Monday, September 27, 2010

CSFF Tour - Venom and Song Day 1

The Prophecies continue!

This month the Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy Tour is featuring Venom and Song, book 2 in the series The Berinfell Prophecies by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

The CSFF Tour featured book one, Curse of the Spider King, last year. It continues the story of the Seven Lords of Berinfell, elven children kidnapped from their kingdom and stranded in our world and left to grow up around the world. The first book details the dramatic adventures in finding the lords as their special powers manifest as teenagers, and their escape into Berinfell.

In Venom and Song, the lords find themselves in their rightful world, which is still a strange place to them. As they undergo training at the distant Whitehall Castle, the Spider King is working a plan to defeat the Elves once and for all.

My thoughts for today relate more to an opportunity books like this offer, rather than the book itself. I like to do these tours featuring Young Adult (YA) speculative fiction because I have 4 kids, including 3 imaginative boys. The older ones, 10 and 8, are at an age where they eat up heroics such as Star Wars/Clone Wars, Narnia, G.I. Joe, and the like.

Thankfully, they are also still at an age where they like reading a book together. It sometimes is difficult to find time, but we really look forward to our reading time at night. I remember my mom reading to me as a kid, so to pass this on to my boys is a joy.

For those who have kids, I highly encourage you to read to your children. It helps them understand how to read something out loud, which is a different skill than reading silently. It also reinforces the love of reading to them.

And if you're going to read to your kids, then the Berinfell Prophecies is a great place to start! Maybe I'm too much of a ham, but I enjoy reading these books because there are a lot of characters to give variety. Sometimes there's a little too much, but overall it makes the reading variable. There's a Scottish character, so I get to give my best Highlands accent. From the gruff warrior general Grimwarden to cook Mumthers (I'm thinking Mrs. Doubtfire here) and the different lords (confident Jett, thoughtful Kiri Lee) I get to really stretch my acting chops. Actually, I noticed at the end of Curse of the Spider King that my wife was making it a point to sit down to hear the exciting story as well!

The books are certainly enjoyable as silent reads, but to read them aloud is another treat altogether.

In other news, see my fellow tourmates below for more Spider-y goodness:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Melissa Carswell
Jeff Chapman
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
George Duncan
April Erwin
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson


  1. I'm sure they were fun to read aloud...and what great memories you're building with your kids! I credit much of my love of reading to all that my parents did to foster enjoyment of books, including plenty of time reading aloud when I was quite young.

    By the way, I'm also participating in the tour, but my name got left off some lists because of some erroneous code. :)

  2. What a great idea, to read this book aloud! It certainly would provide a lot of material for someone with latent acting ability!

  3. I loved it when my parents read out loud to me as a kid, but I soon took over the reading duties, and tried to pick out books my little brother might like. And doing all the voices -- that's a lot of fun!

    (Note: My brother's on the phone with me now, and I asked him about being read to, and he said, "I like it when someone could read smoothly and add all the inflection, so it's more like they're telling the story. I always liked 'Run Silent, Run Deep.' That's the one I always liked you to read to me. There was a lot of action. And a lot of tension." We laughed about that, and decided it's the Velveteen Rabbit of books, because the tattered paperback is held together with yellowing tape that's losing its sticky.)

    But back to 'Venom and Song': It does have a nice array of characters and activities to give a storyteller plenty of fodder for entertaining an audience.

  4. Hey Jason. I don't think I put it on my own post, but I agree. I think this is an excellent book for the 10-13yr old bracket, especially boys. My own son isn't old enough yet, but I'll be holding onto my copy until he is :)

  5. Reading aloud to kids is also supposed to be a key factor in their own reading development. 'Tis a good thing you're doing, Jason!