A Time to Die (Out of Time Book 1) is a powerful dystopian novel by author Nadine Brandes. It’s all the more incredible that this is the author’s first novel. Brandes writes a story every bit as compelling as Divergent, Hunger Games or my favorite, Saving Mars, but A Time to Die comes with a Christian twist which transforms the story into a dystopian novel with hope.
Parvin Blackwater comes from a Christian family in a futuristic society which bans parents from teaching children about religion. In this world a Wall separates the USE from whatever is west of the Wall. Everyone in the USE receives a clock at birth. The clock tells exactly how much time the person has before he or she will die. The clocks have the interesting effect that no one is afraid of unexpected death (it’s impossible to die before your clock runs out), and yet it is easy to become a slave to the clock. If you destroy your clock, or if you don’t have a clock, you are labeled a radical and are cast out through the Wall to die.
At age 17, Parvin knows that she has only a year to live. Feeling she has wasted her short life, she is inspired to create something that will make a difference. She finally decides what she wants to do with her last year, but unexpected events turn her somewhat boring plans into something more real and intense than she possibly could have imagined.
The appeal of dystopian fiction is a mystery to me, however I simply could not put this book down. A Time to Die is very original and also unique because of the Christian elements which flow through the novel but are not at all heavy handed. The book actually made me think about time and how I use it. My only criticism is that the story seemed to move very slowly for a while before it catapulted into high gear. There is nothing slow in the rest of the book! So if you enjoy dystopian fiction, I highly recommend this book, and I highly recommend that if you find it slow at first, hang in there. I could tell you the exact moment when the pace picks up, but then I’d be giving you a “clock” just like the characters have. Keep reading. You won’t be disappointed.
When I was in elementary school I wrote tons of stories. Unfortunately, I only know where two of them are. From fifth grade I have one story which is laminated and another, my first “chapter book,” which was typed by an aide or volunteer who must have deciphered my handwriting. Bless them. We made fabric book covers, but apparently no one knew how to assemble the books, so I have ditto printed pages stacked inside the cover with an old rubber band to keep it all together. No matter. I’m so glad I still have the first chapter book I ever wrote!
I pulled my old book off the shelf recently and was amused to see the similarities between what I wrote in fifth grade and my latest book, Sam and the Dragon: A Medieval Mars Story. Both books are intended for middle grade readers. My original book, “Family on Mars,” is a story about a family who moves from earth to Mars. The main character, Greg (age 13) lives with his parents and his sister (age 10). Sam and the Dragon takes place on Mars. Sam (age 14 in earth years) lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin Ahni (age 12). But what really tickled me was how the story begins. Compare my fifth grade story opening to the opening of Sam and the Dragon.
From “Family on Mars”
On April 1, 2010, the never-forgotten day, Greg rushed in with the newspaper. “Hey, Dad,” shouted Greg, “there’s an ad in the paper that says we can go to Mars!”
From “Sam and the Dragon”
Sam burst through the doorway of the red brick hut. “Uncle Al! Uncle Al!”
Come see me at “Lunch with an Author” this Thursday, 5/7 at 12:00 at Indulge! Antiques in Springfield, OR. I’ll be there talking about my books with host Amanda Bird. Should be great fun!
Here is a link for directions: http://www.indulge1461.com/directions.html
Although I visited Guatemala and Honduras multiple times as a child I have never had the privilege of seeing firsthand the incredible dyed sawdust carpets of Semana Santa, holy week. These are temporary works of art, forming a carpet for the parades and processionals that take place throughout the week leading up to Easter. The first photo is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the rest are from Guatemala. Aren’t they magnificent?
Tags: Semana Santa
Welcome to new readers! I’m so glad you found my website and The Purple Elephant book! I write books for kids from kindergarten through middle school and my books are filled with humor, usually in the form of animals doing things animals don’t usually do! Like Duck, who owns a farm, and the purple elephant who… well, I don’t want to spoil any surprises.
I came across this picture the other day and it is purportedly not photoshopped. There is a famer in Scotland who dyes his sheep for the amusement of tourists. I thought something like this would be perfect for a Duck and Friends story.
Hi Duck fans! I wanted to let you know that the e-version of my early reader Duck and Friends: The Dinosaur Bones will be on sale at Amazon from 2/10-2/15. Sale price $.99, regularly $2.99. Tell your friends and let’s make a splash in the rankings! Great for ages 4-8.
Here’s the link:
Hey, fellow dragon lovers! The list has been released for the most common passwords in 2014 and “dragon” made the top 10! Pretty cool! Suggestion: don’t use dragon as your password. 🙂
Hey, thanks for everyone who visited and those who played Pick Your Favorite Dragon in my Appreciate a Dragon Day contest & giveaway! Diana was the obvious favorite, although the Medieval Mars dragon got a vote and my son wanted to vote for Duck’s friend Dragon if I had let him enter the drawing, which I didn’t. He has all of my books already. 🙂 Anyway, I used a Random Number Generator from Google and it chose the number 2, which means that the second commenter (Lori) is the winner! Congratulations and thanks again everyone who played!
January 16 is “Appreciate a Dragon Day!” I didn’t realize until today, but I included dragon characters in every series of my children’s books. How could I not have known that? Dragons, I’m sorry! I really appreciate you! In appreciation of my dragons, I am holding a contest to determine the favorite. Vote for your favorite dragon in the comments below and your name will be entered in a drawing to receive a free book of your choice from my Duck and Friends series, Purple Elephant series or Sam and the Dragon. You don’t have to vote for the dragon in the book you’d like to win. So… drumroll, please… the contestants are… .
Duck’s Friend Dragon (Ahhhhchoo! Bless you!)
Diana the Dragon (Prince Carmel’s colorful friend)
Medieval Mars Dragon (the newest addition — welcome to the family!)
The Friendly Enchanted Dragons EXtraordinaire (normally known by their initials) from The Purple Elephant: The Journey Home (no photo available)
Which one is your favorite? You have until 5pm PST Sunday 1/18 to vote. Winners will be announced Sunday night.
Appreciate a Dragon Day was established in 2004 by author Donita K. Paul to celebrate the release of DragonSpell. On her blog, Ms. Paul lists lots more wonderful ideas on ways to celebrate her holiday.