IN THEATERS THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: Creed II

In Theaters Wednesday, November 21st

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Genre: Drama

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Andre Ward, Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren, Russell Hornsby Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Producers: Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton, Sylvester Stallone.

Executive Producers: Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Guy Riedel

Distributor:  MGM, Warner Bros. Pictures

#Creed2

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BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

The Boy at the Keyhole

by Stephen Giles

Mystery

Book Description

Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.

Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.

As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.

Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.

MY THOUGHTS:

3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Young Samuel Clay has recently lost his father. They were once a family with a great name, a grand estate, and money and status to go with it. But now, since the death of his father, Samuel’s mother has been abroad, leaving Samuel in the care of the strict housekeeper Ruth.

With a little suggestion from his friend and a lot of help from his imagination, it doesn’t take long before Samuel starts thinking that maybe his mother isn’t just away in America searching for business opportunities. He starts thinking that maybe something more sinister has happened to her–and that the person who did it is the one who’s been trusted with his care now.

The tension is very palpable in this novel, which kept me turning the pages waiting for something big to happen. There were very good moments here and there, but overall I felt there was a ton of buildup to a very unspectacular ending.

As with most Gothic type novels, the house itself plays a role in the story; the Clay manor is large and its’ rooms are full of dark secrets. As we join Samuel going in and out of these rooms trying to discover what really happened to his mother, we can see how he might have started thinking some unsavory things were going on in his home.

I’m still not sure about the ending. Ambiguity is one thing, but I felt totally confused when it was all said and done. I didn’t understand the character’s motives or what exactly happened and why. Maybe some people enjoy that type of ending, but I don’t.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children’s series “Anyone But Ivy Pocket”, penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. “The Boy at the Keyhole” is Giles’ first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

Where Do You Want to Go?

Is there a place you’ve always wanted to venture to with your family?

I think we all grow up with hopes and dreams of traveling the world, but as we grow older, we learn the world can get in the way.

As a child, nothing seemed more exotic to me than traveling to another continent.  I would love to one day take my children to experience the splendor of Italy, and specifically, Rome.

Books were my best friends growing up.  Though I could read just about anything I put my hands on, I truly loved reading about faraway places and imagining what life was like all those ages ago.

I believe that taking my boys to Rome would give them a real sense of history and impress upon them just how far civilization has come, and how humans centuries ago weren’t that different from us now.  Of course, they will imagine that it was hard to grow up without a phone or tablet!

The upcoming film Smallfoot also teaches a lesson about pushing your boundaries and exploring the unfamiliar.

 An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns a myth upside down when a bright young yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human.

News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery.

“Smallfoot” stars Channing Tatum (“The LEGO® Batman Movie,” the “Jump Street” films) , Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Common (“Selma”), LeBron James (upcoming “Space Jam 2”), Danny DeVito (“The Lorax,” Oscar nominee for “Erin Brockovich”), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), and Yara Shahidi (TV’s “Black-ish”).  It debuts in theaters on September 28.

Chapter Book and Children’s Nonfiction Round Up

Here is a small collection of what Macmillan Publishing has put out lately!

Penny the Puppy: Fairy Animals of Misty Wood

by Lily Small

Enter an enchanted world of fairy animal friends!

Penny the Puppy is trying to learn something very important in school—how to count. The only problem is that Penny keeps getting distracted. How is a puppy supposed to concentrate on her numbers when Misty Wood is so beautiful and interesting? With help from some new friends, Penny might just find a way!

Raffie on the Run

by Jacqueline Resnick, illustrated by Joe Sutphin

Roaring Brook Press has bought the middle grade novel Raffie on the Run, an animal adventure written by Jacqueline Resnick, illustrated by Joe Sutphin. Pitched as Finding Nemo meets The Cricket in Times Square, it stars Raffie Lipton, a New York City subway rat who ventures outside his comfy subway stop in Brooklyn in a quest to save his younger brother.

Bob

by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead, illustrated by Nicholas Gannon

It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

What’s Your Favorite Bug?

by Eric Carle and friends

Everybody has a favorite bug. Some like shiny, colorful beetles or busy ants or soft pale moths best. Others prefer spindly walking sticks or fuzzy caterpillars that turn into bright butterflies. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 15 children’s book artists share their favorite bugs and why they love them.

What’s Your Favorite Bug? features words and pictures by:

Eric Carle
Joey Chou
Eric Fan
Denise Fleming
Ekua Holmes
Tim Hopgood
Molly Idle
Beth Krommes
Scott Magoon
Kenard Pak
Maggie Rudy
Britta Teckentrup
Brendan Wenzel
Teagan White
Eugene Yelchin

Marie Curie

by Demi

Celebrated author and artist Demi beautifully portrays the life and story of Marie Curie, the revolutionary scientist and winner of two Nobel Prizes.

Maria Salomea Sklodowaska was born on November 7, 1867. Her family called her Manya, but the world would remember her by another name: Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists who ever lived.

In a time when few women attended college, Marie earned degrees in physics and mathematics and went on to discover two elements: radium and polonium. She also invented a new word along the way: radioactive. This book celebrates her momentous achievements while also educating its readers about her scientific accomplishments and their implications.

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Raul Colon

Listen.
There was nobody like Pete Seeger.
Wherever he went, he got people singing.
With his head thrown back
and his Adam s apple bouncing,
picking his long-necked banjo
or strumming his twelve-string guitar,
Pete sang old songs,
new songs,
new words to old songs,
and songs he made up.

In this tribute to legendary musician and activist Pete Seeger, author Leda Schubert highlights major musical events in Mr. Seeger’s life as well important moments of his fight against social injustice. From singing sold-out concerts to courageously standing against the McCarthy-era finger-pointing, Pete Seeger’s life is celebrated in this book.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace

by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Known as “The Enchantress of Numbers” by many inventors and mathematicians of the 19th century, Ada Lovelace is recognized today as history’s first computer programmer. Her work was an inspiration to such famous minds as Charles Babbage and Alan Turing. This is her story.

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST: A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

A Heart in a Body in the World

by Deb Caletti

YA Contemporary

Book Description

When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run?

So that’s what Annabelle does—she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how—muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.

Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that.

Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face what lies behind her—the miles and love and loss…and what is to come.

Five quotes from A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD

1. “There are songs about the heart and poems about the heart and legends about the heart and facts about the heart. And, it’s true – the heart sings and speaks and tells its story. There are exact miles of arteries; there is the exact force of its beat. But the heart is also quiet. It is also a mystery. No one really knows how it goes on after being broken.”

2. “We go forward. Sometimes against our will, sometimes against all odds, we go forward.”

3. “She remembers the muscles in her calves and the strength in her thighs, and she remembers the heat of the farmland and the slope of the mountains and the miles and miles she’s crossed. She remembers her strength.”

4. “The trip across the glacier and through the dark land of grief is crooked and dangerous but sometimes beautiful. The voyage past the last edges of the universe is frightening and impossible but sometimes astonishing…”

5. “She is a different person than the defeated Annabelle, the giving up Annabelle. She is sort of a victorious Annabelle, lying among rose petals on the honeymoon bed of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. You never know what a day will bring, which is both the good news and bad news of life.”

About the Author

Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include The Nature of Jade, Stay, The Last Forever, Essential Maps for the Lost, and Honey, Baby Sweetheart, winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Award. Her books for adults include He’s Gone, The Secrets She Keeps, and her most recent release, What’s Become of Her.

Deb grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and now lives with her family in Seattle.

PURCHASE THE BOOK
5 Winners will receive a Copy of A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD by Deb Caletti. 

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Children’s Book Round Up

Here’s a summary of what Macmillan Publishing has to offer as of late, from board books to children’s books!

 

The Little School Bus

by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Bob Kolar

Join Driver Bob and his little school bus as they wake early, pick up a diverse group of children, and drop them off at school. Then it’s over to the garage to fix a tail light. All in a day’s work for this trusty team. The lyrical text, catchy rhyme, and bright pictures make this a perfect choice for preschoolers who are soon to be school bus riders!

Pip and Pup

by Eugene Yelchin

An adorable baby chick and puppy become barnyard friends in this wordless picture book from Newbery Honor author Eugene Yelchin.

Across the barnyard, Pip the chick spots a new friend to play with—Pup! But Pup isn’t sure he likes how Pip plays—too rough. These two friends will weather the storm though. A bright, fun celebration of spring and friendship!

Someone Like Me

by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Chris Sheban

If you were a little girl
who listened to stories
over and over and over;
and who read books
every night,
every day,
even as her mother led her across the street,
You might be me,
a writer.

Follow a little girl in author Patricia MacLachlan’s semi-autobiographical picture book and learn what it might take to grow up to become a writer.

What the Ladybug Heard Next

by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks

Out of jail and up to no good, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are robbers on a mission. They’ve been stealing eggs from the fat red hen, and now they have their eyes set on the real prize—the fat red hen herself. They think their plan is foolproof, but they haven’t counted on one very tiny, very quiet thing. The ladybug has outsmarted these bandits once—and she’s ready to do it again!

I Need All of It

by Petra Postert, illustrated by Jens Rassmus

In Petra Postert and Jens Rassmus’s illustrated I Need All of It, a little boy recounts to his father the tales of how he received the three objects in his pocket and why he needs to keep them.

If I Had a Horse

by Gianna Marino

If I Had a Horse is an inspiring picture book with simple text and gorgeous, impressionistic artwork from acclaimed author-illustrator Gianna Marino about a girl imagining what life would be like with a horse.

Go Big or Go Gnome

by Kirsten Mayer, illustrated by Laura K. Horton

Laugh your whiskers off with Albert the Gnome in this charming and funny picture book about friendship, self-acceptance — and beards!

A beard is the biggest point of pride for a Gnome, but poor Al can’t sprout a single whisker. Each year, Al feels left out of the Beards International Gnome-athalon, B.I.G.

So Al decides to go BIG or go Gnome! It’s a close shave, but with a hidden talent and the help of his friend, Gnorm, Al learns accepting that you are different is the key to fitting in.

Food Truck Fest!

by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Mike Dutton

Join the members of one family as they head to the Food Truck Fest! They gather their things, cross the bridge, and prepare for a fun-filled day. And as they get ready, the workers on the food trucks get ready, too–preparing, tasting, and traveling across the bridge to join all the other kitchens-on-wheels. With delicious free samples and cuisines from around the world, it’s a day of trying new things and having fun together!

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms

by Gene Barretta

A picture book about homonyms starring a silly cast of animal athletes.

What is a homonym? It’s a word that has different meanings but is always spelled the same.
This informative book, set at a sporting event, includes a BAT who can BAT! A karate-chopping bulldog who is tough enough to BREAK five boards without taking a BREAK, and a STEER who tried to STEER his skateboard, but accidentally fell into a well–and that’s just for starters.

The clever wordplay from Gene Barretta introduces children to the richness of language through homonyms.

 

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia

White as Silence, Red as Song

by Alessandro D’Avenia

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty, Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream to win her over will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies in Italy, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered the Italian The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

 

About the Author

Alessandro D’Avenia holds a PhD in Classical Literature, and teaches Ancient Greek, Latin and Literature at a high school in Milan. White as Silence, Red as Song was his first novel,published in Italy in 2010. It sold a million copies in Italy, has been translated into over twenty languages and was released as a film in 2012. Alessandro has since published four more books, the latest of which, Every Story is a Love Story, was published in October 2017.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

A Room Away from the Wolves

by Nova Ren Suma

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

In the Dark

When the girl who lived in the room below mine disappeared into the darkness, she gave no warning, she showed no twitch of fear. She had her back to me, but I sensed her eyes were open, the city skyline bristling with attention, five stories above the street. It was how I imagined Catherine de Barra herself once stood at this edge almost a hundred years ago, when the smog was suffocating and the lights much more dim, when only one girl ever slept inside these walls of stacked red brick.
I was with my friend, if she could be called a friend, on the rooftop that night, close enough to pull her away or slip a word into her ear, close enough to push. I saw how far the gate was, how long the jump would be to reach it. I was there to witness how she flew.
It was dark, and I blamed the darkness. For those few moments, when she was midair and not even kicking, I practically became her. I grew her long legs and longer eyelashes, I lost the jumble of knots in my hair, I let the mistakes spill out of my suitcase and scatter without a care into the wind. I was falling, and falling fast. There was a hum in my ears like a song leaking through floorboards. The windows on the way down were all lit up, every one, people I didn’t know living their private lives inside as if no one could see. The skyline above sparkled the way stars used to at home, and I didn’t want to ever hit ground. I was someone here. I was someone.
Maybe that was what she saw, what she felt, what this house turned her into. She was out there beyond the ledge with nothing beneath her feet. She was high enough to clear the gate many times over. I swore she was out there. I swore the air had her, the night had her, the lights cast a ring all around her, and then the patch of darkness was empty.
I could see past where she’d been, as if I were sailing straight over buildings, beyond spires and scaffolding, past roof gardens and water towers, down through Lower Manhattan to the southern tip of the island, where the gleaming black bay took over. I saw the whole city spread out before me, sinister and strange and perfect. The air was clear, and she wasn’t in it. No girl was falling or flying. Every window was dark. And how oddly quiet it became, like a patch of forest where no person had set foot for what felt like days upon days.
When I remembered where I was, I crept closer to the edge, gripping the bricks to stay steady, and I did what I knew she wanted.
I leaned out into the vacant night—the air boundless, feathery gray, and blooming with possibility—and I looked down.

About the Author

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us, a finalist for an Edgar Award. Her new novel A Room Away from the Wolves is forthcoming September 4, 2018, from Algonquin. She also wrote Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone and is co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in the Hudson Valley, spent most of her adult life in New York City, and now lives in Philadelphia.

Website   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Facebook   |   Instagram

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AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

—Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

 – 1 Winner will receive a Copy of A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

– 1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon/PayPal Gift Card.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

5 Horror Movies With A Christian Message

There’s something about horror movies that delivers an audience.  Teenagers, and young adults in particular, rush to see the latest “scary movie” meant to frighten and capture their imagination once the lights go dim.  This genre has become one of the most successful and lucrative in Hollywood, ensuring that these types of films will continue to be produced and released in theaters.

What may be surprising is that the horror genre is also vast, and diverse.  There are certainly films within this genre filled with senseless violence and gore, however there are also movies produced under this banner that portray spiritual warfare and the need for faith and prayer.

These films aren’t thought of as faith-based and yet, they pack a powerful and perhaps the strongest message of all – that evil is not only real, it will do anything to destroy us, but God will always be there to protect and redeem those who turn to him.

Here’s a list of 5 Horror Movies That Re-Affirms A Message Of Faith:

  

THE NUN is the latest film in the “Conjuring Universe,” one of the most successful horror franchises in recent history. 

Synopsis:  When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.  When they arrive, they discover the ancient abbey to be a battleground between the supernatural forces of good and evil.   Risking not only their lives, but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2.”

All films in the “Conjuring Universe” have a theme of battling evil, the need for faith, and the power of prayer, and it looks like THE NUN will continue to portray these themes onscreen.  The movie releases in theaters this Friday, September 7.

For a sneak peek, check out this recently released featurette from the film.

A QUIET PLACE was the surprise hit of this year.  Fan-favorite John Kransinski directed and co-starred in this film alongside his wife Emily Blunt.

Synopsis:  IF THEY HEAR YOU, THEY HUNT YOU.  In this thriller, a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (John Krasinski) are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back.

Critics hailed A QUIET PLACE when it released earlier this year.  For those looking for a horror film without supernatural elements, this is highly recommended, along with its themes of family values and sacrifice.

Written by Christian screenwriters, Chad and Carey Hayes, THE CONJURING was the movie that launched a successful franchise – with the latest previously mentioned, THE NUN releasing in theaters this Friday.

Synopsis:  Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story, The Conjuring tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.

Critics also praised this film when it released in theaters.  The movie portrays a family plagued by evil.  It’s terrifying, but also pointed in its message that God is always more powerful than evil.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA directed by Francis Ford Coppola features an all-star cast that includes Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins.

Unlike other vampire movies depicting this famous monster, this 1992 film version begins with a heartbreaking backstory.  It portrays the devasting spiritual and physical consequence of anger, rebellion, renouncing one’s faith, and committing sacrilege against God.

The film which won three Academy Awards, weaves Christian symbolism throughout, and serves as a cautionary tale against giving in to evil.

The Exorcist (1973)

THE EXORCIST needs no introduction. To this day, the film, which won two Academy Awards, continues to terrorize audiences. Folks who haven’t seen the doorway of a church in many years find themselves sitting in a pew shortly after watching this movie.

Synopsis: Nominated for ten Academy Awards, including “Best Picture,” The Exorcist was controversial and extremely popular from the moment it opened in 1973.

This is the frightening and realistic tale of an innocent girl (Oscar-nominated Linda Blair) inhabited by a terrifying entity, her mother’s frantic resolve to save her (Ellen Burstyn in her own Oscar-nominated performance) and two priests—one doubt-ridden, the other a rock of faith—who come together in a battle of ultimate evil. To this day, The Exorcist leaves viewers breathless.

As with any film, it’s a good idea to research content and discern before you watch it, however if you or someone you know likes a good scare or horror movie, these options will not only fit the mold, it reinforces the importance of faith and prayer.

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett

Freefall Summer 

by Tracy Barrett

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Clancy Edwards has always been “the good girl.” Ever since her mother died in a skydiving accident when Clancy was young, Clancy’s father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad’s rules and her boyfriend’s protectiveness, she’s longing for an escape this summer. Then she meets Denny.

Denny is a new skydiving student and college freshman. Clancy lets Denny think they’re the same age–and that she’s old enough to make decisions for herself. But the lies snowball, relationships are damaged, and suddenly Clancy isn’t the person she wants to be. If only making choices were as simple as taking a leap out of a plane. Before Clancy can make things right, one last act of rebellion threatens her chance to do so–maybe forever.

Jumpers try to avoid reserve rides, even though every instructor reminds students, “When in doubt, whip it out.” It’s not only the expense of paying a rigger to repack the reserve. Reserves open fast, and the hard opening can give you whiplash, but it’s not the discomfort either. The main thing is that jumpers are superstitious. If you dump the reserve and it malfunctions too, you’re sunk. Nowhere to go. Reserves just about never malfunction, and the odds against both the main and the reserve malfunctioning are astronomical, but still. . . .
So my mom had tried everything to clear the main. She did exactly what you’re trained to do, exactly what I’d heard my dad and Leon and Noel and Randy and Louisa and Patsy tell their students: “If the pilot chute or the main canopy gets stuck, you have to break the burble.” So she flipped over. It didn’t work, so she flipped back to cut away, so the canopy would fly away cleanly. She had no way of knowing that the AAD would fire at precisely the wrong moment, making the two chutes—the main and the
reserve—snag each other, and that neither one would open.
I watched to the end, seeing the pink canopy and the white one wrap around each other, making a big nasty barber pole that didn’t slow my mom down enough to make a difference. Then, when Angie dropped the camera, the ground came up, up, up to the camera lens, and then—whomp. And the screen went black. Was that the last thing my mom saw? The ground coming up, and then nothing? What did she think about in those last seconds? Did she think of me? Of my dad?
After I went to sleep, I saw it over and over again, only sometimes she cut away sooner and sometimes she cut away later. But no matter what she did, it ended the same way, with the camera thumping on the ground and the sounds of screaming and crying.
I woke up when my dad got home, and I wanted to ask him to come sit by my bed until I fell asleep again. I wanted to tell him about how Theo was acting weird and how confused I was about Denny—about whether he was just a DZ friend or whether he was interested in me (and whether I was interested in him), and what I should do about it if he was. Or I was. I wanted to confess that I’d driven the car on Travis day and had done just fine.
I couldn’t. He’d ground me forever. Anyway, he wasn’t the sit-by-the-bed-until-you-fall-asleep kind of dad, and even if he were, once I got started, I’d tell him about watching the video. And seeing that we hadn’t talked about my mom’s death ever, not even once, I couldn’t do that.

Copyright © 2018 by Tracy Barrett

 

About the Author

Tracy Barrett has written more than twenty books for children and young adults. She’s much too interested in too many things to stick to one genre, and has published nonfiction as well as historical fiction, mysteries, fantasy, time travel, myth and fairy-tale retellings, and contemporary realistic novels. She knows more about ancient Greece and Rome and the European Middle Ages than anyone really needs to know, can read lots of dead languages, and used to jump out of airplanes.
A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her first novel, the award-winning Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte). Her most recent publications are a contemporary YA novel, Freefall Summer, which draws on her own skydiving adventures; a middle-grade fantasy entitled Marabel and the Book of FateThe Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard, a collection of little-known Greek myths; and the popular middle-grade series The Sherlock Files.From 1999 to 2009 Tracy Barrett was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (Tennessee and Kentucky) with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is now SCBWI’s Regional Advisor Coordinator.

Tracy grew up near New York City, and went to college in New England and graduate school in California. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers and won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant in 2005. She taught Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University for almost thirty years. She has two grown children and lives in Tennessee with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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