This week's round-up of middle grade sci fi/fantasy from around the blogs (10/7/12)

 Good morning, and welcome to another week's worth of my middle grade sci fi/fantasy blog reading!  If I missed your post, please let me know.

First: Nominations for the Cybils are open till October 15; if you haven't nominated your favorite eligible mg sff book (one published between Oct 16, 2011 and Oct 15, 2012 in the US or Canada) please do so!  I say "middle grade," but this category also includes elementary--so it's anything above easy readers/short chapter books but below YA (so the Dragonbreath books, for instance, go into this category).  YA sci fi/fantasy has c. 120 books so far;  mg/elementary has only about 80, in large part, I think, because it relies more on gatekeepers to nominate its books.

To jog people's memories, I've put together two little lists of books published in the first half the nomination year--here, and here.  Last year, for the record, this category had c. 150 books.  (The nonfiction, poetry, and book apps. categories also need more love!)

And here's a Cybils related question for those of you who have read The One and Only Ivan to ponder--typically, talking/sentient animals go in the fantasy category (The Cheshire Cheese Cat, for instance, won last year).  Is Ivan a real guerrilla, or a fantasy guerrilla?

The  Reviews:

3 Below, by Patrick Carman, at Book Nut

The Bridge of Time, by Lewis Buzbee, at Time Travel Times Two

The Brixen Witch, by Stacy DeKeyser at Random Musings of a Bibliophile 

The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrope, at Quirky Bookworm

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, by Clairat Presenting Lenore

Cold Cereal, by Adam Rex, at Semicolon

Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce, at Maria's Melange

The Death of Yorik Mortwell, by Stephen Messer, at Akossiwa Ketoglo

The Demonkeeper Series, by Royce Buckingham, at Musings of a Book Addict (the last two, Demoncity and Demoneater, are Cybils eligible)

Down the Mysterly River, by Bill Willingham, at 300 Pages

Ever, by Gail Carson Levine, at Read In a Single Sitting

The Ghost of Graylock, by Dan Poblocki, at Fantasy Literature

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M. Valente, at Good Books and Good Wine and The Book Smugglers

Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger--this one is on a blog tour with lots of stops; you can find a nice list of them here; other reviews at In Bed With Books, and Carina's Books

The Key (Magnificent 12), by Michael Grant, at Book Dreaming

Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris, by Marissa Moss, at Good Books and Good Wine and The Write Path

Monsters on the March (Scary School), by Derek the Ghost, at Imaginary Reads

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny: Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath, at Semicolon

Operation Bunny, by Sally Gardner, at Nayu's Reading Corner and Fantastic Reads (more elementary than middle grade)

Ordinary Magic, by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, at Semicolon 

Professor Gargoyle, by Charles Gilman, at Jen Robinson's Book Page and Now is Gone

Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis, at Semicolon

The Seven Tales of Trinket, by Shelley Moore Thomas, at My Brain on Books 

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, by Nikki Loftin, at Presenting Lenore

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver, at My Precious and My Favorite Books

Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz, at Semicolon

Unlocking the Spell, by E.D. Baker, at Cracking the Cover

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMan, at Back to Books

The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons, by Barbara Mariconda, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The Wednesdays, at Puss Reboots

The Wikkeling, by Steven Arnston, at Novels, News, and Notes

Authors and Interviews

Philip Pullman (Grimm Tales) at The Telegraph

Lois Lowry (The Giver, and now Son) at Story Snoops

Catherynne M. Valente on "Looking Glass Girls" at Good Books and Good Wine and on "Childhood and Growing Up" at The Book  Smugglers (giveaway) and as "the Big Idea" at Whatever

Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities) at Bookyurt

Lisa McMann (Unwanteds: Island of Silence) at The Enchanted Inkpot

Grace Lin (Starry River of the Sky) at The Enchanted Inkpot
Jama's Alphabet Soup , Pragmatic Mom, and Charlotte's Library

Stephanie Burgis (Renegade Magic) at Templar Publishing--the third, and final, book in her trilogy is coming out this month in the UK

Margaret Peterson Haddix at A Thousand Wrongs (giveaway)

Morgan Keyes (Darkbeast) at Avery Flynn

Jenn Reese (Above World) at The Writing Nut

Other Good Stuff

100 YA books with characters of color, at Pinterest.  I might have to try doing this for mg, although I think it would be hard to come up with 100.  However, check out this paperback cover for Claws, by Mike and Rachel Grinti (my review)--I just saw it at my son's Scholastic Book Fair.  You can also note how the "cut off face trend" extends to the cat.

A director's cut of the Harry Potter books??? at BBC News

A new fairy tale reimagining, revisiting, retelling blog/literary journal--Unsettling Wonder

It's always fun to buy a sci fi/fantasy book for a needy library serving kids who needs books badly--so here's your chance, at the Guys Lit Wire book fair for Ballou Sr High School in D.C.

Ray Bradbury's final, beautifully inspiring, essay, at LitStack 

So this newly discovered worm is supposed to look like Yoda?

I don't see it.  However, I am glad to know what is being shown on the cover of this book (A Love Episode, by Zola Aemile), or perhaps it's something else...but what? This is just one of the many mind-shakingly awful book covers from Tutis Digital Publishing, whose ability to create incomprehensibly horrible covers is unmatched (thanks to the Guardian, for bringing this to my attention.  Seriously, if you have five minutes, check these covers out).


  1. I thought Ivan the One and Only would fall more into fantasy (animal fantasy) myself.

  2. Thanks for sharing this roundup - I'm off to read about MG sf/f!

  3. I also reviewed Keeper of the Lost Cities this week!

    Wow, those covers are terrible.

  4. I reviewed the Castle in the Attic this week! But that's a super-oldy, so I'm sure a million other reviewers have already covered it. :)

    1. Old is just fine, although I don't think I would add any reviews of, say, the first Harry Potter book. Or anything really well-known....

  5. I reviewed Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham, illustrations by Mark Buckingham this week.
    Sorry about the move away from Adventures of a Bookwyrm but I promise not to move again. Let me know if there is something I can do to make the transition easier for others to follow!

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      I've added 300 Pages to my reader, so I will hopefully not miss you again...

  6. Wohoo! Glad to be mentioned here. :D
    Happy weekend!



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