This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.
Published: December, 2016 in Mothership Zeta
Setting: Prince George, Canada, 1980s
Summary: Penelope Qing and her family move in next door to Ivan and his moms. They’re the same age, 11, and meet when Ivan’s moms introduce themselves. Penelope takes Ivan down into her basement to show him the Penelope Kingdom – a fantastical medieval world made of various dolls, action figures, household items, and buildings. The amazing thing is it comes to life in Penelope’s presence. We even get excerpts from a history book from the kingdom sprinkled throughout the story. Ivan and Penelope play down there for years, although at the end of middle school he becomes more interested in kissing Penelope than playing. However, when Penelope’s family moves right before high school, he’s willing to set up a colony in his basement.
Final thoughts: This was a delightful story. Penelope and Ivan have an imaginary world they’ve put together in Penelope’s basement that is real, at least when Penelope is there. Luckily, they both enjoyed playing in the world, although Ivan started growing out of it before Penelope did. There was an impressive progress of time, since several years pass in the story. We get just enough detail to know time is passing, but not so much to make it boring. At the end, it looks like Ivan and Penelope will just be memories to each other. However, online gaming is just starting, so it’s possible they will connect in a MUD instead of just fading away.
Title comes from: Penelope was King of her fantasy world, so it was called Penelope’s Kingdom. Her name was Penelope Qing (pronounced King), so Ivan made it a play on her name – Penelope’s Qingdom.
This is a book I’ve been hearing good things about for a while. I had wanted to listen to it as an audiobook, but it’s always checked out. So, when I saw it on the library shelf, I decided to pick it up and read it to the kids myself.
Genre: middle grade memoir in verse
Length: 320 pages of verse, 337 pages with pictures
Font: Garth Graphic
Setting: Columbus, Ohio, Greenville, South Carolina, and New York City, 1963-mid-1970s Continue reading
Audiobooks have been our saving grace as we drove 20 minutes to rehearsal four times a week. I was first introduced to this book by The Modern Mrs. Darcy and it caught my eye because A Wrinkle in Time is a major plot point. I’ve heard it made a good read aloud, and was excited to see the audiobook was available from our library.
Genre: YA time travel fiction
Length: 199 pages
Setting: New York City, 1978 Continue reading
I’m always on the lookout for good graphic novels. The kids will read a good one five times or more before it’s time to take it back to the library. There’s a couple of blogs I follow that will post about graphic novels. Usually, if I see one I’m interested in, I’ll check my library collection and request it on the spot if it’s in the system. That means, we get a random graphic novel showing up on a regular basis. It also means I can’t remember who recommended the book to me in the first place. Sorry! This book sounded interesting because of its setting (Nova Scotia – don’t get too many stories set there) and its premise of telling a story set in the same place but in two different time periods.
Genre: mystery graphic novel
Length: 234 pages
Setting: French Hill, Nova Scotia, 1859 and the present. Continue reading
My short fiction Monday post is a little different this week. Annorlunda Books has a new novella coming out on Wednesday. I got an Advanced Reader Copy of the book, and I’m going to review it here.
Published: July 27, 2016
Length: 43 pages
Setting: the Dawn Mother’s shrine, with medieval technology
Interest: I was provided an ARC of the novella by Annorlunda Books (but my opinion is my own). The publisher emphasizes “books to inform, entertain, and make you think.” I’ve enjoyed the other offerings from the publisher (like Unspotted, and Okay, So Look), so I thought I could get the word out about this story as well. Continue reading
Genre: middle grade graphic novel
Length: 150 pages
Setting: stereotypical suburbs in the U.S., present day
Interest: I’m always on the lookout for graphic novels. Bonus when they have a non-white protagonist. Continue reading