Me: "Well, your sister got a job. Ha! Besides I posted one last week.
Entling no. 1: That was on a Tuesday.
Me: "Yes, well, I messed up on the scheduled post date on Blogger. It posted early, sort of a Timely Tuesday?"
Entling no. 1: "Sad, Mom. Really sad."
Me: "It's summer. At least I'm managing Facts First Monday!"
Disgusted with her maternal unit's inability to post on any kind of schedule, entling no. 2 wanted to share her enthusiasm for her beloved Terry Pratchett.
She looooves Terry Pratchett's books.
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To begin, let us look at a simple analogy:
Terry Pratchett : Fantasy
Douglas Adams : Sci Fi
Monty Python : British comedy
On this joyous occasion, we shall be looking at not one but two Terry Pratchett novels.
Terry Pratchett is the British author of the acclaimed Discworld series, a series set on a rotating disc that sits on the shoulders of four great elephants, who stand upon the shell of the great A'tuin, a gigantic cosmic turtle swimming slowly and steadily towards the center of the universe. No one knows why or what exactly is going to happen when he (she?) gets there.
And while Pratchett has written several YA Discworld books (the Tiffany Aching series and a few others), he has also branched out into new stories with universes of their own.
Nation by Terry Pratchett, HarperCollins, September 2008
Mau is leaving the Boys' Island. He has left his child soul behind and upon his triumphant return to the Nation, his small island home, he will receive his man soul.
Daphne (her real name Ermintrude but it's not one she'll admit to it if she has to) is journeying on the Sweet Judy to unite with her father, her grandmother's words, "Always remember, that it only needs one hundred and thirty-eight people to die and your father will be King! And that means that, one day, you might be Queen!" echoing in her mind.
In a single night, Daphne and Mau's worlds are utterly shattered. With only crude pictographs as a common language, these two children must survive on a storm swept island with an ancient mystery buried at its heart.
Pratchett's characteristic humor (and footnotes "of an educational nature"), while present, has stepped to one side to make room for an additional thoughtfulness about what it means to come of age and what makes up both a person and a society.
An avid Pratchett fan myself, I was heartbroken when I saw called to the dinner table with scarcely 10 pages left. Pratchett has once again created a compelling, driving story that entertains, educates and pokes fun at anything and everything in its path.
The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, Book One: Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett, HarperTrophy, Originally published 1992
Only-child Johnny Maxwell is undergoing a period of change in his life. His parents are moving towards divorce and the television keeps showing a map of a far off desert country with lots of arrows and soldiers.
And when standing with his sort-of friends of other casts offs such as Stephen "Wobbler" Johnson (who dreams of becoming a nerd even though the nerds won't let him in), Simon "Bigmac" Wiggley (slightly asthmatic would-be gang member who is also brilliant at math) and Yo-less (so nicknamed because he doesn't say "Yo!"), poor Johnny simply fades into the background.
To escape from the difficulties of the world, Johnny literally disappears into the computer game "Only You Can Save Mankind". Or does he? Video games aren't supposed to talk back. The aliens in them aren't supposed to surrender and beg for a truce.
In his dreams, Johnny is the prophesied one who will lead the aliens to their Promised Land and away from the humans that keep trying to kill them. As they fly through space, they pass the ruined ships of the Space Invaders and other defeated video game tribes. In real life, the aliens have disappeared from the game all over the world. But surely this is just a dream…isn't it?