Monday, January 25, 2021

THE LAST SHADOW WARRIOR for #IMWAYR (It's Monday! What are you reading?)

First a quick health update (feel free to skip to the post below the photo if you prefer): Good news! The retina specialist says I don't need surgery on my blurry right eye. He also showed me what the swelling looks like in a picture of my retina (it looks like a wave!), and claimed it's a direct result of the laser treatment I had way back at the end of October, to correct my rising Glaucoma pressure.

This is just as I suspected, although my regular eye doc, who gave me the laser treatment, claimed that had nothing to do with the swelling! 

More good news: those steroid drops I've been using three times a day since mid-December are really helping! (So my eye doc got that part right!) There's still a fist-size portion of blurriness in my vision but I can manage to read despite this (although my eyes tire easily, so I can't read for long, which drove me nuts when I received the ARC below in the mail). I have to keep using the drops for three more weeks and then taper off for a month.


Now, as we wait for the announcements of the ALA Youth Media Awards, it's onto today's post! Another exciting debut novel from #the21ders!



The Last Shadow Warrior by Sam Subity (Scholastic, April 6, 2021, for ages 8 to 12)

What a thrilling page-turner! You'll be staying up late to finish this one. This book has it all -- three friends banding together to face the enemy, Viking folklore and history, one exciting adventure after another, and lots and lots of humor and heart. The chapter endings will blow you away!

Abby is still grieving for her dead mother, a descendant of Viking warriors, who died fighting a Grendel. In the gripping first chapter, a shadowy creature attacks Abby in the home she shares with her father in North Carolina. Was it a Grendel? She and Dad pack quickly and head for Minnesota, for a school, Vale Hall, where Dad can teach and Abby can be safe. But Dad is badly hurt in a car accident, caused by a demonic motorcycle rider,  just as they arrive at Vale Hall. With Dad unconscious in the hospital, Abby must navigate her new school, find a cure for her father, and at the same time convince the school's headmaster and the Viking Council that Grendels really do exist!

Luckily, she makes friends immediately with Gwynn, a secret Valkyrie, and Grimsby, an endearing (and funny!) boy who's assigned to be Abby's guide to Vale Hall. Together, they fight a sea monster in the school pool, a Dark Valkyrie who plays Bingo for their souls, and much much more. I learned a lot too. Knattleikr is an ancient Viking ball game, similar to lacrosse. Svefnthorn (or Sleep Thorn) can be found in centuries of Norse literature.

The strong friendship between Abby, Gwynn, and Grimsby, the fast-pace, the thrilling adventures, and above all, the unexpected flashes of humor (Hmm, Vale Hall = Valhalla?) make this a winner in my book. Kids will love this and it makes a great read-aloud. Thanks to the publisher for letting me read an ARC. 

You can pre-order this exciting book from Bookshop, right here!

#IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop hosted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts. Visit their blogs to see all the participants.


21 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for reading, Joanne! Especially given the eye swelling, lasers, and steroid treatment while reading -- a truly heroic adventure all in itself!

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    1. Thanks, Sam! It was an honor to read your ARC. And now I'm off to the PO to mail it to the next 21der on the list!

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    2. I wouldn't exactly call my eye issues a heroic adventure, but I see what you did there, ha ha ha!

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  2. I am ALMOST up to the April titles, but still have about a week more of March titles to go. There aren't as many Viking related books as I could use, so this one looks good.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! Your students will love this book.

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  3. So glad your eyes are getting better. This sounds like an awesome fantasy. I hope I can get an ARC before Sam's guest post on my blog.

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    1. Oh, cool! Glad he's doing a guest post on Literary Rambles! I'll have to look for it!

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  4. I didn't know about your eye, but am glad to read that it's better. Eye stuff is scary! This book sounds interesting. I'll keep it on my list!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I've had issues with my right eye ever since my first brain aneurysm rupture in 2005, so you'd think I'd be used to it by now! Glad you'll keep Sam's book on your list.

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  5. Glad to hear the eye is healing, at least a bit. Sounds like a fun book.

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  6. Glad your vision has improved. The Last Shadow Warrior sounds like a ton of fun :)

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    1. Oh, it's a rollicking ride through Viking mythology in a modern-day setting, Marcy! And thanks.

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  7. I'm glad your eye is improving—that's really good news! The Last Shadow Warrior sounds like an excellent book, with a lot of unique details! (I don't think I've seen Grendels in anything except Beowulf, so I'm definitely intrigued.) Thanks for the wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks, Completely! My synopsis didn't even mention that Beowulf features prominently in Sam's book!

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  8. Good to read the news about your eyes!
    I've added this to my list. Also, congratulations on your book. I've added it to my list but am sad about having to wait for June!

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    1. Thanks, Cheriee! I suspect June will arrive more quickly than we think!

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear of your continued eye issues, but glad to hear they are discovering new information. The shape of my optic nerve and my high pressure has had me testing for glaucoma/pressure/field tests, regularly. My mom was diagnosed years ago, so for me it's a waiting game. Thanks for sharing this new title, Joanne. I'm adding it to my list! Hope you've had a fantastic reading week!

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    1. Thanks, Shaye! I'm so sorry you're constantly having to be tested for glaucoma. I can certainly sympathize! My mother was diagnosed many years ago, and my older sister a few years ago, so I'm the third in my family to be diagnosed with glaucoma. Hope you get a chance to read THE LAST SHADOW WARRIOR.

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  10. I am so glad you saw the specialist and got some answers that helped- and give you hope! Hope the eye drops work their magic.

    The Last Shadow Warrior sounds fabulous. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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