Book Review│Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

cursedAs a middle school teacher I am constantly looking for new books that will entice teenagers to read. I also like to find books that take on old material that I still believe my students should be exposed to, but will probably not be into if I used the original source material. I was very excited to receive a galley of Cursed for these reasons and also, because it has been optioned by Netflix to become a series.

King Arthur’s Court

Cursed brings us into the Arthurian Tales, but with a new spin to it. We learn that there is a sword in the stone and that whomever pulls it, will become the new king of the realm. What everyone was not prepared for is that the chosen one may very well not be a man at all. What if that new ruler was, in fact, a queen?

A Dark Druid Rising

Nimsue is an outcast in her Druid village. She is frequently drawn to the dark arts and it leaves her feeling alone and also feared by her fellow villagers. When her village is attacked and ultimately slaughtered by the Red Palladins, Nimsue, becomes charged to bring back the ancient sword to a powerful sorcerer as her mother lays dying.

Teaming up with a mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England, Nimsue is on a mission to save her people and avenge her mother’s death. The visuals are amazing throughout and the style of the story will keep students reading.

However, the book reads more like a screenplay in that it jumps quickly from scene to scene and is clearly written for its eventual Netflix debut. This can either be confusing for students or it could keep their attention with the choppiness of the writing. I think it would heavily depend on the audience in your classroom.

When this series eventually does come to Netflix, it could be really helpful in creating interactive lessons around the story versus the Netflix episodes. Students will love the visuals which really brought this book to life for me.

Book Information

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler will be available for purchase on October 1, 2019 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers with ISBN 9781534425330. To be linked to special pre-ordering pricing click the link at the top of this section. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.

Martian Child

It’s icky and cold here in New Jersey today. It was very hard to get up with that 6AM alarm. By me, it was just beginning to rain, but by the time I got into the capital city to teach today, the roads were slick and the rain had become the ever so lovely mix of snow and freezing rain.

It is definitely one of those days where you wish you could just stay home with your animals and watch Netflix.

BUT! I was just sick and I have a team to coach and a college class to teach tonight, so that wasn’t going to be in the cards today.

I did lay in bed thinking about it for a good 5 minutes. I am just so tired….all the time. It’s got me to think about what I’m going to do once our baby is here. It’s scary to even be thinking about deciding to stay home and cut down on work. I worked so hard to get here. Within 10 years, I completed a double bachelor’s degree, a double post-bac certificate, a master’s degree and almost a PhD. I always thought I would just work forever, but lately, my body doesn’t go like it used to. I can’t work 7 days a week anymore and my nights physically end for me around 9pm, and that’s after my after-dinner nap around 5PM.

I know this is pregnancy tired, but I worry about baby tired too. Will I really be able to come back to work in September/October like I plan? If I can, will I feel guilty leaving my baby even though he or she will have days with her dad since we work opposite schedules right now?

 

college
Douglas College graduation at Rutgers University, May 2008

 

I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. This pregnancy has gotten very real recently, with the belly that has sprung up. It feels like it happened overnight. I went from this little bump to a stomach that you can’t deny has a baby growing in it. And while I have not felt a real kick yet, I do feel, especially when I am standing or walking, these fluttering movements that feel like I have an alien living in my stomach.

in some ways, it is an alien if you think about it. A baby starts to grow in your belly with its own little heart and soul, coming from seemingly nowhere and then you have the baby and you need to teach him or her everything because they have no knowledge of where they just came out into after you push them out of your hoo-ha.

Having kids is weird and stressful, but so worth it. I do love feeling my little baby fluttering around. I also love when I’m working at my desk and I get to rub my growing belly. I’m enjoying every moment of it, but, I’m just wondering how long I will be able to work and how emotionally prepared I’ll be to come back to work. Or if this is one of life’s forks in the road: do I continue on like I have been since I graduated from Rutgers or, is this the time where I choose something more than work and see where a new adventure takes me?

The Reality that is Under Eye Bags

I was fairly young when OJ Simpson killed his wife. Though, he was found not guilt of that crime, there really is no doubt in my mind that in a jealous rage, he sliced her and her friend up. There was never any other evidence that it wasn’t him and then, when he wrote that book? Yeah, that guy is guilty as they come! I’m glad that karma finally caught up with him and that though, not in jail for murder, he is in jail for 33 years and hopefully when he is up for parole this October, that he is not awarded it.

I have vivid memories of the famous low-speed Bronco chase on TV. Followed by little snippets and bits of his trial, but that was really it. My family wasn’t big sports people either, so I didn’t even know who OJ was until that trial.

When The People v. OJ Simpson came out last year, I really had no interest in watching it. I felt that a show that potentially glorified a murdering, wife-abusing asshole wasn’t worth the time I would lose to watch it. That was, up until a few days ago when at lunch, a teacher friend was telling us all how good this show was and how it really did the case justice.

img_1694

I stayed up until 5:30 this morning watching most of the series. It just sucked me in, part because of nostalgia for that time– it was cool to see the cars and the outfits that I remember from when I was young. However, it was also really interesting to re-visit this case as an adult and getting to see all the little pieces that led up to the very infamous, “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.” I fell asleep, so don’t ruin anything for me beyond episode 6! I plan to go right home after work and finish watching.

That is, after I scrap off the layers of makeup I put on today to you know, NOT look like I had stayed up all night. As you can see, no matter how many layers of foundation and under eye brightener I use, covers up these earned bags. It feel like ever since I turned 30, and even about halfway through my 29th year, there has just been absolutely no way to hide these babies. Is it an age thing? Should I just accept them as a fact and wear them as a badge of honor to the fact that I can still stay up all night and go to work the next day? Not going to lie, I am a little proud that I inadvertently pulled an all-nighter and was able to still get up to teach. I haven;t done that probably since student teaching when I had a 100-page teacher work sample to finish and was still expected to student intern full-time. I got through it, and I got advanced proficient on that stupid work sample that I think is somewhere in the closet of my childhood bedroom still.