This week's round-up of Middle Grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs (June 14, 2013)

Welcome to this week's compilation of what I found in the blog world of interest to fans of middle grade sci fi/fantasy!  Sorry I didn't have a round-up last weekend-- I was in a hotel in Baltimore and the only free internet access was at a computer next to the front desk that you had to stand at, which had a wonky mouse, and my dedication only goes so far.  Please let me know if I missed your post this week!

In any event, it is almost the middle of July, which means August is coming, which means that my mind is turning to thoughts of the Cybils.  The Cybils are awards given by panels of bloggers in various childrens' and YA categories--and one of these panels is Middle Grade Sci Fi/Fantasy.  And though the Cybils website is still quietly waiting for things to start-- the official call for panelists (any blogger can apply) probably won't go out till next month (it came on August 15 last year)-- I'm already thinking about it, and you can too! 

If you're a first round panelist in mg sff, it means helping pick 7 books of great kid appeal plus great writing from a list of c. 150 (a lot of books, but you don't actually have to read every one of them, so do not be daunted by that!).  The role of the second round panelists is to pick the winner from the shortlist (so you only have to read seven books).   I have had the great honor of being involved with the Cybils for a number of years, and it is a great way to energize your reading, make new friends, and get really exited about books you love.  Stay tuned for the official announcement....

The Reviews

The Atlantis Complex, by Eoin Colfer, at Fyrefly's Book Blog

The Circle, by Cindy Cipriano, at My Precious

Doll Bones, by Holly Black, at Reads for Keeps

Eight Days of Luke, by Diana Wynne Jones, reviewed by C.J. Busby at Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books

Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun, by Liz Kessler, at A Backwards Story

The Exploits of Moominpappa, by Tove Janssen, a post by Catherine Butler at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

The Glass Puzzle, by Christine Brodien-Jones, at The Book Monsters

Half Upon a Time, by James Riley, at Michelle I. Mason

Hokey Pokey, by Jerry Spinelli, at Granite Media

Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carol Barrowman, at Le' Grande Codex and Juniper's Jungle

Interworld, by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, at Book Nut

Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger, at A Reader's Adventure

Lost (The Magic Thief Book 2), by Sarah Prineas, at Book Interrupted

Magician in the Trunk (Time Spies 4) by Candice Ransom, at Time Travel Times Two

The Menagerie, by Tui T. Sutherland, at Annie and Aunt

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, by Richard Peck, at Waking Brain Cells

No Passengers Beyond This Point, by Gennifer Choldenko, at The Book Monsters

Professor Gargoyle, by Charles Gilman, at Maji Bookshelf

The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu, at For Those About to Mock

Rules for Ghosting, by A.J. Paquette, at Charlotte's Library

Rump, by Liesl Shurtliff, at For Those About to Mock

Scary Tales: Home Sweet Horror, by James Preller, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, at Dreaming in Books, Bibliophile's Corner, Rachel Reviews All, and The Paper Riot

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co.), by Jonathan Stroud, at Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, by Nikki Loftin, at Bibliophilic Monologues

Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy, at The Broke and the Bookish

Small Change for Stuart Bibliophilic Monologues

Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan (audiobook review) at Karissa's Reading Review

Unlocking the Spell, by E.D. Baker, at Nayu's Reading Corner  

The Unseen Guest, by Maryrose Wood, at Confessions of a Bibliovore

The Watcher in the Shadows, by Chris  Moriarty, at Charlotte's Library

Wednesdays in the Tower, by Jessica Day George, at Sonderbooks

Wishful Thinking, by Ali Sparkes, at Juniper's Jungle

The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer, at Somewhere in the Middle

Authors and Interviews

Stephanie Burgis (Kat, Incorrigible et al.), at Inkygirls

A.J. Paquette (Rules for Ghosting) at The Enchanted Inkpot

John David Anderson (Sidekicked) at The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia and at Ms. Yingling Reads

Christine Brodien-Jones (The Glass Puzzle) at Once Upon a Story , Sharpread, and Read Now Sleep Later

Erika Kathryn (Audie the Angel and the Angel Army)  at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Other Good Stuff:

A truly lovely list of twisted fairytales for middle grade readers at Somewhere in the Middle

The Hero's Journey, explained by puppets. at the SCBWI blog

You've probably seen this simultaneously appealing and horrifying infographic from Firstbook.org making the rounds, but in case you haven't, here it is:

Here are my two posts wrapping up the panel I was on at last weekend's Discworld convention--one on useful places to find books on line, and one covering the books we recommended.  And here are Tanita's and Sheila's wrap-up posts.

And if you want to see fantastically beautiful/mind blowing horticultural art, go to Montreal this summer (or click here)  (found at Light Reading)


  1. I'm hoping to participate in the Cybils again!

    1. Maybe in mg sff? It's the bestest! (although of course my own experience is limited; I did do straight YA one year, and it was a year of utterly depressing books...so it was something of a relief to move on to sff, where you do get depressing, but not so much! Although I think YA is more light romance these days than it was five yaers ago, so who knows....)

  2. Thanks for all the links. You should never feel bad when you can't post on a Sunday. We appreciate when you do.

  3. I am loving your list. There are several books I've been wanting to read about like Rump. And thanks for the link love.

  4. I'm thinking of doing the Cybils this year for the first time... and you have me almost convinced that MG SFF would be better than YA (if only for length of the books!).

    Thanks for including my link! I know I'm late to getting to this, but I also read the first book in The Spiderwick Chronicles last week, so you can include that if you'd like: http://ceceliabedelia.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-spiderwick-chronicles-field-guide.html


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