After a long trek through historical fiction, we’re more than ready to dive into a well-wrought fantasy — one that deftly weaves humor with wizardry, daring, and insurmountable tasks. Jinx by Sage Blackwood, our August book club pick, drops readers into the thickly wooded Urwald for all of that and more!
Who could resist witches hopping about on butter churns, or a wizard who forgets about his apprentice for days? … There is a whiff of Diana Wynne Jones here – especially in the practical minded Jinx and the cranky wizard Simon – but Blackwood has made this story entirely her own. Humor, fun adventure and thoroughly engaging characters added to the wonderfully inventive story line makes this one of those books you just don’t want to put down. – Lynn at The Booklist Reader
Stillwater’s Deep Blue Readers gather downtown at Valley Bookseller Sunday 8/23, 1:30pm to talk Jinx, which earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, and was a Kirkus Best Book of 2013. The first of a trilogy, its two companion books, Jinx’s Magic and Jinx’s Fire, are both ready for hungry readers to devour during the long hot days before school resumes.
Venture into the deep forests of Jinx with the official book trailer:
- Meet the author (and beware of spoilers)! Sage Blackwood talks to Charlotte’s Library, a blog dedicated to fantasy and science fiction books for young readers.
- Some of the great wizards in fantasy are, like Simon Magus, a cranky and unpredictable bunch — Terry Pratchett’s Rincewind and his cohort at Unseen University are a famous example. Michael Ann Dobbs at io9 discusses the ambiguity characters like these bring to middle grade fiction.
- Could Jinx’s ability to sense — but not truly read — other people’s emotions be real? Take this New York Times quiz based on a tool developed by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen.
- What is a wald? Here are answers from the Online Etymology Dictionary and the Old Growth Forest Network.
- Forests have a long-standing place in world folklore! Learn more courtesy of the United Nations and the UK’s Trees for Life.
- Take a video tour of the stunningly magical Wundersamer Wald in Germany.
- Are there underwater forests for Deep Blue Readers? Check NOAA and this final photo — decide for yourself!