Tag Archives: music

Book Spotlight: The Henge by Devra Robitaille

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The Henge is a new novel by Devra Robitaille.

Away to the north of the Noble Village of the Arts there is, buried in a jade lake at the bottom of a quarry, a stone with magical properties—a stone that sings. Izraziti the Dreamer has seen the stone through the eyes of an eagle as he soars over the quarry at night. Concinnity Song and her twin brothers, along with the council of twelve must mobilize all the hunter-warriors to raise the stone and transport it across the land, and build a henge to protect it, according to the covenant with the ancestors for the future of civilization. To do this they must tap into the true tone that will levitate the singing stone and its companion blue stones out of the quarry. They will have to battle their enemies, not just the human kind, but a cataclysmic flood and catastrophic fire that threaten to wipe them all out. As they travel across the land with the stones, the people come together and create an amazing civilization on a journey that will culminate in one brilliant night, the night of the solstice, when all the stones will be raised together to form…The Henge.


Take a look at the book trailer for The Henge.


And a little about the author….

London-born Devra is a composer, songwriter and keyboardist, as well as an author. She had a successful career as a professional musician in England, playing keyboards and touring with Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame, before moving to America in the nineties. All through the nineties she directed musicals and theatrical productions in Los Angeles. Now living in Florida with her family on the Sarasota Bay, she has written several children’s books and several young adult novels.

Devra has always been fascinated by the stone monuments that litter the countryside in England, so her latest book The Henge is a labor of love; combining her love of music with her love of her culture.


Looking for more information? Check out the other participants of The Henge book blog tour via The Hologram Library. Or take a look at Devra’s Amazon author page and pick up a copy of The Henge.

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Brady Plays the Fiddle by Melissa Auell

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Brady Plays the Fiddle by Melissa Auell, 16 pages, picture e-book, published by Jade River Publishing in 2017.

Brady the Badger is interested in learning to play an instrument. His parents take him to a bluegrass festival where he hears some instruments being played and gets to meet the musicians.

Brady Plays the Fiddle is a sweet and lyrical story which introduces a range of string musical instruments to young children. Each instrument is played by a different animal.

The story is told through rhyme, which is best read aloud. My kids immediately asked me what bluegrass was. If I was reading this to a class, I think it would be useful to have some samples of bluegrass music for the children to listen to. And of course, if possible, the actual instruments from the story. It would make an awesome music lesson to read the book, and then try out a mandolin or a dobro!

The illustrations were very bright and reasonably simple. I think that they would appeal to young children. However, I felt that the illustrations of Brady lacked continuity between the first couple of pages and the rest of the book. This may have just been my perception as he went from being drawn from the front, to being seen side-on. His nose was also a darker shade of pink and his fur a darker grey in the later pages. I know it seems pedantic, but initially I didn’t realise that both badgers were Brady.

My favourite illustration was on the front cover; there Brady is feeling the music and obviously enjoying himself. The background to this page is expertly coloured too. It really was an excellent choice for the cover.

Brady Plays the Fiddle is a nice book most suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and lower primary school children. It is a great way to introduce these instruments to children and would make an useful addition to preschool music programs.

 

*I received this book as a digital edition from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

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Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Grey

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IMG_2538Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Grey, paperback novel, 233 pages, published in 2014.

Kat is a seventeen year old in Sydney with a passion for music, just not that produced by the biggest boy band in the world, Unrequited. When her mother gets delayed on a work trip, Kat has to escort her younger sisters, who are huge fans, to an Unrequited concert. Kat can think of a million different things she would prefer to be doing, like studying for her final exams or listening to her favourite band, 5 Seconds of Summer. A chance encounter with a cute boy on the train might just make up for the backstage passes to Unrequited, but will she see him again? The lead singer of Unrequited, Angus, seems to be staring at her during the concert. Could he really have noticed her out of the thousands of fans at the concert, and is she interested anyway?

A modern day Cinderella story, Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band read like a romantic comedy for teenagers. The hope of love and success and doing what you love, teenage desires finding reality. This was an uplifting read that I will probably indulge in again! If I didn’t have small children, I would have stayed up late to finish Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band. I really got into the story and wanted to keep reading without interruption, I wanted to know who Kat would choose and what would happen with her music.

The awkward situation of a love triangle (or quadrilateral) happens often, just not normally with the added complication of a very famous singer. So while this story has a slightly exaggerated fantasy feel to it, it was easy to see parallels to real life situations and people. I especially liked Kat as a character, she was different. A teenager without the conformity of a teenager, unconscious of her own abilities and magnetism, it made her enigmatic and interesting.  Angus, with his fame and money, as well as the ability to choose any of the girls that were throwing themselves at him, finds the one girl that doesn’t seem remotely interested and pursues her relentlessly. At first, I found this to be a bit arrogant, as it felt a bit like Kat would be just a conquest for him. However, I warmed to Angus after a while, though Joel seemed much more like your average Knight in Shining Armour that should win the girl’s heart.

Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band is a young adult novel, but I think kids from upper primary would find this a suitable read. I really enjoyed it, though I wasn’t much into pop culture as a teen, and am even less so now. After a few references to 5 Seconds of Summer and Douglas Booth, I realised that they might be real people. I used Google to confirm my suspicions, and then had a few moments of feeling rather old! Still, this book made me feel happy and optimistic.

I picked up a signed copy of Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band from Canty’s Bookshop in Fyshwick, Canberra, but it is also available online at Unrequited.com,au. You can read the first few chapters online too.