The Happy New Year edition of my weekly round-up of middle grade sci fi and fantasy

Happy New Year!

The most exciting news of the week (mg sff book wise) is the announcement of the Cybils shortlists! I hope you all are pleased with the books us mg sff panelists chose--we could have made the list ever so much longer, what with all the great books published this year, but we managed to bringing it down to the following seven:

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu
Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George
Icefall, by Matthew Kirby
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy
Dragon Castle, by Joseph Bruchac
The Inquisitor's Apprentice, by Chris Moriarty

As usual, I am glad I am not a final round judge. I do not know which one I would pick. The full list of all short-listed books can be found here.

On a much sadder note--before getting into the real round-up, I wanted to take a moment to say goodbye to three friends of mg sff who left us in 2011--Diana Wynne Jones, Anne McCaffrey, and Ben Boos. Ben Boos, for those who might not know, was the author and illustrator of two beautiful books--Swords (my review) and Fantasy: An Artist's Realm (my review). His loss is especially sad, because he was so young.

The Reviews (a longish list, because I didn't do a round-up on Christmas day; please let me know if I missed yours!)

Bliss, by Kathryn Littlewood, at Book Aunt

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, at Book-A-Day Almanac, One Librarian's Book Reviews, and Fantasy Literature

Dog Whisperer: Storm Warning, at TheHappyNappyBookseller

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, at Jean Little Library

The Flint Heart, by Katherine Paterson and John Paterson, at books4yourkids

The Grimm Legacy, by Polly Shulman, at books4yourkids

Icefall, by Matthew Kirby, at Good Books and Good Wine

The Inquitior's Apprentice, by at Random Musings of a Bibliophile

The Jewel of the Kalderash, by Marie Rutkoski, at TheHappyNappyBookseller

The Magic Cake Shop, by Meika Hashimoto, at Book Aunt

Nicholas North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, by William Joyce and Laura Geringer, at Wicked Awesome Books

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, by Jonathan Auxier, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile

The Seige of Macindaw, by John Flanagan, at Karissa's Reading Review

Seven Sorcerers, by Caro King, at Charlotte's Library

Sidekicks, by Dan Santat, at Literate Lives

A Tale of Two Castles, by Gail Carson Levine, at Jean Little Library

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, at Page in Training and The Musings of a Book Addict

Winterling, by Sarah Prineas, at Good Books and Good Wine and Ms. Martin Teaches Media

The Wizard of Dark Street, by Shawn Thomas Odyssey, at books4yourkids

A two for one post at Postcards from La-La Land: Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer’s Shoes, by Richard Thake, and Canadian Flyer Adventures: Beware, Pirates! by Frieda Wishinsky.

Authors and Interviews:

Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost) at Stacked

Other good stuff:

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, at NPR's Backstreet Book Club

Starting tomorrow, Deb at Just Deb is hosting a week long Marvelous Middle Grade Readathon. I'm giving away two ARCs to one participant--The Book of Wonders, by Jasmine Richards,
and Fairy Lies, by E.D. Baker.

And finally, may we all find happiness, wonder, wisdom, and refugee in the books we read in 2012! (art by Guy Laramee, found at Paranthetical).


  1. Wow, the Cybils shortlist is just excellent! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. All of the shortlists are good, but this one is the best. Nice work! Although I continue to be confused about the genre of Icefall. Some people say it's fantasy and others not. I guess that means I just need to get a copy and read it for myself. :) It and Dragon's Castle are the only two on the list I haven't read. I agree that being one of those final round judges is not an easy task.

  3. Icefall is right on the line between straight historical fiction and fantasy, but the feel of it is much more fantasy-esque than not! I hope you enjoy both it and Dragon Castle!

  4. I was so giddy to see Breadcrumbs make the shortlist. All of the lists this year look amazing. Major kudos to you. I know what the last two months must have been for you. *claps*

    This post is filled with so many emotions for me, especially with the nod to Diana Wynne Jones and the others.


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