This week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs

Welcome to mg sff roundup post #105 in which I have compiled all the mg sff related things I found in this week's blog reading! This being mg sff roundup #105 means I have been spending my early Sundays in this fashion for over two years, which stuns me more than somewhat. Thank you, bloggers, for writing about mg sff, thank you blog readers for stopping by, and thank you writers and publishers for making it all possible!

You may have noticed that I don't have a logo for these round-ups. I have tried to come up with one, but all my troubled brain offers me is a picture of a rainbow unicorn kitten clinging to the back of a rocket, and I don't think we want that. If anyone feels like taking a stab at creating a single image that embodies all the goodness of mg sff, please do!

Anyway. Please let me know if I missed your link (I've been known to miss my own posts). And (she says shyly) if you like these round-ups, any mention on your own blog would be appreciated!

The Reviews:

The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True, at the excelsior file

Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor, at Slatebreakers and Good Books and Good Wine

The Annotated Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie with notes by Maria Tatar, at The Children's Book-A-Day Almanac

The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy (audiobook review) at The Nocturnal Library

Between Two Ends, by David Ward, at Books Beside My Bed

Bless This Mouse, by Lois Lowry, at Books Beside My Bed

The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright, at Literate Lives

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg et al., at books4yourkids

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, by L. Frank Baum, at Strange and Random Happenstance

Fly Trap, by Frances Hardinge, at Good Books and Good Wine

The Last Musketeer, by Stuart Gibbs, at The Fourth Musketeer

The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman, at Book View Cafe

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente, at Book Nut and Random Musings of a Bibliophile

Hades: Lord of the Dead, by George O'Connor, at Madigan Reads

The Hidden Gallery, by Maryrose Wood, at Good Books and Good Wine

The History Keepers: the Storm Begins, by Damian Dibben, at Charlotte's Library

Icefall, by Matthew Kirby, at The Book Smugglers

The Inquisitor's Apprentice, by Chris Moriarty, at Kirkus

Janitors, by Tyler Whitesides, at Geo Librarian

Liesl and Po, by Lauren Oliver, at Waking Brain Cells

Midnight Blue, by Pauline Fisk, at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, at Stacked

The Only Ones, by Aaron Starmer, at Parenthetical

Princess of the Wild Swans, by Diane Zahler, at Small Review, continuing at Ruby's Reads

Reckless, by Cornelia Funke, at Library Chicken

A School for Villians, by Ardyth De Bruyn, at Nayu's Reading Corner

The Secret of the Magic Ring, by Karen McQuestion, at Karissa's Reading Review

Secrets at Sea, by Richard Peck, at Jennifer Rumberger

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere 1), by Jacqueline West, at Library Mama

Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan, at Good Books and Good Wine

Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George, at Scattered Pages and LDS Women's Book Review

Wildwood, by Colin Meloy, at Guys Lit Wire

Three Norse fantasies (Troll Blood, Bracelet of Bones (YA), and Runemarks) at Fantastic Reads

Authors and Interviews

Delia Sherman (The Freedom Maze) is this week's Big Idea-er at Whatever

Merrie Haskell (The Princess Curse) at Small Review

Other Good Stuff:

Sherwood Smith on the "zing" of the Harry Potter books at The Book View Cafe

The New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2011 list is not one to delight the fan of fantasy for kids; there are only two "middle grade" books that might count--Secrets at Sea, by Richard Peck, and The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, by Meg Wolitzer, and in one of these (Duncan Dorfman) the fantastical element is so small a part of the plot that it's being considered for the Cybils Awards as a straight middle grade. However, A Monster Calls (which is as much middle grade as it is anything else) is there in the YA section.

Kirkus was more fantasy friendly; here's what they picked:

Deb Marshall will be hosting a Middle Grade Readathon January 2-8. More info. here!

And Erica at the Book Cellar is hosting a YA/MG Fantasy Book Challenge--here's the list of 2012 books she's gathered so far, and here's the sign up page.

Mary at Kidlit.com writes about books with animal characters, from the point of view of an agent. Very timely, given that this is the Year of the Middle Grade Mouse.

Boys Read is recommending two fantastic books by the late, much lamented Ben Boos--Swords, and Fantasy: An Artist's Realm

This coming Saturday will find me in Boston, at The Exquisite Conversation The Exquisite Conversation: An Adventure in Creating Books! with Katherine Paterson, MT Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Susan Cooper, Timothy Basil Ering, Steven Kellogg, Patricia MacLachlan and James Ransome at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, Dec 3, at 1 p.m. I'll also be attending the wine and cheese event after the presentations, a fundraiser for The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. It sure would be comforting to know if any of you all are going, and might want to talk to me....


  1. Morning. Looking forward to reading the round up. Thanks for the linkage to my read-a-thon! Going to check out (and join) the challenge, as well.

    Now---it just so happens love making icons. Some knit, needle point...my craft is that, so I can make one (or a couple) for you. And if you have other voluteers, pick the one you like best, no problem!

  2. Oh cool! I'll look forward to seeing the result! thanks.

  3. Thank you so much for including my links! The second half of my Princess of the Wild Swans joint review can be found at <a href="http://www.rubysreads.com/2011/11/joint-review-princess-of-wild-swans-by.html>Ruby's Reads</a>. :)

    I wish I could help with a button, but I'm an awful button maker :P I'm participating in Erica's YA/MG Fantasy challenge, and I'll mention your round up posts in my sign up post. I love these, thank you!

  4. Thanks, S.R.! I've added Ruby's link.

  5. Wow, Charlotte, I'm jealous! What a great roster--wish I could be there. And meet you, of course!

  6. This is a great round up post. So many great books to read and so little time.
    PS: AKATA WITCH stole my heart when I read it :)


Free Blog Counter

Button styles