sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 28, 2011

into the stacks: the magnificent 12: the call
posted by soe 7:10 pm

What's in a Name 4The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

From the jacket: “Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

“And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means.”

My take: An action series in a similar vein to Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, this book crosses time and space, ranging from ancient days to modern times, and from Arizona to Australia. Our protagonist, Mack, comes into our story by standing up to some bullies picking on another kid. While this act nearly gets him beaten up, events quickly transpire that have him saving the life of the main bully of Richard Gere Middle School, Stefan, who announces he will protect him from all threats.

This is good, because he also comes to the attention of two mysterious and somewhat supernatural ancient beings: Grimluk, who announces that Mack is the heir to the Magnifica, the Magnificent 12, and must battle the Pale Queen (who is about to be freed after her eternal imprisonment of 3,000 years) to save the world from evil, and Paddy “Nine Iron” Trout, a wheezing leprechaun who heads up the Nafia, those malevolent creatures in the service of said queen and her equally dangerous daughter, Princess Ereskigal.

With an uneducated golem standing in for him at home and at school, Mack and Stefan board a plane that will take them to Australia where he has to convince another 12-year old to join the Magnifica. But with supernatural bad guys hot on their trail and Mack’s fear of flying, it’s not going to be as simple as just stumbling across her. Or will it?

The novel is cute and will definitely appeal to modern kids with its grasp of current technology and its irreverent tone. I’d be willing to read the second book when it comes out in the fall, but I won’t be rushing out to buy them, as I do with some series aimed at a slightly older audience.

My favorite quote of the book? “Of course [your golem] can text. He’s a golem … not an adult.”

This book, which I read way back in January, counts as my fourth and final book in the National Just Read More Novels Month Challenge, as well as my number category in the What’s in a Name 4 Challenge.

Pages: 243

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February 24, 2011

softest socks ever, bulb bits, and fancy glass
posted by soe 1:54 pm

1. I wear a brand new pair of polka-dotted socks that have arrived from Grey Kitten via SockDreams. Because they have cashmere and angora in them, even at the end of the day, my feet still feel like they’re being gently hugged.

2. The greens of spring bulbs have pushed their way through the earth to say that warm weather is just around the corner. I’ve seen signs of daffodils, croci, hyacinths, and tulips just in my neighborhood.

3. Rudi and I celebrate my finally getting a weekend on Monday by heading to Georgetown. After buying some spices at a new shop, we head to our favorite bakery, Baked & Wired, where my hot chocolate comes in a parfait glass.

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

February 23, 2011

random ten for the last wednesday of february
posted by soe 7:47 pm

You know you want to play along. The rules: Press random play/shuffle on your iPod/cd changer/computer and then ‘fess up to the first ten songs your player spits out.

These are from my work computer:

  1. “Fenario” — Richard Shindell
  2. “Back to Me” — Rita Hosking
  3. “Raglan Road” — Tommy Sands
  4. “The Whole World in His Hands” — Laurie London
  5. “Kitchen Table and Chairs” — Rita Hosking
  6. “The Cuckoo” — Peter, Bethany, and Rufus
  7. “The Boxer” — Simon & Garfunkel
  8. “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” — Peter, Paul, and Mary
  9. “Groupie” — Kelli Ali
  10. “Grey and Green” — Richard Shindell

Huh. We have a particularly low-key mix here, with “Groupie” being the only song that remotely leaves the quiet folk realm and even then it’s hardly loud or really up-tempo.

Feel free to link to your blog or to share in the comments.

Category: arts. There is/are 2 Comments.

February 22, 2011

my shawlette
posted by soe 3:10 am

The little scarf/shawlette I’m knitting on has only nine rows left before I can bind it off.

Unfortunately, that amounts to a smidge shy of 5,000 stitches and several hours of work.

Progress is slow at this point. I hope to be done by the end of the month, but there’s no guarantee.

But it is soft and purple, so there is that.

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February 21, 2011

posted by soe 12:06 am

sprite and Posey

Posey and I have had a tough couple of days. I had to spend the weekend working, standing on concrete for hours at a time, interacting with small children. Posey had to … move out of the closet temporarily when Rudi wanted the box she was lying on.

Clearly we’re both exhausted.

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February 17, 2011

campaign, chimes, and calm
posted by soe 11:41 pm

In a week that’s been filled with visits, emails, phone calls, cards, and packages, it was hard to narrow it down to a mere three beautiful things. But I did:

1. Macy’s has new window displays up advertising its wedding registries. When I saw the 12th Street window proclaiming its registries were open to all couples, I was pleased. But when I saw their 13th Street window had two female mannequins together against a backdrop of all permutations of betrothed couples, I was really impressed. Go Macy’s!

2. In at least three of the trees in the park next to the Historical Society, wind chimes dangle in the warm breeze.

3. Sitting in Pete’s Apizza, surrounded by the people here in D.C. I like the best, I feel one of those rare moments of peace. It does not feel dissimilar from slipping into a perfectly warm bath or being embraced by a loved one after a long absence.

Those are just three of my beautiful things during this birthday week. How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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