First Pages: Shatter Me

“I’ve been locked up for 264 days.

I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window. 4 walls. 144 square feet of space. 26 letters in an alphabet I haven’t spoken in 264 days of isolation.

6,336 hours since I’ve touched another human being.”

~ Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

First Pages: The Lightening Thief

“Look. I didn’t want to be a half-blood.

If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.

Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways.”

The LIghtening Thief by Rick Riordan

How to Be a Viking

I love hearing ‘origin’ stories about books, especially about beloved series in our house. Cressida Cowell opens How to Be a Viking with an explanation that the series was inspired by a drawing she did in her sketch book about a little Viking prone to seasickness and his relationship with his father, who happens to be chief of their tribe. Thus Hiccup and Stoik the Vast are born (and later spun into the How to Train Your Dragon series). 

Dragonology

If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s REALLY hard for me to resist buying books. Even as our house is overflowing with them.

So when Little Lion and I were out Christmas shopping last weekend and I was fairly good at convincing her to put most things back on the shelf, when it came time to put back Dragonology by Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer, I was torn.

First Pages: Anna and the French Kiss

“Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe, although I hav eno idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, ad a lot of kings named Louis. I’m not sure what they did either, but I think it has something to do with the French Revolution, which has something to do with Bastille Day.”

~ Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Drawn Together

My Lola was one of my kindred spirits. I think she understood me in a different way than my mom does.

So you can imagine that when I heard that Dan Santat was illustrating a picture book about a boy’s relationship with his grandfather, I leaped at the chance to read it. I mean, it’s Dan Santat, right?

First Pages: Crimes of Grindewald

“Scene 1: EXT NEW YORK, AMERICAN MINISTRY OF MAGIC—1927—NIGHT

AERIAL of New York and MACUSA building.]

Scene 2: INT MACUSA BASEMENT, BARE, BLACK-WALLED ROOM, NIGHT

The long-haired, bearded GRINDEWALD sits motionless, partially fixed to a chair. The air shimmers, charged with spells.

ABERNATHY peers in at GRINDEWALD from the corridor.

A baby chupacabra—part lizard, part homunculus, a blood-sucking creature of the Americas—is chained to GRINDEWALD’S chair. “

~ The Crimes of Grindewald by J.K. Rowling

First Pages: Awkward

“Okay, so when you’ve just moved to a new town and are still a total outsider…

this…

…is not the best way to start life at your new school.

Hi! Penelope here. Peppi for short. It’s my first day at Berrybrook Middle School, and I just ripped over my own feet and dropped everything.”

~ Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova