This week's round-up of Middle Grade Sci Fi and Fantasy from around the blogs (2/2/14)

Welcome to another week of middle grade speculative fiction gleaned from around the blogs!

The Reviews:

The 13th Sign, by Kristin O'Donnell  Tubb, at A Backwards Story

The Age of Akra (Starchild Book 1), by Vacen Taylor, at Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Building Blocks, by Cynthia Voigt, at Charlotte's Library

The City of Death, by Sarwat Chadda, at Charlotte's Library

A Dash of Magic, by Kathryn Littlewood, at A Reader of Fictions

Double Vision: Agent 711, by F.T. Bradley, at Charlotte's Library

Dragon Defender, by J.A. Blackburn, at When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kid's Book

Fairest of All, and If the Shoe Fits, by Sarah Mlynowski, at Michelle I. Mason

Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo, at The Book Monsters and Semicolon

The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate, by Scott Nash, at Puss Reboots

Hive Mind, by Timothy J. Bradley, at Views From the Tesseract

Jinx's Magic. by Sage Blackwood, at By Singing Light

Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra, by Jason Fry, at Charlotte's Library

The Lonely Lake Monster, by Suzanne Selfors, at The Book Monsters

Magicalamity, by Kate Saunders, at Jean Little Library

Moonkind, by Sarah Prineas, at In Bed With Books

The Mostly True Story of Jack, by Kelly Barnhill, at Project Mayhem

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee, at The Book Smugglers

Parched, by Melanie Crowder, at That's Another Story

The Path of Names, by Ari Goelman, at Jen Robinson's Book Page

The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu, at Great Books for Kids and Teens

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen, by Lloyd Alexander, at Tor

Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis, at alibrarymama

Rootless, by Chris Howard, at The Musings of a Book Addict

The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors, at The Book Monsters

Seven Stories Up, by Laurel Snyder, at Becky's Book Reviews

Spell Robbers (Quantum League Book 1), by Matthew J. Kirby, at Ms. Yingling Reads and Random Musings of a Bibliophile

Under Plum Lake, by Lionel Davidson,  at Views From the Tesseract

Westley the Zombie Book 1: Rrrrrrggggle!, by Monsieur J and Mister F, at This Kid Reviews Books

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop, by Kate Saunders, at Jean Little Library

Zoe and Zak and the Tiger Temple, by Lars Guignard, at Carpiello's Writing Pages

Three books linked by trains--  The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove, The Mark of the Dragonfly, by Jaleigh Johnson, and The Boundless, by Kenneth Oppel,  at Views From the Tesseract

Authors and Interviews:

Rachel Searles (The Lost Planet) at The Book Monsters, Literary Rambles, and Maria's Melange

Lemony Snicket interviews Kate DiCamillo at Buzzfead

Other Good Stuff:

The 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list has been announced, and includes two MG fantasies--
Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline  Carlson, and Garden Princess, by Kristin Kladstrup.  My mind is now running over the other MG sci fi/fantasy books of 2013, assessing them for feminist content....I'm thinking Handbook For Dragonslayers, by Merrie Haskell,  might count.   I always forget to send in recommendations by the time September comes around, but will try to do better this year.

The Fifth Annual Boys Read Pink Month is here at Ms. Yingling Reads -- as the mother of boys, I think it is so so so important to make it clear to boys that reading a book that's pink or has a girl on the cover doesn't make you any more or less any particular gender!  From Karen's post: "Interestingly enough, when I tell the boys that they are encouraged to do this, they have a look of relief on their faces, and check out all manner of books with great gusto."

Inscription Magazine, an online magazine of speculative fiction for teens that actively seeks diversity, is up and running.

If you are looking for a gripping-as-all-get-out YA (but good for upper MG readers too) speculative fiction read, this might be a good time to buy Variant, by Robison Wells, or its sequel, Feedback, to help an author going through a pretty bad rough spot.

I assume you all have heard about  J.K. Rowling's stunning (?) revelation about Hermione and Ron, and Flora and Ulysses winning the Newbery but how could I not mention them?  My main regret viz the ALA awards was that I had hoped that the novel version of My Neighbor Totoro would get some Batchelder love, but alas, it was not to be.

Please let me know if I missed your post!  I'm always happy to put more links in...


  1. For what it's worth, I loved My Neighbor Totoro. It's especially nice that it's a domestic sort of fantasy, with a real sense of place. Lots of great details re Japanese home life and traditions. I hope it's read widely--Miyazaki's name certainly helps!

    I liked Ron well enough to read about, but I never knew what Hermione saw in him. My perceptions might be colored by having seen the films, though--especially Part 1 of Deathly Hallows, with the lovely dance scene.

    1. I'm sure the books that were honored by you Batchelder folks were worthy--I still haven't read any of them, but it seems like a great list!

      The last of the HP movies I watched was Goblet....it will be something to do, I guess, when I've beaten Candy Crush and read all the books in my house...

  2. Loved that Lemony Snicket/Kate DiCamillo interview!


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