May 4th/5th new releases of childrens and YA fantasy/sci fi

Here are the new releases for May 4th and 5th. I continue to be stunned that so many of the books being published are science fiction or fantasy, mainly the latter (and if you want to see for yourself, the list from which I draw my own can be found here, at Teens Read Too).

I asked a little while ago if these lists were being enjoyed, and it seemed they were. But one faithful reader, my sister, has let me know she finds them boring, and that she prefers blogs that act as filters, recommending what is best instead of throwing the whole mass of books out there. And I know that I have not been filtering much, but this time of year I spend just about every free minute (all thirty six of them on an average weekday) working in the garden. Once everything is planted, I will be reviewing more. (In the meantime, I will make a random recommendation of The Hollow Kingdom, by Clare Dunkle, which isn't new (2003) but which is very good, and which I think my sister might like).

And now, the new releases, which I have decided to split by reader age.

9-12 Year Olds:

Dormia, by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski. "Alfonso Perplexon is an unusual sleeper. He climbs trees, raises falcons, even shoots deadly accurate arrows, all in his sleep..."

Freaky Monday, by Mary Rodgers and Heather Hatch. A student and her teacher switch places ala Freaky Friday.

Herbert's Wormhole, by Peter Nelson, illustrated by Rohitash Rao. A novel in cartoons. "This is a really cool story about our trip to the future. You're gonna love it because we're in it and it's got aliens and it's awesome." Going by the great review at Welcome to My Tweendom, I'm putting it on my eight year old's list.

Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart (The Knights of Arrethtrae), by Chuck Black.


Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening, by Marley Gibson.

Cathy's Ring, by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman. Book three of the IF FOUND CALL 650-266-8202 series.

Dead Is So Last Year, by Marlene Perez. "Something very strange starts happening in Nightshade the summer that the eldest Giordano sister, Rose, gets a job working at Dr. Franken's research laboratory..."

Dragon's Heart: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume Four, by Jane Yolen. Has anyone reading this read 1,2, or 3? Are they worth reading? Would I, or possibly my sister, like them?????

The Faerie Path #4: The Immortal Realm, by Frewin Jones. "...when a Faerie baby suddenly falls ill, followed by more and more Faeries—including her own sister Cordelia—Tania knows that something is terribly wrong. Ditto regarding vols. 1-3.

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5), by Rick Riordan.

The Plague, by Joanne Dahme. Historical fiction (medieval), but with a plot that I think, many fantasy readers might find appealing: "With the aid and protection of a quirky band of friends—a Spanish minstrel, a monk, a gravedigger, a band of merchants—Nell must evade not only the Black Prince, a practitioner of the dark arts, but the plague as well, as she fights to return to the King and country."

Wings, by Aprilynne Pike. "Fifteen-year-old Laurel has led a sheltered, homeschooled life in a very small town, so when her parents decide to move and enroll her in high school, she has trouble getting used to her new life. A life, as it turns out, that’s not at all like those of other kids. One clear sign is a winglike blossom that blooms on her back. Oh, and her new best friend, the scientifically minded David, reveals under a microscope that her cells are more plant than animal. But it takes an encounter at her old home with the handsome but decidedly different Tamani to convince her that she is a faerie." I'm looking forward to this one!

Edited to add:

Here's another, that I have seen called YA: Starfinder: Book One of the Skylords, by John Marco: "Steam trains and electricity are rapidly changing the world. Moth of Calio is obsessed with the airships developed by his friend Fiona’s grandfather Rendor, and dreams of taking to the air one day like his heroes, the Skyknights.But not everyone is happy to see humans reach the skies. For thousands of years, the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords have jealously guarded their heavenly domain. But Moth and Fiona are about to breach the magical boundary between the world of humans and the world of the Skylords."

The next lot comes out on May 12.


  1. Oh, my WORD The Hollow Kingdom is good. There's an element of ...suspense in it, a removal of normalcy that I also found in Keturah and Lord Death that had me mesmerized.

    Not only do I love the name Aprilynne, I love the concept of her book -- and that someone USES SCIENCE TO FIGURE THINGS OUT. Whoo hoo! Go microscopes!

  2. Second the recommendation of Hollow Kingdom.

    I rather like these lists - I just wish I could find something similar to picturebooks and middle grade fiction. I'm always feeling slightly freaked out that I'm missing something the library desperately needs.

    Re. Jane Yolen's Pit Dragons - Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern for younger readers. Kinda like Ranger's Apprentice is LOTR for younger readers. At least, that's how I feel about them.

  3. I just read The Hollow Kingdom fairly recently, and haven't had time for the sequels yet...It is good, I guess (smiling bravely) to have lots and lots and lots of books to read.

  4. Hey! I'm giving away a personalized, autographed copy of a Rick Riordan book. The deadline is May 8th, so hurry over to my Kidlit contest page to enter and win!

  5. Loved the dragon pit stories, and I'm glad to hear there's a forth one. I read these to my kids when they were younger, and had to admit that I was captivated by them as well. Now to get the new one, and sit down and reread all of them together.

  6. Hi! I'm one of the co-authors of Dormia, which just released yesterday. I'd love to hear what you think - Houghton Mifflin wants to make this a series and we're working on the second book now! If you want more information, check out our fun website, www.worldofdormia.com - Thanks!

  7. I'm really looking forward to Wings too! Thanks for the reminder so I can start watching for it at the library. :)

  8. The Pit Dragon books are wonderful! They're favorites of mine to recommend to teenage boys looking for non-princessy fantasy (bordering on sci-fi).


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