This week's round-up of middle grade science fiction and fantasy (1/18/15)

Here's what I found this week; let me know if I didn't find your post!

The Reviews

13 Gifts, by Wendy Mass, at Read Till Dawn

Against the Tide (Spirit Animals Book 5), by Tui T. Sutherland, at ReadPlus

Alistair Grim's Odditorium, by Gregory Funaro, at The Overstuffed Bookcase

Back To Blackbrick, by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, at Readaraptor

Beastkeeper, by Cat Hellisen, at Bibliophilia, Please

The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan, at The Book Monsters

The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell, at Becky's Book Reviews

The Dreamsnatcher, by Abi Elphinsone, at The Book Zone (For Boys)

Finally, by Wendy Mass, at Librarian of Snark

Ghosts of War: The Secret of Midway, by Steve Watkins, at Charlotte's Library

Greenglass House, by Kate Milford, at Hidden In Pages

Icefall, by Matthew J. Kirby, at Bibliobrit

The Lost Kingdom, by Matthew J. Kirby, at Bibliobrit

Mouseheart, by Lisa Fiedler, at Kid Lit Geek

No Passengers Beyond This Point, by Gennifer Choldenko, at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow

Saving Lucas Biggs, by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague, at Time Travel Times Two

Smek for President! by Adam Rex, at Wandering Librarians

Space Case, by Stuart Gibbs, at alibrarymama

Spirit's Key, by Edith Cohn, at Kid Lit Geek

Thursdays With the Crown, by Jessica Day George, at alibrarymama

Urban Outlaws: Blackout, by Peter Jay Black, at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

The Zoo at the Edge of the World, by Eric Kahn Gale, at The Paige Turner

A look at A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd, and Seven Stories Up, by Laurel Snyder, at Chasing Ray

Authors and Interviews

Dianne K. Salernie (The Inquisitor's Mark) at My Brain on Books

Abi Elphinsone (The Dream Snatcher)  at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Other Good Stuff

The language of spellwork in Harry Potter, at Tor, and four new images from the first fully illustrated Harry Potter, also at Tor

The Paddington movie reviewed at SLJ

Of the 16 books taking part in SLJ's Battle of the Books, only one (Children of the King, by Sonya Harnett) is MG SFF.  Oh well....


  1. Only one? How sad ...

    I've heard surprisingly good things about Paddington.

    1. Paddington was always getting so sticky I never could quite enjoy the books!

  2. You wouldn't consider Egg & Spoon at the upper end of the MG readership? Or West of the Moon?

    1. Egg and Spoon I personally think of as written for grown-ups, marketed as YA and just happening to have a child protagonist......I enjoyed it myself, but wouldn't give it to my personal 11 year old.

      And West of the Moon I haven't read, but those that had came to the consensus for the Cybils that there is no actual fantasy and so it ended up in regular middle grade...I have been meaning to read it to see for myself!

  3. I have to disagree with Egg & Spoon being written for grown-ups. While it is a book grown-ups will like, I think kids do too and I'm certain it was written for them. I know Gregory Maguire and while I haven't seen him in a while and have not talk to him about this book I know how strongly he feels about children's books/ (He co-directed a summer conference* for many years that I participated in which is how I got to know him) and am certain he intended this one to be for children.

    While I hadn't thought to recommend it to my 4th graders, one saw it on my desk and asked to read it, liked it, another read it on his recommendation, and it is now making the rounds. And so it seems the advanced readers in my class are enjoying it, for what it is worth. I do think it is the sort of book I'd have liked too at their age or perhaps a year or two older. The voice does harken back to an older time, but I quite liked those old-fashioned books with ornery strong storytelling voices.


    1. (Oh I hate blogger. It just ate my lovely long comment).

      Trying again-- I don't mean to say it was a book Intended for grown-ups, but it felt to me as if Maguire was speaking more to the grown-up part of my mind than to the part that appreciates kids books. Subjective, and it's been a while since I read it so I'm not sure I can make a strong argument. The only thing coming to mind is that Baba Yaga felt more amusing to me as a grown-up, with refs. to things kids wouldn't get, than I can imagine her feeling to me as a child.....


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