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Summer listening

These recent speculative fiction favorites are now available as audiobooks — just in time for summer, when teens may be seeking escapist vacation listening or entertainment on that epic road trip with friends. In Kristin Cashore’s Jane, Unlimited, recently bereaved Jane is unexpectedly invited to spend the weekend at a mysterious island mansion — and […]

Spring 2018 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Mass and Stead’s middle-grade 
collaboration Bob, Livy (a human […]

Review of Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    533 pp. 3/18    978-1-250-17097-2    $18.99 When magic suddenly disappears from the kingdom of Orïsha, King Saran seizes the chance to murder all the maji (rare and powerful magic-wielders), leaving alive only the divîners (children born to be maji but too young to have yet […]

Bad blood

All teens grapple with family dynamics as they define their individual identities. But the protagonists of these YA fantasy novels must also contend with magic, secrets, and misdeeds in their bloodlines. In Frances Hardinge‘s A Skinful of Shadows, orphan Makepeace (an illegitimate relation) becomes a servant to the aristocratic Fellmotte family. She soon realizes that […]

Review of The Boggart Fights Back

The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper Intermediate    McElderry    209 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-5344-0629-2    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0631-5    $10.99 It’s been over twenty years since the publication of The Boggart (rev. 5/93) and The Boggart and the Monster (rev. 5/97), but this new adventure stands on its own and will surely send readers looking for […]

Unwrinkling

Our Russell reviews A Wrinkle in Time based on a viewing the Horn Bookers took in together last week, in the legendary Before Time when one could get out of the house. The walking distance to a good movie theater is a definite perk of our location, and I do love these reserved movie seats you […]

Wacky “weading”

In these middle-grade fantasy novels, anything is possible — and most of everything is silly. In Lissa Evans’s laugh-out-loud-funny Wed Wabbit, ten-year-old Fidge is sucked into Wimbley Land: the embodiment of her injured little sister Minnie’s imaginative life, based on Minnie’s (dreadful) favorite children’s book and peopled with stuffed toys. Sensible, energetic Fidge embraces the […]

Review of Wed Wabbit

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans Intermediate    Fickling/Scholastic    246 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-338-18527-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-18528-7    $10.99 This inventive and surprising fantasy adventure begins when Fidge’s little sister Minnie runs into traffic and is seriously injured. Ten-year-old Fidge, who feels responsible for the accident, is then sucked into another world, Wimbley Land, a place that […]

Fantastic (graphic-novel) voyages

These engaging new graphic-novel adventures draw intermediate and middle-school readers in to fantastical worlds that are variously beautiful and bizarre. The Sand Warrior kicks off the 5 Worlds series, a sweeping, sci-fi/fantasy graphic-novel saga written by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun. Three kids from very […]

Beyond the world we know | Class #4, 2018

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far-away places of other worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely metaphor […]