This week's round-up of Middle Grade Specultive Fiction from around the blogs

What do you all think of the term "speculative fiction," which I am using in my title this Sunday in a tentative sort of way?  "Fantasy and Science Fiction" both come with their sets of expectations, and are rather awkward fits for some books (Ninth Ward, for instance).  

But in any event, here are the speculative fiction/sff blog posts for this week; please let me know if I missed yours!

The Reviews:

Bad Unicorn, by Platte Clarke, at Boys and Literacy

The Bell Between Worlds, by Ian Johnstone,  at Lunar Rainbows

The Blizzard Disaster, by Peg Kehret, at Time Travel Times Two

The Boy at the End of the World, by Greg van Eekhout, at That's Another Story 

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint, at Greg Hill

Doll Bones, by Holly Black, at Bookends

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine, at Here There Be Books 

The Eye of Neptune, by Jon Mayhew, at The Book Zone

The Fortune-Teller (The Brightstone Saga, book 2), by Paul B. Thompson, at For Those About to Mock and a look at the whole series at Book Realms

Found (The Magic Thief, book 3), by Sarah Prineas, at Book Interrupted

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, by Mike Jung, at Mister K Reads

Half Magic, by Edward Eager, at Becky's Book Reviews

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, by Christopher Healy, at Book Nut

In Search of Goliathus Hercules, by Jennifer Angus, at Charlotte's Library

Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp, by Nathan Beresfort, at Charlotte's Library

Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger, at Carstairs Considers

Menace from the Deep (Killer Species, book 1), by Michael P. Spradlin, at Charlotte's Library

The Mysterious Howling, and The Hidden Gallery, by Maryrose Wood, at Kid Lit Geek

Museum of Thieves, by Lian Tanner, at Pages Unbound  

North of Nowhere, by Liz Kessler, at Jen Robinson's Book Page

Puck of Pook's Hill, by Rudyard Kipling, at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

Return to Cardamom, by Julie Anne Grasso, at alibrarymama

Sidekicked, by John David Anderson, at The Brain Lair and Maria's Melange

Song for a Scarlet Runner, by Julie Hunt, at Book Grotto 

Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz, at Bibliophilic Monologues

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

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

Authors visiting Blogs:

Clete Barrett Smith (Aliens on Vacation et cet.) at From the Mixed Up Files

Christine Brodien-Jones (The Glass Puzzle) at Cracking the Cover and The Book Smugglers

Bruce Hale (Playing With Fire) at Great Kid Books, From the Mixed Up Files, and Ms. Yingling Reads

Clare M. Caterer (The Key and the Flame) at Nerdy Book Club

Liesl Shurtliff (Rump) at Nerdy Book Club

John David Anderson shares a deleted scene from Sidekicked at The Brain Lair, discusses bystanders at Maria's Melange, and is interviewed at Heise Reads and Recommends

Greta Burroughs (Gerald and the Wee People) at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Laurisa Reyes (The Celestine Chronicles) at Tales of Goldstone Wood (giveaway)

Other Good Stuff:

For fans of Edward Eager--looking for the real world places of Half Magic in Toledo, at Kalimac's Corner.

The Mythopoeic Awards have been announced, and the winner in the children's literature is Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst.  Here's the full story...

The Eisner Awards have also been announced; the graphic novel winners in the three youth categories (from youngest to oldest) were Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House),  Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!), and A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (Farrar, Straus, Giroux).  Here's the full list of winners.

Lee and Low and Cinco Puntos discussing multicultural publishing at ALA (recap), at The Open Book and discussion of multicultural statistics in children's publishing at CCBlogC

From Lx Magazine: Illuminating Luxury, found at Once Upon a Blog-- the miller's daughter wearing baking paper:


  1. I am okay with the term "speculative" but don't know how many times I want to have to explain it to middle school students. Sci Fi/ Fantasy is hard enough for people to grasp, but maybe "speculative" is fairly new and may catch on.

  2. I'm not sure if Platypus Police Squad counts as fantasy, but it might! I also have Half Magic by Edward Eager.

  3. Speculative Fiction probably does capture a broader range of genres. How would you define speculative ficiton?

    1. Well, I'd know it when I saw it, I guess, but definitions are tricky--maybe books that includes concepts or plot elements that aren't real/possible at this point in time? For instance, The One and Only Ivan isn't exactly fantasy, because it is beleivable set in the real world, but at the same time, since it isn't possible (we assume) for a gorilla to narrate his own life as Ivan does, it's speculative fiction....

  4. I agree with Mrs Yingling, although some adults use this term it's not very helpful to my students either. By 7-8 th grade, they have the distinction pretty clear in their minds and they want another book "just like" that.

    If I ran the world, speculative Fictin would indeed be reserved for those books like The One and Only Ivan. Didn't we used to call these books magical realism? Not a bad description.

  5. I like "speculative fiction". I have a booklist for "futuristic, dystopian, and speculative YA fiction", actually. But I agree: it's a "know it when you see it" sort of thing.

    Thanks for including my post! These roundups are such a great resource.


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