Grades 7 - 9; Ages 12 - 14 Book 1 in the Graceling series "In this debut fantasy, Cashore treats readers to compelling and eminently likeable characters and a story that draws them in from the first paragraph.. This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled." -School Library Journal, starred review "Intrigue, death, love, a little sex, and pitched battles create a sure winner for mature fantasy fans." -VOYA "With a butt-kicking but emotionally vulnerable heroine, [Graceling] should appeal to fans of recent girl-power urban fantasies, as well as readers who've graduated from Tamora Pierce's Tortall series." -Horn Book "Cashore strikes a strong balance between adventure, drama and romance--bloody battles and sexual tension co-exist in equal measure--and Katsa's combination of pride in her unique talents and vulnerability in her self-doubts make her a strongly sympathetic character. Readers will identify closely with this young woman, whose coming of age also involves coming to terms with a talent that is both a blessing and a curse." -BookPage "However, as in every season, a few other titles have risen to the surface as potential hits, based on pre-pub buzz, online chatter and word-of-mouth. We've singled out four for particular notice: three are inventive fantasy novels, and one is a harrowing memoir. Publishers and booksellers alike believe these books have what it takes to cut through the noise of a very full season." -Publishers Weekly online "The teenage characters in this novel, like those we may know in life, grow into their graces. They realize that their monstrous individuality is not so monstrous afterall." -The New York Times Book Review "Graceling offers a fresh view of the process of learning self-mastery and has a knee-weakening romance that easily rivals that of 'Twilight'." -LA Times
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by William Shakespeare
by Charles Yu
by Thomas Locke
by Brian Jacques
"Kristin Cashore's well-developed characters are completely realized in this full-cast production. Chelsea Mixon portrays Lady Katsa, who was born with a horrifying "grace" for killing. Mixon's nuanced portrayal gives an inside view of the confusions that torment this "graceling." These conflicts increase after she meets Po, an empathetic graceling. Zachary Exton's depiction of Po's soft steadiness contrasts with Mixon's picture of Katsa's flaring tempers. Listeners will feel the power of the connection between the two and its building intensity. Even minor characters are richly rendered. Their interactions, thoughts, and actions are well integrated in David Baker's strong narration, which animates events and astutely measures emotions. Musical interludes, both regal and somber, are as plentiful as the plot twists, and the result is a production listeners won't soon forget. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"
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