On My Bookshelf: Ever by Gail Carson Levine

December 21, 2015

In Ever by Gail Carson Levine, Kezi and Olus are young, playful, and in love. The only problem is that Kezi is mortal and fated to die while Olus, god of the winds, can't live among humans.
Basic plot from Amazon: Falling in love is easy . . .

. . . for Kezi, a beautiful mortal, dancer, and rug weaver, and for Olus, Akkan god of the winds. Their love brings Kezi the strength to fight her fate, and it gives Olus the strength to confront his fears. Together—and apart—they encounter spiders with webs of iron, the cruel lord of the land of the dead, the mysterious god of destiny, and the tests of the Akkan gods. If they succeed, they will be together; but if they fail, Olus will have to endure the ultimate loss, and Kezi will have to make the supreme sacrifice.

Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine has created a stunning world of flawed gods, unbreakable vows, and ancient omens. Her story of love, fate, and belief is spellbinding.

Why I liked it: The story is told by dual narrators, both equally playful and humorous. Olus, the wind god, is lonely growing up and would rather spend time with humans than gods, but he quickly learns that his interactions with humans only create fear for them. That doesn't stop him from making a little mischief every now and then. Kesi loves to dance and is devoted to her family. When her mother falls ill and her father makes a promise to the gods in exchange for his wife's return to health, Kesi takes the brunt of the curse to protect her beloved aunt. Kesi will have to be sacrificed to the gods, but Olus has fallen in love with her and intervenes, and the two enjoy the delights of their new relationship. It's a light, easy read.

Classroom application: The novel would be a great pairing with a mythology unit in an English class since it features a hierarchy of gods and details the customs of the mortals who worship them, similar to Greek Roman, or Norse mythology. Students could look for connections between traditional myths and Ever and eventually write their own myth featuring a god or goddess of their own creation. Similarly, the novel could be used as a fiction pairing with a history unit on ancient Greece or Rome as students study the structure of the society and its religious rules. The novel could also serve as a mentor text as students practice writing alternating/intersecting plot lines.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Ever for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.
For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:

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