The Silver Blade by ProQuest


Isaac reviews The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner.

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									September/October 2009                                                  559

to living in a half dozen simultaneous sagas, as Farmer once again sets
forth a smorgasbord that mixes in a wealth of Norse, Celtic, Scottish,
Irish, and Pictish lore as well as some British pagan and early Christian
history. As with the previous books (The Sea of Trolls, rev. 11/04; The Land
of the Silver Apples, rev. 7/07), it is readers’ fondness for the characters
that keeps us happily navigating through the muchness of material and
nonstop plot. After sailing with Viking raiders, visiting Notland (home
of the fin folk), settling the draugr problem (the how is likely to surprise
readers), surviving a deadly storm, glimpsing Valhalla (not quite the
paradise Thorgil has always thought), and rescuing bard Dragon
Tongue’s daughter Ethne from a plague-ridden monastery, Jack and
Thorgil come to the end of their adventures. Farmer provides a conclu-
sion that is both ambiguous and satisfying, but definitely all human—
the ideal culmination of this acclaimed fantasy trilogy. m.v.p.

Lucy Frank The Homeschool Liberation League
  279 pp. Dial 7/09 isbn 978-0-8037-3230-8 $16.99
  (Middle School)
“Too wrong to bear” is how thirteen-year-old Katya describes her
standard education at Martin Van Buren Middle School. After an eye-
opening summer at camp, Katya has discovered a passion for science
and the natural world and hopes that homeschooling will help her pur-
sue her interests. She wants the freedom to learn on her own (which
includes rescuing beavers trapped under trees, researching plants’
medicinal qualities, and taking violin lessons from musically gifted—
and cute—homeschooled Milo). Her parents agree to try it, but they
make Katya complete worksheets, assist in her mom’s salon, and follow
a Daily Instructional Matrix. And so the Homeschool Liberation League,
dedicated to “doing whatever it takes . . . so that your curiosity and
imagination stay alive,” is born. Katya’s determination an
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