Saturday, August 15, 2009

Strange, But Intriguing Novel

Faces in the Fire traces the intertwined lives of four characters. Each has a serious problem: amnesia, drug addiction, lymphoma, and assassination, and each, in his or her own way, is withdrawn from contact with others, until a mysterious catfish symbol and a string of numbers enter their lives.

I found the section about Corrine, the spammer with lymphoma, to be particularly poignant. Hines made her character come to life. The other characters, however, were not as believable. I enjoyed Kurt Marlowe, the truck driver turned artist, but felt his character was almost a rehash of the lead character in Hines book, The Unseen. The assassin and the tattoo artist, while interesting characters, came across as more two dimensional.

The story is told out of sequence, which, at first, is disconcerting, but I got used to it. The major problem I found with the technique was the repetition caused by using almost identical passages when presenting the same scene from a slightly different point of view, as the lives of the characters cross. However, the intertwining was skilfully done and made the rather strange story more believable. The story twists and turns until in a surprise ending all the threads come together.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reviews for Moving Through All Seven Days by Kathy Stemke

Moving Through All Seven Days is finally available for purchase on Lulu! Just click on this link:

This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The 14 pages of activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.
Kathy Stemke’s Moving through All Seven Days offers a multifaceted approach to movement in the classroom that also offers a healthy dose of the language arts!

Rae Pica
Education Consultant
Early Childhood Physical Activity

Move and groove along with the whimsical characters of Moving Through All Seven Days as they slip, twirl, and glide you through the days of the week. An activities resource to help reinforce the learning process of spelling the days of the week is a welcome bonus. It provides an ingenious way of getting the children up from behind their desks to experience learning through movement.

Children’s author, Kathy Ann Stemke brilliantly blends lyrical rhyme and the learning process in a fun and educational twist. Along with the vibrant illustrations created by Tony Glisson, Moving Through All Seven Days is a must have for preschool and kindergarten classrooms and no home library would be complete without it.

Reviewed by author, Donna M. McDine, for the National Writing for Children Center.
Marketing Manager at Stories for Children Magazine