Friday, March 9, 2012

Library Loot + story thoughts

I have gotten into a reading phase, finally! I decided to grab a couple of books from the library, almost 3 weeks ago. Kavi got his first library card(yay!) and I went into the juvenile fiction section. I have been working on a story for a long time now, and mentioned it here before around a year ago? I should probably have finished it by now, but life happens! And we moved and all that. :) I now have approx 32,500 words in my rough draft. But I have decided to read lots of books for the same age group that I imagine my own story to be for. "Middle grades", maybe ages 8-12? Although I still love reading books meant for those ages. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Princess and the Goblin, and lots of others! I would pick them over any type of mushy love story. I do like a sweet love story mixed into a bigger adventure story. I had read the tips many times, read lots of books in the genre you are writing in. Not to steal ideas, but to understand how their stories and characters developed. How did they start the story? What made you want to keep reading?
As I write and want to add things into my story, like a steam river boat for instance, I actually have to do homework to look up the era in which I want to represent and how did that kind of boat work and how did they look, how fast or slow did they go, and how far they traveled between stops. How long would a certain journey realistically take. For that I even did a math problem that at such and such speed, plus stops, how long would it take to travel 1000 miles on a river? Ahh! Self imposed homework! But it's fun. Even if my story contains fantasy and unreal things, there has to be some realness too. I don't really want any logical questions about the boat speeds and types, trees and birds, carriages or motorcars unanswered. Because I wonder those kind of things when I read a book. What birds are normally found in cold mountain climates? Would the bird I chose fit in?(and yes, it does, because I researched).

So on that day when Kavi got his first library card, I picked out two books to bring home. Both by the same author, Eva Ibbotson, who I sadly never heard of before that!?
 So I took home Journey to the River Sea and The Secret of Platform 13. 

Journey to the River Sea was an interesting adventure story about an orphaned girl who lives a nice enough life at a girl's boarding school in London, set in 1910. Her parents had died two years earlier in an accident during their time away, where they were doing excavations. A guardian, in charge of her finances as well, sought out any living relatives that she could live with eventually. Finally an uncle and aunt were found who would take her in. They currently lived on the Amazon River in Brazil and ran a rubber tree farm. So she travels there across the ocean with a newly hired governess and things, of course, do not go as expected once she arrives.There are issues between the snobby people and the native people.
The Secret of Platform 13 was a much lighter, quirky, magical type of adventure. There were lots of magical creatures, a secret way to get to an unknown island, and a lot of wit. I was actually laughing out loud at some of it. It was entertaining. It's about a "gump", a grassy hump, underneath which a special door opens every 9 years for exactly 9 days to let people go to (or from) the magical Island, to get away from busy London life, or to go where they might feel more accepted. It's set in the early 1990's I believe, or late 1980's, so London would have been as it was when the book was written. A baby prince is born on the magical Island, and when he is a few months old, he is accidentally lost in London, kidnapped by a woman who had no children, and the magical door closes before they can get him back. Fast forward 9 years, and everyone is waiting for the magic door to open again so they can go rescue the prince from his fake mother and bring him back to his parents. And again, things don't go as planned!
I returned those books and then this week, I brought home three books. I found a blog last night that does a weekly "Library Loot" post, and people can join in. I decided to show what I got this week at the library.
The Farthest-Away Mountain, The Borrowers, and The Star of Kazan.

I have already finished The Star of Kazan, last night. It was the longest and I tackled it first. Last night I read for many hours to finish it because I had to know what happened! I can talk about it later.

Next I'll read The Borrowers. I am pretty sure I have watched a movie version of it when I was younger, but never read the book. And my mom said she loved it when she was a kid and that I would love it too.

I'll read The Farthest-Away Mountain last. I read this book when I was a kid. I think my cousin had it and let me borrow it. But I look forward to re-reading it after so many years.

The blog I got the idea from is The Captive Reader. And I didn't really link up the right way this week, but will try to next week!
And here's a cool widget from, a useful book rating and recommendations site.

Christina's books


Devon said...

oooh.. the borrowers! i want to read that again... it's been so long... but i always thought it was cool with how they used "our size" stuff in different ways...

i always think about writing a book.. but can't commit to having to research anything! maybe someday when i'm old and have time, i'll actually give it a shot! good luck!!!

SewSweetStitches said...

omigosh The Farthest Away Mountain! I LOVED that book when I was little! I remember asking my mom for chunks of cheese that I could wrap up in a hankie and pretend I was on an adventure, being chased by a witch and climbing my bunk bed "mountain" lol!