Recommended fantasy books

seraphina

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 […]

Retract those claws

warrior

and go meet “Erin Hunter” of Warriors fame at the Cambridge Public Library on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:00 PM. When I asked which Erin Hunter,  I was told it would be top cat Victoria Holmes, who from this description sounds like the Francine Pascal of the Warriors world.

YA sci-fi and fantasy you’ve been waiting for

Beth Revis A Million Suns cover

Sci-fi and fantasy fans will thrill to these engrossing sequels. The books are sure to satisfy readers’ expectations and leave them eager for more. In A Million Suns, the sequel to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe, Sol-Earth–born Amy is struggling with the claustrophobic life aboard the Godspeed after being prematurely awakened from her frozen sleep. […]

Beautiful Bitterblue

my favorite section opener

As a big fan of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Fire, I was excited to review Bitterblue (Dial), the third book in her Graceling Realm, for the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine. I had to work from the galley, but on Monday the hardcover finally arrived in the office. With elaborate maps and illustrations […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

Sutton bookstack

Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point—today’s point—is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of the pond. That would […]

Finding your way

Here’s somebody else who loves maps in books. The best of them help you keep track of where you are AND can serve as a memento of a story you’ve loved. Poet Julie Larios offered her thoughts on literary maps in the May 2010 Horn Book Magazine.

Review of The Cabinet of Earths

The Cabinet of Earths

The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    260 pp. 1/12    978-0-06-196313-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-209919-8    $8.99 “Well! It is better to read fairy tales than to find yourself caught in them,” Nesbet’s narrator declares, a predictor of what is to be found in the subsequent pages — for Nesbet’s story is a-shimmer with […]

“Magic most foul”?

darker still

I admit, with a subtitle like “A Novel of Magic Most Foul,” I had to resist the temptation to mock this book outright.  Thankfully, Leanna Renee Hieber’s novel Darker Still (Sourcebooks, November) offers a bit more substance than this melodramatic teaser of a subtitle. In it, Natalie Stewart, a mute Victorian-era teenager, chronicles the supernatural […]

Oh, cruel world

bitterblue box

The ARC of Kristin Cashore’s third Graceling book, Bitterblue, just arrived from Penguin… …packaged with paperbacks of the previous novels, Graceling and Fire. It’s tormenting Cindy and me, since we won’t have time to read Bitterblue—never mind reread the first two!—until all our Guide assignments are read and reviewed. Alas. If you’re lucky enough to […]

More fantastic books for older readers

Drink, Slay, Love

One new sci-fi/fairy tale and three paranormal novels provide plenty of heart-pounding reading for middle school and high school fans. Sixteen-year-old vampire Pearl discovers she can withstand sunlight after an encounter with a unicorn in Sarah Beth Durst’s Drink, Slay, Love. Her family sends her up to the local high school to procure refreshments (i.e., […]