Book Review: Dorothy Must Die

By Ameerah Holliday

Before her explorations of Oz began, Danielle Paige  worked in the televisionDanielle Paige industry, receiving the Writers Guild of America Award and several Daytime Emmy nominations. A graduate of Columbia University, Paige currently resides in New York, where she has reimagined a classic story and taken us back into Oz. Dorothy Must Die  is Paige’s very first Young Adult novel and the start of a very unique series. The novel, published in April 2014, has since been nominated for a 2014 Book Shimmy Award and its story continues to grow with two prequel novellas No Place Like Home and The Witch Must Burn as well as a highly anticipated sequel.

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Commentary: Finding Refuge

By Breeann Kirby

JORDAN-US-SYRIA-REFUGEES-KERRYThere are now over 3 million Syrian refugees, the video begins. Stark white words on black to state a stark message: 3 million is more than the population of most cities. And all of these people no longer have a home. In the Zaatari Refugee Camp alone, opened in July 2012 outside of Jordan, the current estimation of inhabitants is over 82,000 people—the same population as Santa Fe, New Mexico. Continue reading

Interview: Kelly Creagh

By Ameerah Holliday

Nevermore CoverWhen the typical, popular high school cheerleader teams up with the school’s goth outcast, things are bound be interesting, but when that pair is swept into the chaotic and mysterious world of Edgar Allen Poe then it’s bound to be Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore Trilogy. This Trilogy revolves around cheerleader Isobel Lanley and school outcast Varen Nethers who are paired together in their English class for a project on Edgar Allen Poe. While working together they discover far more about each other and Poe than ever expected, as they are mysteriously transported into the stories and mysteries of Edgar Allen Poe.

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Book Review: Jen Wang and Cory Doctorow’s “In Real Life”

By Breeann Kirby

InRealLifeCoryDoctorow cover
©Jen Wang, used with permission of First Second Books

In the collaborative adaption of his short story “Anda’s Game” (published originally in Salon nearly a decade ago) to a young adult graphic novel (published by First Second,  14 October 2014), Cory Doctorow freely acknowledges that Jen Wang did “all the heavy lifting in the adaptation” and though he “wrote the underlying story and edited her script and […] implementation […] Jen is the true soul of the graphic novel.” In a separate interview with Comics Alliance, Wang adds, “There were about eight or so drafts, with the first one being closest to the original story. With each draft I pushed a little further into new territory […] the details changed, and I added a third Act where we see what happens after Anda decides to help Raymond.” Wang’s adaptive changes make In Real Life an important and compelling read for both the young reader as well as the adult reader who wants to reconnect with hope in humanity and second chances. Continue reading

Book Review: Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?

By Adam Bicksler

Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek are neuroscience professors at Carnegie Mellon University and UC San Diego, respectively. Recently, they hosted an AMA (“ask me book cover zombiesanything”) on the popular aggregate website reddit. “Together,” they explain, “we wrote Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep[?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain], a book that tries to use zombies to teach the complexities of neuroscience and science history in an approachable way (while also poking a bit of fun at our field). In our real research we study motor control… and the role that neural oscillations play in shaping neural network communication, spiking activity, and human cognition.” The tongue-in-cheek title is inspired by Philip K. Dick’s fantastic, quintessential novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Continue reading