In honor of Halloween I felt the need to share something that I enjoy hearing about, which is the Beast of Gevaudan.
On long car trips I enjoy putting on the podcast of Stuff You Missed in History Class for the kids, which is filled with so much hidden history of the obscure and paramount. And a while back there had been a podcast on what else, but the Beast of Gevaudan!
So anyways, you have a wild monster killing over a hundred people and it is believed that it was finally killed, but the story is truly a horror for Halloween.
Here are more links to great articles on the Beast of Gevaudan:
io9 - The Modern Day Hunt
and Soon to Be Released
Using modern biology and history to investigate a series of grisly deaths in the countryside of 18th-century France.
Something unimaginable occurred from 1764 to 1767 in the remote highlands of south-central France. For three years, a real-life monster, or monsters, ravaged the region, slaughtering by some accounts more than 100 people, mostly women and children, and inflicting severe injuries upon many others. Alarmed rural communities—and their economies—were virtually held hostage by the marauder, and local officials and Louis XV deployed dragoons and crack wolf hunters from far-off Normandy and the King’s own court to destroy the menace. And with the creature’s reign of terror occurring at the advent of the modern newspaper, it can be said the ferocious attacks in the Gévaudan region were one of the world's first media sensations.
Despite extensive historical documentation about this awesome predator, no one seemed to know exactly what it was. Theories abounded: Was it an exotic animal, such as a hyena, that had escaped from a menagerie? A werewolf? A wolf-dog hybrid? A new species? Some kind of conspiracy? Or, as was proposed by the local bishop, was it a scourge of God? To this day, debates on the true nature ofLa Bête, “The Beast,” continue.
With historical illustrations, composite sketches by the author, on-the-scene modern-day photographs, autopsy analysis, and fictionalized accounts, Beast takes a fascinating look at all the evidence, using a mix of history and modern biology to advance a theory that could solve one of the most bizarre and unexplained killing sprees of all time: France’s infamous Beast of the Gévaudan.
The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from an impoverishedcity in Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.
It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of--so she chose it.
Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.
That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.
In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --and better people--through letters. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.
For the ELA (English Language Arts) Group that I have been working with in MG and YA readers, we are looking at I Will Always Write Back. Our focus in this group has been challenges young people and students face across different cultures and regions of the world and so far this book has been a fabulous read. We are only 5 chapters in but each has been thorough on character development and the reoccurring theme of how a small contribution can have a huge impact on someone, that we may not realize while living here in the US and experiencing the world as we do, vs someone in a different country with struggles that may be hard for students in the US to comprehend.
The exchange between these two students is actually a true story, in that back in 1997 a student named Caitlin did actually write as part of her class pen pal project to a student in Zimbabwe so we readers are able to experience this exchange and the written feelings of a 12 year old student in the US trying to connect with what her pen pal from Africa is going through,
This is a fabulous book to use in reading clubs.
This year we are participating in the Global Read Aloud!
Here is what our Reading Schedule is Looking Like for the
Duration of the Global Read Aloud:
Week 1: Chapter 1 – 8
Week 2: Chapter 9 – 17
Week 3: Chapter 18 – 24
Week 4: Chapter 25 – 33
Week 5: Chapter 34 – 42
Week 6: Chapter 43 – end
Find out More Online by Checking these Hastags:
Yesterday, there was a shocking secret about our main character, Ally, revealed so I am sure that the stopping point at the end of chapter 2 (read Monday) kept some kids up wondering last night what would happen next.
In case you were wondering, as a side note from what we traditionally read on UR, I also work as a Librarian for a School District in Oregon.
For the first time, we will be participating in the amazing program encouraging adults and students to read from this selection of books on a global scale.
People, children, and schools all around the world will be participating online to share what they are doing, and to spread the love of reading with children anywhere.
We chose to read Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish In A Tree.
The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.
“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
These past two weeks we have been in an In House Pennyroyal Series Re-Read, since the release of the Legend of Lyon Redmond (last Tuesday September 29th, 2015) we have not very systematically been going through the series.
Evidentally there had been some books loaned out in this series from the collection and its been tough to find new/used copies locally.
Pennyroyal Series by Julie Anne Long:
The Perils of Pleasure -2008
Like No Other Lover -2008
Since the Surrender - 2009
I Kissed an Earl - 2010
What I Did for a Duke - 2011
How the Marquess Was Won - 2012
A Notorious Countess Confession - 2012
It Happened one Midnight - 2013
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea - 2014
It Started with a Scandal - 2015
The Legend of Lyon Redmond -2015
So having gotten through four books in the series, I find that there is always something new to discover when you are able to read through an entire series when it has finished.
The last re-read of a series that we went through was Sarah MacLean's The Rule's of Scoundrels Series that has also finished this year, and was always also filled with fabulous new twists and turns when read through a second turn.
So if you are new to author Julie Anne Long, then this is a great time to pick up the series since it is all out there in print, yeah! and each book has a fabulous tale to tell.