This week's round-up of middle grade science fiction and fantasy from around the blogs (11/24/2013)

Welcome to a rather chilly round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction; in the past hour, the woodstove has gotten the temperature in the living room up 9 degrees, but it's still not enough...

I just want to start by saying that there will be live Irish music streaming from my dining room tomorrow night (9pm EST)--my husband (the Irish Piper on Loreena McKennett's The Mask and the Mirror) and his fiddle playing comrade are playing rather nice tunes (promise) to benefit the Philippines recovery efforts (more details here).

In any event, please let me know if I missed your review!

The Reviews:

The Alchemist War, by John Seven, at Charlotte's Library

Blueberry Girl, by Jamila Gavin, at The Book Smugglers

Doll Bones, by Holly Black, at Good Books and Good Wine (audiobook review) and at For Those About to Mock

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, at Blog of a Bookaholic

Eragon (10th Anniversary Edition), by Christopher Paolini, at Fantasy Book Critic

Ever After High: the Storybook of Legends, by Shannon Hale, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile and Nayu's Reading Corner

Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo, at Mister K Reads

The Grimm Conclusion, by Adam Gidwitz, at The Book Monsters

Heirloom (Seed Savers 3) by S. Smith, at This Kid Reviews Books

The Hero's Guide to Saving the Kingdom, by  Christopher Healy, at Becky's Book Reviews

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, by Christopher Healy, at Good Books and Good Wine (audiobook review)

Lara's Gift, by Annemarie O'Brien, at Middle Grade Mafioso

The Misadventrues of the Magician's Dog, by Frances Sackett, at The Book Monsters

The Northern Frights, by Derek the Ghost, at Once Upon a Twilight

The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachman, at books4yourkids

A Question of Magic, by E.D. Baker, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson, at Book Nut

Saving Thanehaven, by Catherine Jinks, at Charlotte's Library

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters, by Diane Zahler, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, at Book Log

Westmark, by Lloyd Alexander, at Tor

The Whatnot, by Stefan Bachmann, at books4yourkids

Winterling, by Sarah Prineas, at The Book Smugglers

The Year of Shadows, by Claire Legrand, at Book Monsters

Two of my Cybils colleagues have posts of mini-reviews of many books--at Random Musings of a Bibliophile and In Bed With Books

Authors and Interviews

Kit Grindstaff (The Flame In the Mist) at Kid Lit Frenzy

Dorine White (The Emerald Ring) at So I'm Fifty

Other Good Stuff

At Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, author Katherine Langrish shares her journey into Narnia

Katy at alibrarymama shares her top ten fantasy books for boys starring girls

And at A View From the Tesseract you can find 10 fantasy birthdays (as in, birthdays in fantasy books)

And finally, the gates of hell (as in the realm of Hades) have been found, so if you ever want to play Orpheus and Eurydice (not one in my own repertoire of imaginative play), you know where to go.  Apparently if you went there as a pilgrim you were given a sparrow to throw inside the cave; the poor birds died almost instantly, as it was full of poisonous gases, and the substantial number of little bird corpses was one reason the archaeologists knew they'd found it (Which makes me wonder how far the locals had to travel to keep finding sparrows.  An interesting little local economy).

Here is a digital illustration of what it might have looked like back in the day.  Notice the absence of living birds.


  1. That discovery seems oddly thematic with one of our Cybils books . . .

  2. Great round up! Thank You!
    I know I took a little break from my MG reviews but things should pick up again in December.
    Until then, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!


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