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Month in review

Reviews
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase
Classified as Murder by Miranda James
The Clue at Black Creek Farm by Carolyn Keene
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell and Mike Feehan
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Giant Days: Extra Credit by John Allison
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Ice Witch by Joel Ross
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
Kraken by Wendy Williams
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames
Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt and Ross Collins
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
The Million by Karl Schroeder
Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn and Eric Shanower
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Restart by Gordon Korman
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Weather or Not by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (October 16)
Cybils Update (October 23)
Cybils Update (October 30)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 01)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 08)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 15)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 22)
September 2018 Sources
September 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFCC99: Orphan Uhoria Labyrinth
FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway: A comparison of The Sentinel and Three-Quarters Dead
FFCC00: Orphan Uhoria Interstate: The Polar Express, Waiting for Augusta, and Winterhouse
FF99FF: Orphan wildlands cornfield
Road Narrative Update for September 2018

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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FF99FF: Orphan wildlands cornfield: 10/25/18

FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway

Sometimes in the road narrative, the thing which protects needs protection or needs finding. Sometimes only a single person can accomplish that task, even if it means going through the most untamed places. That is the essential pieces of FF99FF, the orphan, wildlands cornfield.

One example of FF99FF is the children's book, Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved by Patricia Hruby Powell (2003). Corn for the Diné is a sacred plant and Powell's book (also translated into Diné bizaad) is a retelling of how corn came to be recognized as the sacred plant it is.

In most of the cornfield narratives I read (or watched), the cornfield is already there and well established. It is a place on the map but of indeterminate size that serves as a barrier between worlds. It guards, it protects, it incarcerates (if the story is horror). Rarely, though, does it itself need protection.

In these previous narratives, though, they are all created by authors of extra-American descent. They are primarily written by white authors. Corn, while often associated with death and the underworld or the supernatural, is most often associated with death as evil or death as demonic among white and male authors.

The cornfield as crossing point to the supernatural among Latinx authors is more of a neutral experience. There are good and there are bad on the other side. To protect yourself when traveling, it's best to be willing to connect with your departed loved ones.

In Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved, the story is about a time when the corn needed protection. It needed protection to protect and nourish the people. It is a reminder of one's duty to the land.

In other corn stories, the protagonists are almost never directly connected to the corn they travel through. Exceptions to this are Anthony from "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Baxter, where the keeper of the corn is the monster of the story, and Stephen King's "Children of the Corn." In the horror genre, monsters grow corn.

Zinnia is also notable for Red Bird's need to take a journey through the wildlands to find someone who will teach him how to save the corn as the crops have begun to fail. In other stories, the corn stands in opposition to the road. The road is predictable; the cornfield is not. But to find protection for the corn, one must turn away from man and look towards nature for guidance.

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