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Unholy Night

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, comes UNHOLY NIGHT, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They’re an iconic part of history’s most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It’s the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

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Backwards and Forwards

This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then contradicts or repeats, traditional methods of literary analysis of scripts.

Ball developed his method during his work as Literary Director at the Guthrie Theater, building his guide on the crafts playwrights of every period and style use to make their plays stageworthy. The text is full of tools for students and practitioners to use as they investigate plot, character, theme, exposition, imagery, motivation/obstacle/conflict, theatricality, and the other crucial parts of the superstructure of a play. He includes guides for discovering what the playwright considers the play’s most important elements, thus permitting interpretation based on the foundation of the play rather than its details.

Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation readers can fall prey to by ignoring the craft of the playwright. Of immense utility to those who want to put plays on the stage (actors, directors, designers, production specialists) Backwards and Forwards is also a fine playwriting manual because the structures it describes are the primary tools of the playwright.

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Even Hockey Players Read

This comprehensive overview of the challenging issues around boys and reading includes strategies and practical solutions for helping struggling readers.

The role of gender in reading success is a complex one. This book faces the issues head-on, uncovering many of the assumptions and stereotypes parents and educators have about boys and how they handle the world of print text. Included are the voices of boys and men interviewed by the author, who reveal their literacy challenges, struggles, tastes and values. These “real” voices provide valuable insights into how we can support boys in their journey towards becoming successful readers and writers.

Even Hockey Players Read explores the powerful potential of literacy in a boy’s life:

  • What factors in the home and in the classroom influence the literacy lives of boys?
  • Why do so many boys select different reading materials than girls?
  • Why do girls score higher than boys do on tests of reading achievement?
  • Why do so many males consider themselves non-readers?
  • Are society’s expectations for boys’ and girls’ literacy lives different?
  • Do we minimize the literacy needs of girls if we focus on the difficulties with boys?

Drawing upon his background as a parent and a literacy educator, the author suggests a wealth of strategies and techniques for promoting an alternative culture of literacy in school and home settings, where what children choose to read is valued alongside what children need to read. Even Hockey Players Read advocates changing the classroom environment so that

  • Boys who can’t read are helped;
  • Boys who don’t read become motivated;
  • Boys who do read find enrichment.

This highly readable book demonstrates the powerful potential of literacy in the lives of boys. It is essential reading for teachers who want to guide boys to a love of reading that will help them in their school life and beyond.