Goodreads Giveaway!

Cover1bordermapEnter to win the first book in the Essence of Galenia book series: Journey to Kokoroe

Contest is now open and ends on April 2nd. It is open all over the world so don’t miss your chance to win!

Journey to Kokoroe by Laura L. Comfort

As Hanna begins to realize that home is not just around the corner, fear begins to grip her. Greeted with kindness, fear gives way to curiosity. As she learns of the destructive history of Galenia she becomes resolved to help her new companions maintain their idealized way of life. Hanna’s not the only one with a new purpose. Nandin discovers the history he grew up believing may not have been accurate and the suffering he’s witnessed may have been caused by the very people he trusted. Two travellers on opposite paths; both convinced they’re on the side of the greater good. One path leads to the salvation of Galenia, the other to it’s destruction.

 

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A Bit of Essence – #2

JtKHub

Students entered into their Journey to Kokoroe Minecraft session through the hub. This amazing Asian inspired palace was where they found the links to take them to the weekly build site. The challenge for this week was to build the town of Erdo. Here is a summary of the story so far along with some terminology:

Terminology from Galenia:

Essence – this mystical substance is in all things; without it you die.

The Three Original Races:
  • Juro – this race has the ability to manipulate the Essence, they are long lived and have an average height of 3’
  • Jivan – these people are intelligent and work in all trades, are philosophers and have an average height of 5’5”
  • Jagare – these are the hunters and protectors with an average height of 6’ and have a muscular physique
The New Races: created by Mateo
  • Kameil – some were born Kameil others may have been Jivan or Jagare originally but were experimented on leaving them without any Essence and making them a sickly race
  • Yaru – born Jivan or Jagare Mateo’s treatment increased their Essence making them taller, stronger and with Ninja-like abilities
The Story:

Hanna was starting to get worried. She was enjoying her time in the small village of Kayu, but the longer she stayed the more aware she was that she was trapped on Galenia. She finally accepted the advice of the village leaders to seek out Master Juro; they insisted that if anyone had answers it would be him and he would be her best chance at finding a way back home. She tried to convince herself to just go along with it but when she realized it would be a two-week journey to Kokoroe, her travel companions had to convince her to carry on. Kazi, with his unshakable good mood and bright-side view of things, made it impossible for her to quit. He was so excited to be heading to Kokoroe to begin his training and she became more than a little curious as to what that might entail. What he revealed about Galenia fascinated her, but some things left her feeling conflicted. The treatment of the Kameil was unsettling – she felt she had a lot in common with them as she too was without Essence. Their banishment filled her with dread; she hoped she would not be condemned to the same fate. Hanna grasped the Essence gem she wore around her neck grateful to the people of Kayu for giving her the chance to survive.

Students at Gamed Academy were given this passage:

Six days after they left BaDaal they arrived at Erdo. Hanna loved the entrance to this town. The narrowed road was covered by a solid canopy of green as the trees merged together. The town itself had an interesting layout. It was made of three ring roads one inside another. Each road was packed with buildings leaving no space between them so the only way to the center of town was down the main road that cut straight through each ring. Like a bull’s-eye, a three-tiered fountain dominated the main square. Hanna wished she had more time to tour around each ring road, but they arrived late and left early, seeing only the small inn where they slept and the view from her window.

Book Reviews

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Top 5 Youth Book Series

I read many books from a variety of genres. In my Top 5 list I’ve included books that are not only entertaining and enjoyable, but have an educational slant to it.

My own book series draws from our history as far as the architecture, development of language and engineering; however, these things are not directly linked to any person, place or event and therefore, it’s not on my list – but don’t get me wrong, Essence of Galenia is still an epic read 😉

  1. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordanmagnus
    • This book was hard to put down. Magnus is a well written character full of wit and sarcasm that he uses to hide his vulnerabilities. The series takes the characters on a thrilling quest adventure all in reference to Norse mythology.
    • It is similar to the Percy Jackson series, which includes Greek mythology and is also great. That series is aimed at readers 8 to 12 and Magnus Chase is a more mature read.
    • I think this is a fun and interesting way to learn about the belief systems of the different people of history. These mythologies are still prevalent in our current society making this a great way to learn valuable stories that are not usually taught in the school systems.
  2. 39 Clues by Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Jude Watson, Patrick Carman, Linda Sue Park, Margaret Peterson39clues
    • In this adventure novel series, the two main characters find themselves on a heroic clue hunt across the world. Their adventures take them to many historical sites and they learn about many important figures from over the ages.
    • The reading level is for 8 – 12 years, but is an enjoyable read for anyone with lots of worthwhile facts revealed throughout. Each book was written by a different author.
  3. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomeryanne_of_green_gables1
    • Following Anne through the beautiful landscape of Avonlea takes the readers away to a slower pace of life of the early 1900’s.
    • Anne is a bright, imaginative and talkative 11 year old whose love of language has her speaking in a eloquent and advanced sort of way that reflects her extreme passions.
    • Experiencing this moment in time and the beauty of P.E.I through Anne’s eyes will have you longing to visit Canada’s coast and reveal  the charm and elegance words can have.
  4. Horrible Histories by Terry Deary, Peter Hepplewhite and HHRomansNeil Tonge
    • Now onto the weird and wacky, these short books are packed with facts and stories about some of the strangest events, people and places in history.
    • With the addition of comics and jokes, these history books will have your kids groaning and laughing as they learn about our outrageous past. Deary is a writer who wishes to ‘entertain first and inform second’.
  5. Hatchet by Gary Paulsenhatchet
    • In this wilderness survival novel, 13-year old Brian is stranded in the middle of a forest. He must learn how to survive in the vast wilderness with only his hatchet.
    • It is a compelling read and has you asking whether or not you would be as resourceful as young Brian. If you’ve never been in Scouts or taken any survival training this is a must read! It is book 1 in a 5 books series.

That’s the end of my Top 5 educational books, but I’d like to do a shout out to the ruins_of_gorlanRangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan. This action adventure series follows 12 year old Will who becomes a Ranger (essentially the secret police of the king). Flanagan bases many of the peoples on our own historical cultures. The values, friendships, hard work and relatable characters make this a compelling read, and therefore, there is much to be gained other than facts and figures.

Top 5 Reasons to Read

“The more that you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go!” — Dr. Seuss

This quote was fitting for Read In week.  I will be volunteering at a local Junior High School to read to students about the importance of reading. My favorite top 5 reasons:

  1. It improves your verbal abilities
  2. It improves your focus and concentration
  3. Reading makes you smarter
  4. It makes you interesting & more attractive
  5. Reduces Stress

Visit whytoread.com for a complete top 10 list with detailed explanations for each reason.