YA dragons and witches

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What fantasy fan worth her salt doesn’t love a good dragon or witch story? There’s no shortage of them; but these YA novels are wholly original offerings that focus on the development of complex main characters and the subversion of traditional notions of good and evil. Teenager Nathan is a prisoner in a cage in […]

Reviews of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling; illus. by Mary Grandpré Levine/Scholastic Reviewed 1/99 Orphaned Harry Potter has been living a dog’s life with his horrible relatives. He sleeps in the broom cupboard under the stairs and is treated as a slave by his aunt and uncle. On his eleventh birthday, mysterious […]

Review of Fiendish

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Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff High School    Razorbill/Penguin    341 pp. 6/14    978-1-59514-638-0    $17.99    g Yovanoff (The Space Between, rev. 1/12; Paper Valentine, rev. 3/13) here weaves a haunting tale of old magic in a changing world. When Clementine was a child, a torch-bearing mob burned out her family; Clementine escaped by virtue of a magical coma […]

Review of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

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The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina Middle School, High School    Candlewick    371 pp. 4/14    978-0-7636-6988-1    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7225-6    $17.99 In this Australian import, Ashala Wolf is head of the Tribe, a group of refugees deemed Illegals because of their supernatural abilities, which the government claims threaten the world’s fragile Balance. Some […]

Review of Feral Curse

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Feral Curse [Feral] by Cynthia Leitich Smith High School    Candlewick    259 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5910-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7040-5    $17.99 Secret werecat Kayla chooses Valentine’s Day to reveal her true nature to her boyfriend, Ben. He reacts badly, to put it mildly: he runs away from Kayla, is hit by lightning on the antique carousel in […]

YA fantasy you’ve been waiting for

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Every fantasy fan knows the exquisite agony of anticipating the next entry in a favorite series — particularly if that entry will be the last. These four new novels continue (and in some cases, complete) popular series. In The Cracks in the Kingdom, the follow-up to Jaclyn Moriarty‘s BGHB Fiction Award Honor book A Corner […]

At long last

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There may have been some jumping up and down yesterday when I spotted this on the Magazine table. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy/Old Kingdom Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series; I’ve read Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen several times each and listened to the superb audiobooks narrated by Tim Curry many more times. The trilogy […]

“Kill the she-elf!”

from http://www.themarysue.com/smauglock-sherlock-smaug/

Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review

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As a lover of young adult literature and a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, I was delighted to hear that City of Bones (PG-13, Sony Pictures, August 2013) would be made into a film. I was further delighted to actually see the movie (I may or may not have been counting down the […]

Recommended fantasy books

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The books recommended below were all published within the last several years and reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Picture books Suggested grade level listed with each entry The Other Side of Town by Jon Agee (Scholastic/di Capua) A New York City […]