Thanks to Scott Westerfeld, who made time in his schedule at the Baltimore Book Festival to answer our questions & help us wrap up Pass the Book’s inaugural year! Keep visiting to track Pass the Book 2011 by the numbers.
Can’t wait until Friday for your copy of Pay the Piper? Get a preview with our book trailer.
Don’t forget to sign up for our Teen Read Week 2010 events, where you can pick up a copy of Pay the Piper to register, read and pass:
- Pass the Book Lock-In. East Columbia Branch, Friday October 15, 7pm
- Punk Rocks. Elkridge Branch, Monday October 18, 4pm
- This Concert is No Picnic. Savage Branch, Tuesday October 19, 7pm
- Karaoke Lounge. Miller Branch, Wednesday October 20, 7pm
- Battle of the Bands. Gary J. Arthur Community Center, Friday October 22, 7pm
Out in Indiana, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library are passing the book right now, too. They’re circulating copies of John Green‘s three titles, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns. Just like us, the folks in Marion County are challenged to register the book, read it and then pass it on. (Check out their dashboard to find the fast-facts about their passes and see which books have traveled where.)
We’ve swapped some books with our new friends in Indiana. One of the copies that they sent to us has been registered in Maryland. And one of our copies has been registered in their project.
Don’t forget to read, register, and pass!
Leviathan begins with a story we all learned in history class – the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary sparked World War I. But from there, Scott Westerfeld’s fire burns much differently. The two sides of the Great War are separated by stronger differences. One side, the British Empire, France, Serbia, and Russia makes up the Darwinists. The other side, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire makes up the Clankers. The Darwinists use airbeasts made of combined DNA bits from different animals to make a beast that is full of hydrogen much like a living blimp. The airbeast is full of other fabricated animals that help the ecosystem thrive and even fix itself given enough food. The Clankers use steam-powered metal war machines, from zeppelins to walking tanks that must be driven by a well trained operator and kept well oiled to work in peak condition.
The two main characters of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan are 15 year old prince Aleksander Ferdinand and 15 year old Deryn Sharp. Alek is the non-heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary because his non-royal mother is not recognized by the emperor. Deryn, or Dylan, as her fellow crew members on the fabricated whale airship Leviathan know her, has disguised herself as a boy to join the British Air Service. Alek and Deryn begin on separate sides of the burgeoning battle between the Darwinists and the Clankers. Alek, hastened away in the night after the assassination of his father, suddenly finds himself homeless, parentless, mostly nationless, and on the run with only his last four loyal subjects. Deryn, preparing to join the British Air Service, is in the middle of a test of her “air sense.” When a storm hits her and the Huxley, a hot-air-balloon-like tentacled flying beast, they are whisked halfway across the country and later picked up by the Leviathan which she excitedly joins as a crew member.
When the Leviathan is attacked while carrying an important Zookeeper and some mysterious cargo, the mighty whale is forced to make an emergency landing for repairs. They land in the middle of a glacier in Switzerland, where there is no food for the beasts of the ship to eat. Without food, the beasts are unable to repair themselves. Alek happens to be hiding out nearby and compassionately sneaks out to bring the stranded crew some medicine – and that’s when it all goes wrong for him as he and Deryn are suddenly forced to decide what’s more important, taking sides or surviving.