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

Welcome to another week's worth of gleanings from around the blog!  Since this is the first round-up of the new year, I though it was time for another explanation of what this is.  Five or so years ago, I realized I wanted someone to make it easier for me to find all the blogs posts about my favorite subgenre, middle grade science fiction and fantasy.  But there was no other someone, so I started doing it myself.  In these weekly round-ups I offer links to reviews, interviews, and other good stuff; I don't generally include short, mostly summary posts or reviews of Harry Potter and other popular books that have reached a saturation point (defined based on how I feel on a given day).   I always welcome links I missed, and if you want to send me a link in advance of Sunday, please feel free to email me at charlotteslibrary@gmail.com.

The Reviews

11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass, at Read Till Dawn

Alistair Grim's Odditorium, by Gregory Funaro, at Mom Read It

The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan, at A Reader of Fictions and Fyrefly's Book Blog

The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell, at Sonderbooks

The Chosen Prince, by Diane Stanley, at The Social Potato

Everblaze, by Shannon Messenger, at Carstairs Considers

Fairylicious, by Tiffany Nicole Smith, at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Five Children on the Western Front, by Kate Saunders, at Educating Alice

A Hero for WondLa, by Tony DiTerlizzi, at Hidden in Pages (audiobook review)

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw, by Christopher Healy, at Good Books and Good Wine (audiobook review)

How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell, at Good Books and Good Wine (audiobook review)

The Left Behinds and the Cell Phone that Saved George Washington, by David Potter, at Mom Read It

Mark of the Thief, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, at Hidden in Pages

A Plague of Bogles, by Catherine Jinx, at Wandering Librarians

Rouge Knight, by Brandon Mull, at Fantasy Literature

Smasher, by Scott Bly, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The Swap, by Megan Shull, at Guys Lit Wire

The Terror of the Southlands, by Caroline Carlson, at This Kid Reviews Books

Twin Spell, aka Double Spell, by Janet Lunn, at Charlotte's Library

Whatever After-Fairest of All, by Sarah Mlynowski, at Wondrous Reads

Other Good Stuff

The Cybils Awards Shortlists are up!  Here are the seven books chosen in Elemenatary/Middle Grade Spec. Fic.

Graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks shows us what really happened in A Wrinkle in Time, at Tor

There are lots of good middle grade spec. fic. books on the Nerdys list

I love Sherry's alternate Speculative Fiction awards here at Semicolon!

"Why we need science fiction for kids" at Views from the Tesseract

And also at Views from the Tesseract, a look back at some diverse titles in MG Spec Fic from 2014

And finally, "Monsters in America"-- a map showing where to find them via BoingBoing, available at Hog Island Press


  1. Nesbit fans might want to check-out my review of Five Children on the Western Front (https://medinger.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/kate-saunders-five-children-on-the-western-front/).

    1. Thanks Monica- I've stuck it in. Strangly, I read your post (though lightly, cause of being in the middle of the book myself) and didn't think of the book as "fantasy" though of course it is...

  2. What! No Beast of Bray Road for Wisconsin?!?

    1. Well I can't even think of anything they are leaving out for RI, so you have us beat at least....

  3. Beast of Bray Road is local - Bray Road is about 10 minutes from the library. and really, it's stupid - a bunch of drunk teenage girls saw a beast that made them wreck their car. riiiiiight. but they made a (horrible) movie out of it and we get calls all the time. i had one very irate patron from missouri who wanted me to give him more details - when it came out, how often had i seen it, was it more active at the full moon, and when i finally said "it's an urban legend. like bigfoot" i got a furious "i've been on umpteen bigfoot hunts and i know he exists because i've seen all the evidence and you're not being helpful" (although I'd told him multiple times to contact the local expert, who's got a book and website and everything). he called back three times trying to find someone more knowledgeable than me (-:)

  4. There's a monster named Bessie, seriously?


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