Review of Watch Out for Flying Kids! by Cynthia Levinson

June 25th, 2016

watch_out_for_flying_kids_largeWatch Out for Flying Kids!

How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community

by Cynthia Levinson

Peachtree, Atlanta, 2015. 216 pages.
Starred Review

I booktalked this book in local elementary schools this year. It’s a story about real kids, with a large format and lots of pictures — and everything in it is true.

A section of the Prologue neatly explains why this is an important book:

Watch Out for Flying Kids spotlights a little-known corner of this universe: youth social circus.

As the first word of the name suggests, “youth circus” refers to programs in which the performers are children. The nine performers featured in this book are teenagers.

The word “social” refers to the mission of bringing together young people who would not ordinarily meet — or, if they did, might fear or oppose each other. The two organizations portrayed in this book — the St. Louis Arches and the Galilee Circus — bring together young people from vastly different backgrounds and cultures through training in circus arts. The goal of both groups is to replace fear with respect and opposition with trust, changing the world one acrobat, contortionist, and flyer at a time.

Why wouldn’t these kids meet if it weren’t for circus? Why might they even fear or mistrust one another? The three white and two black troupers who are Arches live in different neighborhoods and go to different schools in St. Louis, Missouri, a city that is segregated by race and income level. The two Arabs and two Jews who perform with the Galilee Circus in northern Israel live in towns segregated by religion, ethnicity, language, and history. They represent groups that have been violently at odds with each other for hundreds of years.

Watch Out for Flying Kids shows what happens when all of them get together. That is, it demonstrates how they learn to juggle their responsibilities, fly above the fray, balance schoolwork and circus work, unicycle circles around people who doubt them, tumble gracefully through life — even when injured — and walk the tightrope of politics and friendship.

This book looks at the two circuses, the St. Louis Arches and the Galilee Circus, over the years 2005 to 2014. Nine kids in particular are highlighted and their journey described.

Performing in a circus is tremendously difficult, and the hard work and dedication required is conveyed well. The two circuses got to visit each other’s countries and perform together, and the book also shows us the challenges of working together across cultures.

This is a wonderful, inspiring and informative book about a group of kids working hard, forming a community, and putting on a great show.

cynthialevinson.com
peachtree-online.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/watch_out_for_flying_kids.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of Secret Coders, by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

June 23rd, 2016

secret_coders_largeSecret Coders

by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

First Second, 2015. 91 pages.
2016 Mathical Book Prize Winner (Grades 3-5)

This is a graphic novel that teaches counting in binary and basic coding – and manages not to stretch credibility too far.

Hopper has been transferred to Stately Academy, which her mother insists is the best school in town. But the school is distinctly creepy.

There are creepy birds flying around. When they see Hopper’s Number 7 earrings, they open three of their four eyes. Hopper’s new friend Eni notices that when they see the number 9s all over the school, the first and fourth eyes open. So of course – the birds are robots, using their four eyes to express in binary the numbers they see! (Hey, in a graphic novel this actually comes across as plausible.)

After the birds help them figure out the combination to a locked room, Hopper and Eni find a robot turtle next to a list of commands. When they read the commands, the robot carries them out.

Then another program makes the robot trace a hexagon and open a secret passage. There they find the creepy janitor who says he’ll reveal secrets of the school if they can code a more complicated path. They are about to become Secret Coders.

It’s a fun story – fitting in at a new school, solving puzzles, uncovering secrets – and it does teach binary and LOGO coding along the way. And it teaches those things in a visual and entertaining way.

More books are on the way! It will be fun to see where they go with this idea.

secret-coders.com
firstsecondbooks.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Fiction/secret_coders.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of Rules of the House, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matt Myers

June 22nd, 2016

rules_of_the_house_largeRules of the House

by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Matt Myers

Disney Hyperion, 2016. 48 pages.
Starred Review

This book arrived at the library just in time to use it for booktalking in the schools. It’s a perfect book for booktalking. You just read the beginning and stop at the suspenseful part. Those kids are going to come after it, I know they will!

Ian is a rule-follower. His sister Jenny is not.

So when their vacation cottage in the woods has a list of Rules of the House on the wall, Ian is delighted.

THE RULES OF THE HOUSE

We trust you will respect the house by observing the following rules:

1. Remove muddy shoes before you enter the house.
2. Don’t leave a ring around the bathtub drain.
3. Replace any firewood you burn.
4. Never – ever – open the red door.

Right from the start, Jenny does not follow the rules. There is a showdown.

Ian pointed to the paper on the wall. “You’ve already broken rules one through three.”
“So what?” said Jenny. “It’s not even our house.”
“Doesn’t matter,” said Ian. “Rules are rules, and rules are meant to be –“
“Listen, toady,” Jenny moved toward the red door. “If you say that one more time, I swear, I’ll open this door.”
“Rules are meant to be –“

Jenny turned the knob.
Ian shouted, “Rules are meant to be followed!”

Jenny flung the door open.

Nothing happened.

Until that night.

And that is where I shut the book and say that you need to come to the library and check it out.

What I will say to my readers is that Jenny’s punishment is appropriately scary and Ian ends up having to (*gasp*) break a rule in order to save his sister.

The whole result is funny and slightly scary and wonderfully overdramatic and a marvelous yarn.

I asked a class of second graders how many like rules, and about half raised their hands. This is also good food for discussion about when following rules goes too far, and when it’s a good way to keep you safe.

macbarnett.com
myerspaints.com
DisneyBooks.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Picture_Books/rules_of_the_house.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of Pink Is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating

June 21st, 2016

pink_is_for_blobfish_largePink Is for Blobfish

Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals

by Jess Keating
with illustrations by David DeGrand

Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2016.
Starred Review

Here’s a book that simply begs to be booktalked in the schools. All I will have to do is show some pictures. I don’t know if I’ll be able to attract kids who normally like pink, but I’m sure I’ll be able to attract those who enjoy unusual animals or like reading about disgusting ways of getting a meal.

As the book begins, “Think you know pink?”

It proceeds to feature sixteen bizarre animals — that happen to be colored pink. It gives the general information about the creature along with some of the more notable facts. All the animals have a photograph — the more cartoony illustrations go with the information about the animal.

The book begins with the blobfish, which was voted the ugliest animal in the world in a poll taken by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. It continues through such animals as pinktoe tarantulas, pygmy seahorses, and Amazon river dolphins.

Did you know that orchid mantises look so much like flowers, insects will land on them more often than on actual flowers, when given a choice in a lab? Or that pink fairy armadillos have a special “butt plate” to compact the dirt when they dig tunnels? Or that hippopotamuses ooze a thick pink oil all over their skin to protect themselves from sunburn? Or that hairy squat lobsters catch their food in their hair?

This is a strange-animals book with one amusing characteristic in common. All of the strange animals in these pages are pink!

JessKeating.com
DeGrandLand.com
randomhousekids.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/pink_is_for_blobfish.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Sonderling Sunday – Finding Eeyore’s Schwanz

June 19th, 2016

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

Today I’m back to Pu der Bär, by A. A. Milne, better known to English speakers as Winnie-the-Pooh.

Pu_der_Bar

Last time we looked at Pu, we finished Kapitel Drei, so today we’ll look at Chapter Four — “In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One,” which is to say, In welchem I-Ah einen Schwanz verliert und Pu einen findet.

I like lots of parts of the first sentence:

“The Old Grey Donkey, Eeyore” = Der alte graue Esel, I-Ah

“a thistly corner of the forest” = einem distelbewachsenen Winkel des Waldes
(“a thistle-overgrown angle of the forest”)

“his front feet well apart” = die Vorderbeine gespreizt

“his head on one side” = den Kopf auf eine Seite gelegt

“and thought about things” = und dachte über alles nach

“Inasmuch as which?” = Inwiefern? (“To what extent?”)

“came stumping along” = herangestapft kam

“gloomy manner” = düsterer Weise

I’m having fun imagining a reason to say this in Germany:
“Why, what’s happened to your tail?”
= Was ist den mit deinem Schwanz passiert?

“with a long, sad sigh” = mit einem langen, traurigen Seufzer

“solemnly” = feierlich

“So Winnie-the-Pooh went off to find Eeyore’s tail.”
= Also machte Winnie-der-Pu auf den Weg um I-Ahs Schwanz zu finden.

“Little soft clouds played happily in a blue sky”
= Kleine, weiche Wolkenspielten froh an einem blauen Himmel

“skipping from time to time in front of the sun”
= hüpften hin und wieder vor die Sonne

“dowdy” = ungepflegt

“copse and spinney” = Gehölz und Dickicht (“woods and thickets”)

“down open slopes of gorse and heather” = offene Hänge voller Stechginster und Heidekraut hinab

“rocky beds of streams” = felsige Flussbetten

“steep banks of sandstone” = steile Böschungen aus Sandstein

“If anyone knows anything about anything”
= Wenn irgendwer irgendwas über irgendwas weiß

“Chestnuts” = Kastanien

“knocker” = Türklopfer

“bell-pull” = Klingelzug

“notice” = Zettel

“MEASLES” = ZIEGENPETER

“BUTTERED TOAST” = TOASTMITBUTTER

“He’s Moping about it.” = Jetzt bläst er Trübsal.
(“Now blows he sorrow.”)

“very kindly” = überaus freundlicherweise

“Bear of Very Little Brain” = Bär von sehr wenig Verstand

“long words Bother me” = lange Wörter jagen mir Angst ein

“sneezed” = geniest

“a small something” = ein kleines Sowieso

“a lick of honey” = einer Idee Honig (“an idea of honey”)

“frisked” = tobte

“waving his tail so happily” = wedelte so glücklich mit dem Schwanz

And finishing up with the song at the end:

Who found the Tail?
‘I,’ said Pooh,
‘At a quarter to two
(Only it was quarter to eleven really),
I found the Tail!'”

= Wer fand den Schwanz?
»Ich«, sprach Pu,
»Um Viertel vor ganz
(Das heißt, es war um Viertel vor elf),

Ich fand den Schwanz!«

Bis bald!

Another Tip for Finding Online Dating Scammers

June 18th, 2016

A year ago, I posted some tips on dealing with online dating scammers.

Today I discovered another scammer, so I have another tip: Reverse image search!

Ctrl.org has a Reverse image search. You upload an image, and the site searches the web for matches of that image.

Here’s the situation: A year and a half ago, I “liked” someone’s profile on OKCupid, and was told that he had “liked” me. So I sent him a short message. Then he never was online again. I figured he’d found someone else, but why didn’t he delete his profile?

Anyway, a couple days ago, he answered my message! But when I asked what the story was behind the year and a half absence, he said something about a long trip! Ummm, that’s a long trip.

On top of that, though he’s answering more quickly than a year and a half, he’s not exactly forthcoming or eager to talk with me.

And then I thought to do a reverse image search.

Sure enough! His picture comes up — on a Romance Scam site. The original photo is from a modeling agency. (I had thought he was maybe a little too good-looking to be real.)

I strongly suspect he’s a scammer with multiple profiles and had let that one rest for awhile.

I’m going to be doing this a little more often, any time I have any doubts at all.

I’m now torn between triumph and frustration. Triumph that I figured out this guy. Frustration that someone who seemed nice — isn’t.

But in the long run, I think I’ll go with triumph.

Review of The Wolf Wilder, by Katherine Rundell

June 17th, 2016

wolf_wilder_largeThe Wolf Wilder

by Katherine Rundell

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015. 231 pages.

A note at the beginning of this book explains who wolf wilders are. They lived in Russia during the time of the tsars. It was fashionable to own wolves. Hunters would capture wolf cubs and sell them to the aristocracy. “Peter the Great had seven wolves, all as white as the moon.”

The captured wolves wear golden chains and are taught to sit still while people around them laugh and drink and blow cigar smoke into their eyes. They are fed caviar, which, quite reasonably, they find disgusting. Some grow so fat that the fur on their stomach sweeps the ground as they waddle up and down stairs and collects fluff and ash.

But a wolf cannot be tamed in the way a dog can be tamed, and it cannot be kept indoors. Wolves, like children, are not born to lead calm lives. Always the wolf goes mad at the imprisonment, and eventually it bites off and eats a little piece of someone who was not expecting to be eaten. The question then arises: What to do with the wolf?

Aristocrats in Russia believe that the killing of a wolf brings a unique kind of bad luck. It is not the glamorous kind of bad luck, not runaway trains and lost fortunes, but something dark and insidious. If you kill a wolf, they say, your life begins to disappear. Your child will come of age on the morning that war is declared. Your toenails will grow inward, and your teeth outward, and your gums will bleed in the night and stain your pillow red. So the wolf must not be shot, nor starved; instead, it is packed up like a parcel by nervous butlers and sent away to the wolf wilder.

The wilder will teach the wolves how to be bold again, how to hunt and fight, and how to distrust humans. They teach them how to howl, because a wolf who cannot howl is like a human who cannot laugh. And the wolves are released back onto the land they were born on, which is as tough and alive as the animals themselves.

Feo and her mother are wolf wilders living a hundred years ago just south of St. Petersburg. The story begins when an old general named Rakov bursts into their home with a dead elk, claiming that their wolves killed it. (It was not one of the wolves still with them, since the jaw marks were of a smaller wolf.) They are told that if aristocrats bring them any more wolves, they must kill them, which of course Feo and her mother have no intention of doing. They are told that if Feo is seen with a wolf, Rakov’s soldiers will shoot the wolf and take the child.

Feo and her mother make plans to escape if the soldiers come again. When the next wolf is brought to their door, a soldier does see Feo with it. But this soldier is only a boy. When the wolf gives birth to a tiny cub, the boy, Ilya, can be convinced not to tell.

Eventually, Ilya does warn them – the soldiers are coming. However, their escape doesn’t go as planned. Though Feo and the wolves escape to the wilderness, Feo’s mother is taken away, and their home is burned.

The main story is of surviving in the snowy woods as Feo and Ilya travel with the wolves to St. Petersburg to rescue her mother. Along the way they meet a teen who is trying to stir up revolution. Their village was destroyed by Rakov.

The writing style in this book evokes mythology and fairy tales; it’s beautifully crafted. The story is tense and gripping – just when you think they’ve escaped Rakov, he keeps turning up again.

Though this book would be good for children who love animals, because the wolves are portrayed definitely as wolves, I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. The violence included (mostly off-stage) is awfully intense. Rakov is horribly evil. And the children are ready to kill him. (Though – I don’t think this is really a spoiler – in the end it’s the wolves who do him in.)

Realistically? All along it was hard for me to believe that Feo would have any chance of rescuing her mother from the prison in St. Petersburg. When it came to it, the plan was plausible, but I still had some trouble with believability. Also, the first people they convinced to join in their “revolution” were children. I knew it’s a children’s book, so it would probably work out – but that could have gone just so horribly wrong. A character does say that soldiers don’t like to shoot children when people are watching, but based on some of the other things the soldiers do in this book, that didn’t make me feel safe for them.

The book also pretty much portrays the Russian Revolution as a good thing, a thing to get children involved in. And okay, it does show that there was injustice in the tsar’s Russia. But I had mixed emotions about that, too.

Summing up, this is, in fact, an excellent book for animal lovers, but they should be animal lovers with a high enough maturity level to read about violence and war. Those children who do tackle this book will find adventure and a sense of justice and children who triumph against long odds and characters, human and animal, who will stick with them long after they put the book down.

KIDS.SimonandSchuster.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Fiction/wolf_wilder.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Summer Reading!

June 17th, 2016

I’m booktalking in six local elementary schools this week and next week. I need to make a list with pictures of the book covers, so kids can remember the titles. I’m posting them here, the better to spread the word to others.

Here are some recently published books that are wonderful and that can get kids excited about reading!

Besides the covers, I’ll put in links to my reviews, to give you an idea of what I said about these books. Stay tuned — if I haven’t posted the review yet, I will try to do so in the near future.

I generally share books with multiple grades, though this year I have so many good books, sometimes I can get through a day’s booktalking without repeating books. I’ll list the books by grade — but there’s a lot of overlap in which grades would be interested. The grades listed are the ones I’d start with, but as time permits, some books will be shared with adjacent grades as well as or instead of the listed grade.

This list also includes some books I brought along and displayed but didn’t necessarily get a chance to booktalk.

Kindergarten

rules_of_the_house
Rules of the House, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matt Myers

butterfly_counting
Butterfly Counting, by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

hungry_lion
A Hungry Lion, or: A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, by Lucy Ruth Cummins

mango_abuela_and_me
Mango, Abuela, and Me, by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez

one_day_the_end
One Day, the End, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Fred Koehler

1st Grade

meet_the_dullards
Meet the Dullards, by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

pink_is_for_blobfish
Pink Is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating, with illustrations by David DeGrand

whoosh
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate

hungry_bunny_horde
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde, by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

2nd Grade

fearless_flyer
Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine, by Heather Lang, illustrated by Raul Colon

how_to_swallow_a_pig
How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-step Advice from the Animal Kingdom, by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

my_pet_human
My Pet Human, by Yasmine Surovec

3rd Grade

secret_coders
Secret Coders, by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

great_monkey_rescue
The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins, by Sandra Markle

this_bridge_will_not_be_gray
This Bridge Will Not Be Gray, story by Dave Eggers, art by Tucker Nichols

file_under_13_suspicious_incidents
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents, by Lemony Snicket

crenshaw
Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate

4th Grade

unusual_chickens
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones

wolf_wilder
The Wolf Wilder, by Katherine Rundell

roller_girl
Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson

5th Grade

pax
Pax, by Sara Pennypacker

war_that_saved_my_life
The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

baba_yagas_assistant
Baba Yaga’s Assistant, by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll

hollow_boy
The Hollow Boy, by Jonathan Stroud

watch_out_for_flying_kids
Watch Out for Flying Kids! How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community, by Cynthia Levinson

6th Grade

flying_cars
Flying Cars: The True Story, by Andrew Glass

passion_of_dolssa
The Passion of Dolssa, by Julie Berry

black_dove_white_raven
Black Dove, White Raven, by Elizabeth Wein

Review of Fearless Flyer, by Heather Lang and Raúl Colón

June 13th, 2016

fearless_flyer_largeFearless Flyer

Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

by Heather Lang
illustrated by Raúl Colón

Calkins Creek (Highlights), Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2016. 40 pages.
Starred Review

Did you know that in 1916, the person to set the American longest nonstop flight record was a woman? This picture book tells the story of Ruth Law, an early American aviator.

100 years ago, flying was dangerous and primitive. The pictures speak volumes, with Ruth Law bundled up in layers of coats with only her feet protected from the elements, steering the plane using two levers. She navigated with a little scrolling six-inch map she strapped into her lap. She had to hold the right lever with her knee while she turned the knobs on the map box.

Early on, the book explains why Ruth Law was so successful:

Few aviators dared to fly cross-country in their flimsy flying machines. If an engine had trouble, by the time the aviator realized it, there was often nowhere to land.

Ruth had a secret weapon. She knew every nut and bolt on her machine.

“I could anticipate what would happen to the motor by the sound of it.”

The text in this book is straightforward, interspersed with quotes from Ruth. The story is of her plan to fly from Chicago to New York City and to show that what men can do, a woman can do.

Raúl Colón’s beautiful pictures evoke the time period beautifully. By seeing pictures, you realize just how early in the history of aviation were Ruth’s adventures. Her record-breaking flight happened in November 1916.

She didn’t have a radio or any instruments but a compass. She didn’t even have a cockpit. With two levers and a map box perched on a rickety-looking set of wings, Ruth Law broke the boundaries of what could be done.

“The sky was my limit and the horizon my sphere. It’s any woman’s sphere if she has nerve and courage and faith in herself. She’s got to have faith in herself.”

I expect this picture book will inspire more girls and boys to take to the sky.

heatherlangbooks.com
boydsmillspress.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/fearless_flyer.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Sonderling Sunday – To Outwit the Belgian Prankster

June 12th, 2016

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translations of children’s books.

Sonderlinge3

This week, it’s back to The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge. We are ready to begin Chapter 20!

This sentence seems good to know:
“Ken Kiang was quite pleased with himself.”
= Ken Kiang war ziemlich zufrieden mit sich.

“to outwit the Belgian Prankster”
= den Belgischen Scherzkeks zu übertölpeln

“to disrupt his plans”
= seine Pläne zu vereiteln

“to overthrow his infernal machinations”
= seine teuflischen Machenschaften zu durchkreuzen

Try to think of a reason to say this!
“Municipal Squires Authority”
= Städtischen Knappenbehörde

“a small army of clerks”
= eine kleine Armee von Sachbearbeitern

“shamelessly groveled”
= krochen (“crawled”)

“moment of idleness”
= Moment des Müßiggangs

“devil-may-care”
= tollkühne (“foolhardy”)

“dingy dormitory”
= schmuddelige Schlafsaal

It’s always interesting how names are translated.
“Bimblebridge” = Pimperbrück

“partition” = Trennwand (“divide-wall”)

“simplified” = vereinfacht

“distractions” = Ablenkungen

“moth-eaten” = mottenzerfressene

“bolt” = Schraube

“a wire cut” = ein durchgeschnittener Draht

“file” = Aktenordner

“ever greater sophistication” = immer raffinierterer Durchtriebenheit

“deployed, canceled, reversed, appropriated, adapted, and foiled”
= ersonnen, widerrufen, ins Gegenteil gekehrt, angepasst, zweckdienlich gemacht und vereitelt

Here’s a nice long word:
“treaties”
= Waffenstillstandsverträge

“decoys” = Köder

“red herrings” = Ablenkungsmanöver
(“distraction-maneuver”)

“Ken Kiang’s mind reeled.” = Ken Kiang schwindelte. (“Ken Kiang was made dizzy.”)

“excruciating subtlety” = quälenden Subtilität

Here’s a phrase you should know if you travel in Germany!
“pie damnation” = Kuchen-Verdammnis

“slouched” = schlurfte

This sounds better in German:
“a distant smile on his lips”
= ein abwesendes Lächeln auf den Lippen

And the last sentence for tonight, at the end of a section:
“He had the most wonderful idea.”
= Er hatte soeben die wundervollste Eingebung von allen gehabt.

Good night! May wundervollste Eingebungen be yours until next time!