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Moving!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 by simpleheresy

We are moving so I will be absent for a while… I may make a post or two at the library if I’m feeling especially bloggy… but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one! 🙂

TTFN!  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Deltora: Lief, Jasmine and Barda, OH MY!

Posted in books, Homeschooling with tags , , , on February 13, 2009 by simpleheresy

So we finished the quest and scared off the nasty old Shadowlord!  Yay!  But danger still lurkes in the Shadowloand where the Shadowlord has retreated.  “Beaten but not destroyed.”  So here we go again into the Shadowlands to rescue the Pirrian Pipe and rescue the enslaved people of Del, weakening the evil Shadowlord even more.  We’ve read book one and will start book two on Monday.  Fun fun!

Political Music

Posted in entertainment, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2009 by simpleheresy

tim-mcilrathI really like music with a political edge and this one is a defiant cry against the recently closed presidential reign.  The official video is great too. You can watch it at http://www.vh1.com in the new music video section.

The punk rock band, Rise Against, has released their latest album, “Appeal To Reason.”  It was released October 7th of 2008.  The song I’m spotlighting is called, “Audience Of One.”  Sound familiar?  The band cries out for understanding that joining the armed services is not a picnic.  The war is multi-layered and, like every war, the highest cost is paid by the soldier.  The video director really sent his message home by opening on a small boys model White House.  The grounds were full of other “hot spots” including an oil derrick and a gas station complete with undulating gas prices.  The child lined up his toy soldiers and even took prisoners to a detention center complete with razor wire.  Guantanamo, anyone?

Slowly the picture perfect scene is replaced. A windswept war takes place in the boys scale model followed by a funeral in a field of crosses. Schools become tattered shells, buses become tanks.  VA Hospitals are closed down with wounded on the sidewalk.  One by one homes become flooded and little toy people are stranded on rooftops waiting for rescue.  Forests are chopped down leaving fields of tree stumps.  Foreclosure signs are planted in a once idealistic cul de sac.  Running toy families are stopped short at the US Border gate.  And finally the band is smashed by the child’s fist.  But the real kicker is when the boys identity is eluded to at the close of the music video.  **Classic**

The lyrics are easy to understand and gripping in their scope.  The music is modern punky rock but not so hard edged as to repulse the light weight rocker.  Full of modern electric guitar including simple chords and repeating pick patters accompanied by contemporary 2-2-4 bass and drumming with strong vocals.

The band is currently trying to get a European tour off the ground but seem to be having some difficulty.  Visit the band’s official home page, http://www.riseagainst.com, for more details.