Here's another week of middle grade fantasy and science fiction divertissements! Let me know if I missed your post.
First: I had a question from a blog reader, who was wondering if I could suggest any middle grade science fiction books in which aliens are among us, but more as part of the world than explicitly involved in the Plot. I couldn't--can you?
Second: I got another question I couldn't answer--can any one recommend any good secondary literature on time travel books for kids?
Archvillain, by Barry Lyga, at Pink Me.
Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld, at The League of Extraordinary Writers and Kids Lit.
The Boneshaker, by Kate Milford, at By Singing Light and at Coffee for the Brain.
The Clockwork Three, by Matthew J. Kirby, at Ms. Yingling Reads (scroll down)
Crossing Over: Suddenly Supernatural #4, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, at Coffee for the Brain.
The Crowfield Curse, by Pat Walsh, at Books Together.
The Enchanted Castle, by E. Nesbit, at Kaleidoglide.
Enchanted Glass, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.
The Hole in the Wall, by Lisa Rowe, at Green Bean Teen Queen and The O.W.L.
I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade, by Diane Lee Wilson, at Charlotte's Library.
Keeper, by Kathi Appelt, at Eva's Book Addiction.
The Lost Hero, by Rick Rioradan, at The Bookette.
Magic Below Stairs, by Caroline Stevermer, at Books & Other Thoughts.
The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle, by Deva Fagan, at Ms. Yingling Reads (scroll down)
Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins & Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate as told to Lesley MM Blume, at books4yourkids.
The Necropolis, by P.J. Hoover, at Jen Robinson's Book Page.
The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz, at Oops...Wrong Cookie.
The Nightmarys, by Dan Poblocki, at Ms. Yingling Reads.
43 Old Cemetery Road Book 2: Over My Dead Body, by Kate and M. Sarah Klise, at Coffee for the Brain.
The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan, at Reading In Color.
A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, at A Patchwork of Books, Heavy Medal, and a report of taking this book into the classroom at Educating Alice.
Trapped (The Prometheus Project, book 1), by Douglas E. Richards at Pickled Bananas.
Wolven, by Di Toft, at Ms. Yingling Reads.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, by Alan Garner, at The Book Zone.
Three middle grade zombie books at Cloudy With a Chance of Books.
Here's one that's a bit more than just a book review-- a post by Sherwood Smith over at Book View Cafe about girls and horses, that also takes a look at a book I want more than somewhat--- House of the Star, written by Judith Tarr under the name Caitlin Brennan.
And here's a post at Blue Rose Girls that just goes to show how there can be the right book (in this case Dormia, by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski) waiting out there for the reluctant reader.
Across the pond, The Waterstones Galaxy National Book Award Children's Book of the Year (not sure that's quite how to say it, but whatever) has gone to Zog, by Julia Donaldson. Obviously, it's not middle grade fiction, but fantasy picture books are fine things too. Here's the blurb: "Zog is the keenest dragon in school. He's also the most accident-prone. Luckily, a mysterious little girl always comes by and patches up his bumps and bruises. But will she be able to help him with his toughest test: capturing a princess?" Terry Pratchett was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Winners of another award have been announced--The Moonbeam Awards are something of a different kettle of fish, in that one pays to have one's book considered. However, this does give small press/self-published/independent books a chance to get some publicity, as is demonstrated by the results for pre-teen fantasy/sci fi:
Gold (tie): Wrush: The Secret Worlds of Tabetha Bright, by The Karakul (Emerald Book Co.) and Merlin's Dragon: Doomraga's Revenge, by T.A. Barron (Philomel/Penguin Group USA)
Silver: Year of the Golden Dragon, by B.L. Sauder (Coteau Books)
Bronze: Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire, by the Miller Brothers (Warner Press)
(here's a link for "The Karakul" in case anyone shares my curiosity)
And just for kicks, the teen sff:
Gold: Dreamfire, by Nicole Luiken (Great Plains Teen Fiction)
Silver (tie): The Purloined Boy, by Mortimus Clay (Finster Press) and The Dragon of Two Hearts, by Donald Samson (Awsna Publications)
Bronze: Kestrel's Midnight Song, by J.R. Parker (Flaming Pen Press)
And here's a chance to be a winner yourself, in a contest of great mg sff relevance: Leila at Bookshelves of Doom has thrown down the gauntlet, viz bad covers, or, to put it more kindly, covers that Don't Quite Work for some mg/young ya books. Prizes are involved.
io9 has an article about books that might or might not be Harry Potter rip-offs, or at least books that rode the H.P. wave. Some of them might, indeed, be rip-offs. Others not so much. But I wouldn't know, because I haven't read most of them. (Does anyone still wonder if things are Lord of the Ring rip-offs? And speaking of which, why did I read the Sword of Shannara twice back when I was very young?)
News that makes me wish I were a teen again (as long as I don't have to read S. of S.):
"Shared Worlds, a non-profit science fiction/fantasy teen writing camp hosted by Wofford College (Spartanburg, South Carolina), has been awarded an Amazon.com grant of $15,000. The Amazon.com grant will help support the 2011 camp in the areas of guest writer invites, awarding scholarships for disadvantaged students, and general operating expenses. Shared Worlds 2011 will be held the last two weeks of July, marking the camp’s fourth year of operation. " More info. here.
Other Good Stuff:
I have an interview with Robin McKinley up this week, that comes with a giveaway of Pegasus, Chalice, and Sunshine!
At GalleyCat, there's an interview with Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm), about how an elementary school library inspired his book.
Fairytale Reflections #9 is up at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles--this week's featured author is Delia Sherman.
Issue 4 of Enchanted Conversation is up at Diamonds and Toads.
Cindy Pon writes about the Chinese Fox Spirit at The Enchanted Inkpot.
And finally, a video. I don't often embed videos. Only when they really really really tickle me. So please watch it.