Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Academy 7. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Academy 7. Sort by date Show all posts


Academy 7, by Anne Osterlund

Academy 7, by Anne Osterlund (Speak, 2009, 259 pp).
At an ultra prestigious and ultra exclusive boarding school (only 50 students admitted a year, of whom only half get to stay the next), two paths cross. Dane is the son of privilege and power, and for him entering Academy 7 is an act of defiance against his abusively controlling father. For Aerin, the Academy offers hope that, after a desperate escape from the miserable existence she endured after her father's death, she will have a future.

Aerin and Dean are the two brightest students at Academy 7, challenging each other, and the assumptions that underlie their lives. By the end of the year, a relationship that began in competition has turned into much more, and they discover the secrets held at the top of the dark tower that looms over the school....

....a tower that can only be reached by space ship. Because Academy 7 is not an ordinary school, nor are Dane and Aerin typical American teenagers. Although plotwise, there's not a lot here to set the book apart from a standard girl meets boy at school story, Academy 7 isn't on earth. It's set in an interplanetary future, with a back story, geographic details, and technical tidbits that make it science fiction.

However, because the science fiction elements are essentially extraneous to the plot, Academy 7 might have more appeal for fans of the teen romantic fiction, who might find it an enjoyable change of setting. This is perhaps a good thing, because it seems to be marketed toward that audience, as there's absolutely nothing on the cover (either in the picture, or, more surprisingly, in the blurb on the back) to let the browser know that this story does not take place on earth. It is easy to imagine readers being rather surprised when they find themselves, in the first paragraph, on board a crippled spacecraft struggling to survive.

On the other hand, now that the characters have been introduced and the stage is set, there is most definitely room for more books in this world, and lots of scope for Aerin and Caleb to adventure out in the vastness of space....I would like that. Although, being a sucker for boarding school stories, I would be sad to say goodbye to the Academy and its intriguing headmistress just yet. At least one more book should be set there!

Other reviews at YA Book Nerd and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.


New releases of chidren's and ya fantasy/sci fi for May 13,14,and 15th

Here are the children's and YA fantasy and science fiction releases for May 12,14, and 15th, taken, as always, from Teens Read Too, with blurbs from Amazon.

9-12 year olds:

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, by Tim Byrd. "There is never a dull moment when it comes to Doc Wilde and his family of swashbuckling explorers. Brian and Wren have been trained from an early age to keep up with their worldfamous father. With their driver Declan mac Coul and their butler Phineas Bartlett in tow, there is no obstacle they can’t overcome, no evil they can’t defeat, including mutant frogs from another dimension."

Gods of Manhattan II: Spirits in the Park, by Scott Mebus. "A month has passed since Mannahatta—the spirit city that coexists alongside Manhattan—was revealed to Rory, when an earthquake rocks New York. The island itself is attempting to shake off the Trap around Central Park, and only Rory has the power to open it before even greater catastrophe strikes. But centuries-old wounds must be healed before Rory turns the key. With New York’s most notorious figures—including Captain Kidd and Bill the Butcher—at his side and on his trail, Rory discovers that the answer to peace lies with the one man he never wants to see again: his father."

Young Adult:

Academy 7, by Anne Osterlund. "With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets..." This is on my wants list.

The Doomsday Mask, by Simon Rose. "The legendary crystal ceremonial mask of Kulkaan, high priest of Atlantis, was believed to have been endowed with incredible powers. During the destruction of that ancient civilisation, the mask was thought to have been shattered and irretrievably lost. Eventually, the mask was forgotten and considered a myth - but its crystal fragments have now been found by the shadowy Crystalline Order. In a wild race against time, it is now up to two children, Josh and Erica, to prevent the mask from falling intact into their hands - and to save the world from catastrophe.

Dull Boy, by Sarah Cross. "What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you’re a former jock turned freak, you can’t afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful wouldbe mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price."

The Hourglass Door, by Lisa Mangum. "Abby's senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves."

Quantum Prophecy: The Reckoning: Book Three, by Michael Carroll. "Not long ago the world thought its superhumans dead.... Now, new heroes—and new villains— have miraculously emerged in the form of teenagers. The new heroes find themselves on the cusp of WWIII, caused by their very existence. One hero is torn between right and wrong as he falls under the spell of a former ally turned villain, while another must come to terms with his dark role in the battle, as predicted by Quantum’s prophecy years ago. If the planet is to survive, our new heroes will need to prove stronger than even they can imagine."

Strange Angels, by Lili St. Crow. "Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next."

A few more to come on the 19th.


New Releases of Fantasy and Science Fiction for children and teenagers -the end of March beginning of April edition

Here are the new releases of sci fi/fantasy for kids and teenagers, from March 23 to April usual, I get my information from Teens Read Too, and the blurbs come from Amazon, Booklist, or the publishers.

Middle Grade:

ATHENA THE BRAIN: GODDESS GIRLS by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams. "Athena has always been above aberage. She's never quite fit in at Triton Junior High, but who would've guessed that Athena is actually a goddess? Principal Zeus's daughter, to be exact. When she's summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, Athena thinks she might actually fit in for the first time in her life. But in some ways, school on Mount Olympus is not that different from down on Earth, and Athena is going to have to deal with the baddest mean girl in history -- Medusa!"

AVALON: THE WARLOCK DIARIES VOL. 3 by Rachel Roberts. "The race to find Avalon is on! It’s up to the warrior mage, Adriane, to lead the charge across the magic web and rescue the animals of Ravenswood before they are turned into minions of the evil warlock. The mages will need all the help they can get to stop the warlocks, including the mistwolf pack and a group of ferocious dragons. But even that may not be enough to save their friends and protect the home of all magic: Avalon."

A CLAN IN NEED: WARRIORS, RAVENPAW'S PATH by Erin Hunter. "Ravenpaw and Barley have been driven away from their farm by a group of vicious cats. Now the two loners must turn to ThunderClan—led by Ravenpaw's friend Firestar—for shelter. Firestar takes them in and promises to help them take back their home as soon as possible, but ThunderClan is in great danger. BloodClan cats have been launching raids on ThunderClan's territory and attacking Clan patrols. Can Ravenpaw and Barley help Firestar and his Clan fight off their enemies? And will they ever be able to get home again?"

DISNEY IN SHADOW: KINGDOM KEEPERS by Ridley Pearson. "When Disney Imagineers installed hologram guides for the Magic Kingdom, using teenage models they had no idea the technology might backfire. But backfire it did: some nights when the kids go to sleep, they wake up in one of the Disney parks as a hologram. With the adventures set forth in the first books now behind them, Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney In Shadow follows the five teens, Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck as they search to find Wayne, their mentor and head Imagineer who has mysteriously gone missing. Concerned Wayne has been abducted by the Overtakers—Disney villains, who along with other Disney characters, take over the parks when the turnstiles stop spinning, and want desperately to steer the parks to a far darker place—the five kids pick up a major clue from a close friend, Jez, whose dreams (nightmares, really) often accurately predict the future. The very few clues from Jez’s dream lead the kids into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot--through imaginary worlds that become real, by imaginary kids who are real. Each clue seems tied to the last, and with the stakes growing ever higher, what starts out as a puzzle ends up as a fight for their lives. Through a transparent paper box, a quest for a sword, rides on Soarin' and Maelstrom, life-and-death encounters with giant snakes, and a devious Maleficent, the Kingdom Keepers not only begin to decipher deeper meanings to the clues, but discover new truths about themselves and their ever-growing friendships."

ENCHANTED GLASS by Diana Wynne Jones. From Booklist: "Magician Jocelyn Brandon had always intended to pass his strange home, Melton House, and his trade secrets on to his grandson, Andrew. Unfortunately, Brandon died before he could complete his careful instructions, and Andrew, now grown, has forgotten much of what his grandfather tried to teach him as a child. The arrival of 12-year-old Aiden, who is seeking protection from dangerous magical beings, reawakens Andrew’s memories. Surrounded by a fabulous cast of eccentric allies, including a parsnip-loving giant, Andrew finds himself in the middle of a mystery surrounding an enchanted glass. With a gleeful nod to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jones hits all the bases, combining fluid storytelling, sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters. The magical chaos culminates in a hilarious summer fete and a delightfully tidy resolution."

THE FAMILY SECRET: GRIM HILL by Linda DeMeulemeester. "The fourth book in the series. "By now, Cat Peters knows to be careful what she wishes for. In this spellbound town, nestled in the shadow of Grim Hill, wishes have a tendency to turn against you. But this time, she isn't wishing for anything in this town; she is wishing to get out of it – that has to be safe, right? Cat, Clive, Jasper, and the rest of the "Grim Hill" crew are back, and everyone is buzzing about Darkmont High's student exchange to Sweden. For Cat it means hanging out with her friends in a foreign country, traveling without parents, and not having to keep an eye on her clingy kid sister. Even though Sookie's magical meddling seems to be in check, Cat has been wishing for a break from the constant worry of living near Grim Hill. Just as Cat dares to dream about the incredible trip of a lifetime, it becomes clear that she will have to make sacrifices to get to Sweden, like staying with her Great-Aunt Hildegaard, who insists on inviting young Sookie to tag along. When the girls arrive abroad, Hildegaard reveals a startling secret, and it turns out that the skills Cat learned battling Grim Hill's evil creatures will come in handy against an ancient Scandinavian threat. The tales of witches, elves, and trolls are eerily familiar to Cat, and soon she and her friends are trying to unravel a frightening new mystery that puts her family at risk. "

ADING ECHOES: WARRIORS, OMEN OF THE STARS by Erin Hunter. "Three ThunderClan cats, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw, are prophesied to hold the power of the stars in their paws. Now they must work together to unravel the meaning behind the ancient words of the prophecy. As Jayfeather tackles his new responsibilities as the Clan's sole medicine cat and Lionblaze trains his apprentice in the ways of the warrior cats, Dovepaw hones her own unique ability and tries to use it for the good of ThunderClan. But the dark shadows that have preyed on the Clan for many moons still lurk just beyond the forest. Soon a mysterious visitor will walk in one cat's dreams, whispering promises of greatness, with results that will change the future of ThunderClan in ways that no cat could have foreseen."

FREDDY ANDERSON'S HOME by John Ricks. "It's a hard life when you're a super genius capable of many things, including using your mind in ways that others only dream of. Freddy Anderson used that ability working to save the world from a world ending disaster. However, the human race is now at war. Aliens have attacked and captured many of our top people including Freddy Anderson and are headed back to their home world. They are trying to extract from his mind information that will help them understand how the humans destroyed their greatest ship and how to annihilate the entire human race."

KEYS TO THE DEMON PRISON: FABLEHAVEN by Brandon Mull. "Since ancient times, the great demon prison Zzyzx has protected the world from the most dangerous servants of darkness, including Gorgrog, the Demon King. After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary prison. Facing the potential of a world-ending calamity, all friends of light must unite in a final effort to thwart the Sphinx s designs and find a safe home for the five artifacts. To this end, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn will venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven to strange and exotic magical preserves across the globe, where the end of every quest becomes the beginning of another. In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison."

PERSEPHONE THE PHONY: GODDESS GIRLS by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams. "As Persephone's mother encourages her to do, she often "goes along to get along" instead of doing what she really wants. But when she meets Mount Olympus Academy bad-boy Hades, she finally feels she has found someone with whom she can be herself. He's the first person who actually listens to her, and she finds herself liking him, despite the fact that the other goddessgirls think he's bad news. But if he makes her feel so special -- and so comfortable -- can he really be all that bad?"

SPIDER LIES by Jen Banyard. "After tricking his mom and dad into leaving town, Connor is home alone with nobody to tell him to wash the dishes and go to school. The problem is that Connor’s little white lies have spawned a humongous, hairy spider and it’s lurking outside his bedroom window. With no one to turn to for help and the world threatened by the largest arachnid on record, it is up to Connor to save the planet. His only option is to enlist the help of a bumbling NASA nitwit, the weirdest girl in school, and a doddering old lady and her wheezing terrier to stop the spider before the world is doomed."

TIGER TERROR: BEASTLY by Andy Baxter "Max and his twin Molly join their zoologist parents in India for some tiger spotting. When Max feels a tingling taking over, he discovers his life is on the line—unless he can foil Professor Slynk's scheme. Readers will enjoy the bonus material, including tiger facts, jokes, a quiz, and a recipe for Uncle Herbert's Tasty Tiger Toast."

WICCAN COOL: A RHIANNON GODFREY STORY by Traci Hall. "At long last, Rhiannon is starting to fit into the ninth grade. She and Jared are starting to flirt again, and school is fine except for the mandatory student community service hours. She’s even learned to bank her psychic powers.
For the most part.Then there’s Dane, the intriguing, infuriating guy who’s her community service student supervisor. He’s got “angry teen” down to a science. Without even trying, he slips past her emotional shields, challenging her to be the one thing she’s most afraid of—herself. For Rhee, that’s as scary as the ghost haunting the silo behind Doyle’s ice cream parlor. A ghost that’s somehow connected to the shadows in Dane’s eyes. All she really wants is, for once in her life, to be normal. But for a girl like her, “normal” isn’t just an impossible dream, it can be downright dangerous."

THE WITCHY WORRIES OF ABBIE ADAMS by Rhonda Hayter. "For fifth-grader Abbie, being a modern-day witch can be fun, especially when she gets to do primary research for school by time-traveling. It also brings challenges, such as hiding her family’s magical abilities. Life gets more complicated when her new kitten turns out to be 13-year-old Thomas Edison, under enchantment. Soon, Abbie’s regular worries about performing in the school play or preventing her little brother from turning into a wolf and biting his teacher give way to new concerns about how to remove Tom’s spell and return him to his own time. Abbie’s breezy, personable narrative incorporates droll asides and references to Edison’s life and to famous literature, from Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter. Her colorfully drawn family includes her physician father, whose attempts at curing dreaded “Witch Flu” add humor and depth. Whether facing familiar issues (fitting in, sibling challenges) or fantastical ones, such as developing and using her magic responsibly, Abbie is an appealing, peppy protagonist who finds that there are “all kinds of magic in the world . . . with or without witchcraft.”

Young Adult:

THE BEASTLY BRIDE: TALES OF THE ANIMAL PEOPLE edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling. "What do werewolves, vampires, and the Little Mermaid have in common? They are all shapechangers. In The Beastly Bride, acclaimed editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling bring together original stories and poems from a stellar lineup of authors including Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Kushner, Jane Yolen, Lucius Shepard, and Tanith Lee, as well as many new, diverse voices. Terri Windling provides a scholarly, yet accessible introduction, and Charles Vess’s decorations open each story."

BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken. "When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past. The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever."

THE BUCCANEER'S APPRENTICE: THE CASSAFORTE CHRONICLES by V. Briceland. "On his first sea voyage away from the magical city of Cassaforte, seventeen-year-old Nic Dattore awakens to find the vessel overrun by marauding pirates—and everyone else on board kidnapped or killed. After slaying the pirate who attacked him, Nic tosses a torch into a cache of gunpowder and blows up the ship.Washed up on a deserted island, Nic and a motley crew of castaways decide to commandeer the pirate ship to get home. They battle pirates, assassins, and a cursed ship with a powerful secret while racing against time to save Cassaforte from a diabolical coup."

CHALLENGE: WICKED LOVELY, DESERT TALES by Melissa Marr. "The stakes are rising, and Rika finds it harder to ignore Faerie politics. As a former mortal and now a solitary faery, she has relished the isolation and freedom of the desert. But new players are seeking power, and old allies are imperiled. As tensions mount, Rika must decide whether—and how—to act to save her independence and her romance with Jayce."

A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS: THE QUEEN'S THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner. "After initial, tense prison scenes focused on Eugenides, the king of Attolia, the novel’s viewpoint switches from third to first person, and Sophos, the reluctant king of Sounis who prefers poetry to politics, relates the adventures that precipitated his rise to questionable power. Tutors have drilled Sophos in imaginary attacks, but after he loses his family in a real invasion, he is bereft and goes into hiding as a slave on a nobleman’s estate in order to avoid his sovereign responsibilities. Even though Eugenides’ fans will miss his presence, he continues to pull strings from the sidelines as he joins leaders in high-priced alliances and prepares for an invasion."

FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve. " Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?"

FLIGHT OF THE OUTCAST: THE ACADEMY YEAR 1 by Brad Strickland. "Asteria Locke's Fight has just begun...Asteria Locke has never left her father's farm on the remote planet of Theron. But in one terrible moment, a surprise attack by space raiders destroys everything she's ever known. Orphaned and alone, Asteria vows to avenge her father's death by joining the Royal Spacefleet Academy. . . even if she has to lie to get in. Branded an outcast at the Academy from the start, Asteria must work twice as hard as the other students to prove herself. But in time, she suspects that the Aristocrats who torment her have more sinister motives than shaming a commoner. They'll stop at nothing to hide a secret from her father's past-a secret that could shift the balance of power throughout the entire universe."

GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD by Karen Healey. "Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, "You need it. It will save your soul." Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality."

HALF WORLD by Hiromi Goto. From Booklist: "Goto’s contemporary fantasy is set primarily in Half World, where souls go after leaving the Realm of Flesh for a cleansing experience before passage to the Realm of Spirit. Long ago, though, something happened to throw this order out of whack, and Half World has since been twisted into a Hieronymus Bosch–like purgatory, where inhabitants are terrorized by the perverted machinations of the evil Mr. Glueskin. The story sends 14-year-old Melanie into Half World to save her mother. There, she must almost literally wade through a sea of hideous creatures, propelled by prophetic hints about being the child who can realign the realms and bring peace to untold numbers of tortured souls. Although the nightmarish world is certainly memorable, Goto is prone to melodramatic overwriting, and the logic governing the realms is confusing. Most unusual, and interesting, is her heroine, who is often the exact opposite of plucky, burdened by paralyzing bouts of self-doubt, worry, and despair."

INSIDE OUT by Maria V. Snyder. "I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. "

THE RECKONING: DARKEST POWERS by Kelley Armstrong. "My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal. But normal is one thing I'm not. For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf. Not normal. My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently. Definitely not normal. And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying. As far away from normal as it gets."

SHADOW by Jenny Moss. "Shadow, an orphan, lives as Queen Audrey’s shadow, echoing her every step in hopes that the queen will escape the death that has been prophesied to come by age 16. It appears that the plan has failed when the queen is poisoned and found by Shadow the next morning. This causes a royal knight, Sir Kenway, to whisk Shadow away, vowing to protect her. As the pair travels across Deor’s battered countryside, Shadow becomes aware of her ability to sense the feelings of others. She also learns that she is the daughter of the earth goddess, Erce, and that she is the real queen who must now rescue the throne from the evil Fenryn. Ample dialogue illuminates Shadow’s feisty spirit and leads to flirtatious banter between Shadow and Kenway. While Shadow seems overly selfish and brooding at times in comparison to those around her, she grows in dimension as she begins to understand the situation around her. Action, romance, and interesting supernatural elements enliven this historical fantasy with a strong female protagonist."

SHADOW OF THE MOON: DARK GUARDIAN by Rachel Hawthorne. "I can feel every Shifter's emotions except Daniel's—the only one whose heart I long to know. Hayden was born a werewolf, a Dark Guardian. But her ability to sense the feelings of fellow werewolves has made her life unbearable. She runs away, only to be tracked by charming, mysterious Daniel, a newcomer to the pack and the one Shifter immune to her powers. As she reluctantly follows him home, Hayden finds herself falling dangerously in love. . . .But even as her feelings for Daniel deepen, Hayden begins to wonder if he is who he claims to be. Where did he come from and why has no one ever seen him transform? When they stumble upon the body of a Shifter still in wolf form, her worries grow. Someone is killing her kind. Is her handsome tracker really a hunter? And is Hayden now his prey?"

THE SHADOW ROAD: THE WARLOCKS OF TALVERDIN by K.V. Johansen. "Betrayed by a member of his own family, abducted, poisoned, and forced to recreate an ancient spell that might -- if it doesn't kill him -- open the lost Shadow Road, Nethin, son of a Nightwalker lord and a human witch, is thrown into a struggle for survival in a dying land. Alabeth, an orphan who survived the slaughter of the last warlocks by their own kinsfolk, is willing to trust him, but her people have rejected her and all mages. Capture means execution for both, but an even deadlier foe plans vengeance against Nethin. Not only Alabeth's life and his own, but the lives of every Nightwalker of the Homeland rest on Nethin's ability to survive death itself and defeat a prince of the Nightwalker-hating Yehillon cult on a suicide mission...."

SHAPESHIFTER by Holly Bennett From the publisher's website: "This is the turbulent and heartbreaking story of Sive, a girl of the Otherworld who must flee her world of plenty to live as a hunted beast. Surviving hardship, danger and crushing loneliness, she finally finds refuge—and unexpected joy—with a mortal champion, Finn Mac Cumhail, the great hero of Irish legend. But Sive's ordeal is far from over. She has a gift the Dark Man craves, and the smallest misstep will give him his chance to snatch her away from all she holds dear. Set in the wild, magical landscape of Iron Age Ireland, Shapeshifter is a tale of rapacious evil, quiet courage and the healing power of love."

STARLIGHTER: DRAGONS OF STARLIGHT by Bryan Davis. "Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons' realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered."

THE BLADE OF SHATTERED HOPE: THE 13TH REALITY by James Dashner. "Things have changed for Atticus Higginbottom. After the near catastrophe in the Fourth Reality, Tick’s being homeschooled in the fields of science, trying to master the mysterious Chi’karda. But just as he begins to make progress, Mistress Jane reappears, now hideously scarred and much more powerful. She has tapped into the universe’s darkest secret to create the Blade of Shattered Hope, and in her quest to attain a Utopian Reality for the future of mankind, she’s ready to risk billions of lives—including those of Tick’s parents and sisters—to set her plan in motion. Her vengeance knows no bounds. When rumors begin to circulate about the secret
scientific experiments taking place at the Factory, Tick and his friends Sato, Sofia, and Paul are faced with their most dangerous task yet. And they must not fail; the entire universe could cease to exist."

THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN by Susan Beth Pfeffer. "It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce. The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda's father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda's complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever."

by Heather Tomlinson. "Set in the fictional Indian land of Hundred Kingdom, Tomlinson’s memorable novel employs magic realism to explore a universal truth: an individual’s gifts and talents are not always as they might seem. Stepsisters Diribani and Tana are blessed by the goddess Naghali-ji in very different ways. When Diribani speaks, flowers and gemstones fall from her mouth. Tana’s talent seems to be more of a curse: she produces frogs and snakes when she talks. While Diribani is held at the opulent court of the Believers, where her every jewel is collected and tallied for the kingdom’s profit, Tana is chased from her village by its snake-fearing residents. Taking on the disguise of a mute stable hand, she returns, and with her unusual abilities, she saves the land."

WATCH FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT: A MIDNIGHT TWINS NOVEL by Jacquelyn Mitchard. "In the third book of the Midnight Twins trilogy, Mally and Merry’s supernatural dream visions are put to the test when their baby brother is kidnapped— and by someone who has grown very close to the Brynn family. Meanwhile, Meredith is distracted by the strange new boy in town. But there’s one problem with her new romance: he’s a ghost from the past, a boy who actually died in the Vietnam War and is struggling with his soul. Mallory must help her sister let go of a love that was never meant to be—and the twins must come together and use their powers to save their baby brother."


The Doofuzz Dudes

The Doofuzz Dudes Rescue Moondar (2006), The Doofuzz Dudes: The Princess Detector (2006), The Doofuzz Dudes: The Babbling Bottles (2006), and The Doofuzz Dudes: the Black Pearl of Laramoth, all by Roslyn J. Motter, (White Hawk Publishing), illustrated by Kimberly Nelson. Ages 7-9.

I'm going to start by saying right out front that my seven year old adores, just adores, this series. Here are his thoughts: "The Doofuzz Dudes series is good for kids seven and older because it's very creative and has a lot of magic. (Five year old brother, a bit plaintively: But I like it). I really like this series, and my friends will like it too. It's really good. I like the writing and pictures, as well as the front covers. I enjoyed it. The use of words is very creative and increases some kids' vocabularies along with their reading and writing skills."

He is, in fact, the intended audience. And these books are great for the 7-8 year old boy, who has perhaps read the Dragon Slayer Academy series, but isn't ready for Harry Potter.

Back in February, Australian writer Roslyn J. Motter offered me books 1-4 of the Doofuzz Dudes series. Thinking they might appeal to my son (and how right I was), I accepted. When they arrived, I started reading to myself...but didn't get very far. So the four books languished for a while in one of my many book piles, until one day my son found them.

"Wow! What are these?" he asked. "They look cool!' And indeed the cover appeal of the books is quite high. So I started reading them out loud to him, and before long he was sufficiently engaged so as to read large chunks of the text to me (which is a most excellent thing for him to do, being not yet a truly independent reader). Before long, this had become his favorite series in the world. When he was asked to make a book character puppet for school, he chose Zarundok, a wizard character who appears in all the books. We read them slowly, because I kept making him do his share, but he was always anxious to get back to them. And he is looking forward to book number 5, which will be out in the relatively near future.

These are books that I would unhesitatingly give as birthday gifts to his contemporaries (particularly since they aren't available in bookstores in the USA, reducing the chances that the kid will already have them). As soon as we've finished this review, my son will be lending them to his friends. I'd like my public library to have copies, because I truly think they'll circulate, but it's looking like we'll be keeping our copies.

So, here's what they are:

In book one, we meet our hero, Toby Doofuzz, who is just about to turn nine. On his birthday party treasure hunt, Toby, his brother, and two friends (who call themselves the Doofuzz Dudes) find a mysterious chest buried in a cave. And in the chest is a book, "Spells for a Magical King," and a jeweled crown. Toby puts on the crown, and begins to read...and out of the book jump hundreds of small people. "All hail King Toby!" they cry, and so begins the quest of King Toby and his friends to restore these people, the Moondarians, to their homeland. Into a magical world they journey, lead by the wizard Zarundok, with each chapter bringing a new challenge--guard geese, a joking giant, the Puzzle Master, a dragon, biting trees, and the evil Prince Florian--until the inhabitants of Moondar are safely home.

In books two, three, and four, the boys return to face new challenges with Zarundok's help, meeting scores of fantastical creatures and journeying to strange new places. And always the shadow of Prince Florian looms over their adventures!

Episodic adventures in short chapters are a type of storytelling that, I think, works well for kids who aren't flying off on their own into longer and more complex books. However, these aren't books that most adult readers would want to curl up with, because the linear narrative style and episodic plots mightn't be quite complex enough to satisfy (at least they weren't for me). Likewise, the books' characters, although real enough for my son's purposes, don't quite achieve flesh and blood status in my more critical/jaded adult mind. However, the fourth book is by far the best, and book 5 may be better still.

The books are illustrated by the author's young niece, and for me, combined with the writing style, this created an illusion that the books themselves were written by someone young. I think that this is part of what makes the books so kid friendly--the unintimidating story telling might well make it easier for kids to become absorbed by the fantastical world of Moondar.

As I mentioned above, you won't be able to walk into a bookstore in the US and buy these books, but you can order them online here. For more information about the books, here's the Doofuzz Dudes website.


This week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (2/7/21)

Here's what I found this week; let me know if I missed your post!

The Reviews

City of the Plague God, by Sarwat Chadda, at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull, at Fantasy Literature

The Doldrums, and The Helmsley Curse, by Nicholas Gannon, at Leaf's Reviews 

Double Helix (Explorer Academy #3), by Trudi Truit, at Say What?

Dragon Fury (Unwanteds Quest) by Lisa McMann, at Plaid Reader Reviews

Flood City, by Daniel José Older, at Charlotte's Library

The In-Between, by Rebecca K.S. Ansari, at alibrarymama, Iowa Amber Reads, Storymamas, and Charlotte's Library

The Lost Wonderland Diaries, by J. Scott Savage, at Geo Librarian 

Maya and the Rising Dark, by Rena Barron, at Pages Unbound

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S., by David Levithan, at Ms. Yingling Reads (nb-the second in a two book post, so scroll down)

 Rome Reframed. (Wish & Wander #2), by Amy Bearce, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Root Magic by Eden Royce, at Locus

The Shark Caller, by Zillah Bethell, at Book Craic

Small Persons with Wings, by Ellen Booraem, at Jean Little Library

The Star Dunes (Explorer Academy #4),  by Trudi Trueit, at Say What?

The Storm Keeper’s Island, by Catherine Doyle, at The Book Muse

Thirteens, Kate Alice Marshall, at Book Den 

Unicorn Island, by Donna Galanti, at Charlotte's Library

The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown, at Never Not Reading

Authors and Interviews

Jessica Vitalis (The Wolf's Curse) at Watch. Connect. Read.

Ben Gartner (Sol Invictus) at Log Cabin Library 

Other Good Stuff

"Finding Paradise in The Magician’s Nephew" at Tor

At Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, an exploration of portals continues...

John Scalzi shares his thought on Wolfwalkers, the newest and final addition to Moore’s “Irish Folklore Trilogy” of animated films.

and happy SuperbOwl Sunday to you all!  Here are some mg fantasy owl (ish), or at least Owl titled, books--

The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, by Ronald L. Smith (my review
The Owl Keeper, by Christine Brodien-Jones
The Owl Service, by Alan Garner

and for younger readers there's of course Owl in Winnie the Pooh, and The Gaurdians of Ga'hoole series...

I am surprised I can't think of more owls....I feel I must be missing lots! 


This week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs (7/31/16)

So this is of course the week where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out; I haven't bought it yet, and am unsure--how is it? But in any event, here's this week's round-up!  Let me know if I missed your post.

The Reviews

The Curse of the Were-Hyena, by Bruce Hale, at Charlotte's Library

Darkmouth: the Legend Beings, by Shane Hegarty, at Say What?

The Dragon of Trelian (Trelian Book 1),by Michelle Knudsen, at Say What?

The Dragonfly Effect, by Gordon Korman, at Always in the Middle

Herobrine’s Message, by Sean Fay Wolfe, at This Kid Reviews Books

Max Helsing and the Thirteenth Curse, by Curtis Jobling, at Jean Little Library

The Monkey King's Daughter, by T. A. DeBonis, at At Home Librarian

A Most Magical Girl, by Karen Foxlee, at Book Swoon

The Nocturnals: The Ominous Eye (Nocturnals #2), by Tracey Hecht, at Mom Read It

Once Was a Time, by Leila Sales, at Time Travel Times Two

The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald, at Pages Unbound

The Princess of Trelian (Trelian Book 2) by Michelle Knudsen, at Say What?

Race to the South Pole (Ranger in Time, #4), by Kate Messner, at Time Travel Times Two

The Scourge, by Jennifer Nielsen, at Jen Robinson's Book Page

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, by Brian Farrey, at Leaf's Reviews

Serafina and the Twisted Staff, by Robert Beatty, at Geo Librarian

The Serpent's Curse, by Tony Abbott at Boys Rule Boys Read (audiobook recommendation)

The Seventh Wish, by Kate Messner, at Randomly Reading

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy (Pennyroyal Academy #2) by M.A. Larson, at Fantasy of the Silver Dragaon

Space Hostages, by Sophia McDougall, at Charlotte's Library

The Sword in the Stacks (Ninja Librarians Book 2), by Jen Swann Downey, at The Book Wars

Teddycats, by Mike Storey, at Mom Read It

Time Cat, by Lloyd Alexander, at Becky's Book Reviews

Through the Mirror Door, by Sarah Baker, at Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books

Two at Log Cabin Library-The Seventh Wish, by Kate Messner, and The Lost Compass, by Joel Ross

Authors and Interviews

Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist) at The Reading Nook

Other Good Stuff

Dwarfs, Pixies and the “Little Dark People”  at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles


This week's round up of mg sci fi and fantasy from around the blogs (2/27/22)

Welcome to this week's gathering of posts of interest to us fans of MG sci fi and fantasy!  Please let me know if I missed your post.

The Reviews

The Counter Clockwise Heart, by Brian Farrey, at Where the Lost Boys Met

Haven: A Small Cat's Big Adventure, by Megan Wagner Lloyd, at Bookworm for Kids

In The Red, by Christopher Swiedler, at Fistful of Wits

Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts, by Erika Lewis, at Log Cabin Library and A Dance With Books

The Midnight Unicorn, by Alice Hemming, at Charlotte's Library 

The Missing Barbegazi, by H. S. Norrup, at Valinora Troy

The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill, at The Winged Pen

Pax, Journey Home, by Sara Pennypacker, at Not Acting My Age

Revenge of the Beast (The Beast and the Bethany #2),  by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, at Get Kids into Books

A Storm of Sisters, by Michelle Harrison, at Bellis Does Books

Supertown, by Paul Kupperberg, at Ms. Yingling Reads 

Willow Moss and the Vanished Kingdom, by Dominque Valente, at Sifa Elizabeth Reads 

Two at Book Page-Kelly Barnhill's The Ogress and the Orphans and Ethan M. Aldridge's The Legend of Brightblade

Authors and Interviews

David Anthony Durham (The Shadow Prince) at The Brown Bookshelf

Pam Muñoz Ryan (Solimar), at SLJ

 Erika Lewis  (Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts)-- "The Benefits for Kids in Reading Fantasy" at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Beth McMullen (Secret of The Storm), at From the Mixed Up Files

Donna Barba Higuera (The Last Cuentista) at From the Mixed Up Files

 Lisa Stringfellow (A Comb of Wishes) at  The Horn Book 

Other Good Stuff

"7 of the Most Anticipated Middle Grade Fantasy Retellings" at Book Riot

A close examination of  heroine super powers in  Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls  at kidlitcraft


This Sunday's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (7/15/2012)

Welcome to another gathering of what I gathered in my blog reading this week that's of interest to us fans of middle grade sci fi/fantasy (or, I guess, of interest to people who masochistically like to pay attention to mg sff even though they hate it).

Please let me know if I missed your post!

The Reviews

Aliens on a Rampage, by Clete Barrett Smith, at The Book Smugglers

Bliss, by Kathryn Littlewood, at Marie Loves Books

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, at The Secret Adventures of Writer Girl

Chronal Engine, by Greg Leitich Smith, at Cracking the Cover

Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce, at books4yourkids

Dust Girl, by Sarah Zettel, at Wandering Librarians

The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielson, at Jen Robinson's Book Page

Fly By Night, by Frances Hardinge, at The Book Smugglers

Fright Forest (Elf Girl and Raven Boy), by Marcus Sedgwick, at My Favorite Books

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente, at Candace's Book Blog

Ghost Knight, by Cornelia Funke, at Hope is the Word and Mister K Reads

Girls' Games (Goddess Girls) by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, at The Write Path (giveaway)

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, at Babbleabout

Heirs of Prophecy, by Michael A. Rothman, at Geo Librarian

The Kindling, by Braden Bell, at Ms. Yingling Reads and J Lloyd Morgan's Blog

The Magician's Apprentice, by Kate Banks, at Wandering Librarians

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, at Becky's Book Reviews

Ordinary Magic, by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, at Cracking the Cover

Raider's Ransom, by Emily Diamand, at Becky's Book Review

Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis, at Beyond Books

Small Medium at Large, by Joanne Levy, at The Flyleaf Review

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver, at Wandering Librarians

Stickman Odyssey: an Epic Doodle, by Christopher Ford, at Book Nut

A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, at The Book Cellar

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket, by John Boyne, at The Book Zone

The Thirteenth Princess, by Diane Zahler, at Kristen Evey

Tom's Midnight Garden, by Philippa Pearce, at books4yourkids

Treasure of Green Knowe, by L.M. Boston, at Library Chicken

Whatever After, by Sarah Mlynowski, at There's a Book

The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer, at BooksYALove and the NY Times

A sci fi two for one at Ms. Yingling Reads: Invasion of the Dog Nappers, by Patrick Jennings, and The Visitors (Clone Codes 3) by Patricia, Frederick and Pat McKissack

And a non-fiction one of interest--Reflection on the Magic of Writing, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Book Aunt

Authors and Interviews

Laura White Reyes (The Rock of Ivanore) at Literary Rambles (giveaway)

Nikki Loftin (The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy) at A Thousand Wrongs (giveaway)

Deva Fagan (Circus Galacticus) at I Read to Relax (missed this last week)

Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) at So Many Books, So Little Time

Other Good Stuff

About this time of year, I start thinking about the Cybils--I'll have more to say when the call for judges goes out later this summer! But in the meantime, you can print out this handy flyer of the 2011 finalists!

"H is for Hob", with Pat Walsh at Scribble City Central

A slew of Cinderella retellings at Read in a Single Sitting

At Squeetus, Shannon Hale is hosting a Summer Book Club staring Princess Academy

The Prometheus Award for best novel (given by the Literary Futurist Society) iis a tie between The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman and Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. This award honors "outstanding science fiction and fantasy that explores the possibilities of a free future, champions human rights (including personal and economic liberty), dramatizes the perennial conflict between individuals and coercive governments, or critiques the tragic consequences of abuse of power--especially by the State."

Merida becomes a doll (in both senses of the word) in the hands of Mattel...(and someday I really will go see Brave!)

I don't shop at Macy's myself, but if you do, remember that if you give $3 to RIF at the Macy’s register, and you get a coupon for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.

And just because I think it's funny:
(found via Bookshelves of Doom)


This week's round-up of Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy from around the blogs (Sept. 8, 2013)

Here's what I found in my blog reading this past week of interest to fans of Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Once again, though at times I had hope, I was unable to find a book review for every letter of the alphabet, and so I continue to hold my review for "X" in readiness...a new Z, a difficult letter, has entered the scene (thank you, Mr. Bacigalupi), but V remains an intractable problem (although since The Shadowhand Covenant, the sequel to The Vengekeep Prophecies, by Brian Farrey, comes out this October, maybe one of you all will want to read book 1 and give me a V....).   No one is reviewing books beginning with A much either.  And B is so two years ago...

Oh well.

The Reviews

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, at Malin's Blog of Books

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint, at Tales of the Marvelous

Congatious Colors of Mumpley Middle School, by Fowler DeWitt, at GreenBeanTeenQueen, Beth Fish Reads, This Kid Reviews Books, and Charlotte's Library (all with giveaways)

Chupacabra, by Roland Smith, at This Kid Reviews Books

Dragon Run, by Patrick Matthews, at Nerdophiles

Earthfall, by Mark Walden, at Nerdophiles

The Fallen Spaceman, by Lee Harding, at Views from the Tesseract

Frogged, by Vivian Vande Velde, at Charlotte's Library

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, by Chris Riddell, at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Handbook For Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell, at Rachel Neumeier

Island of Silence, by Lisa McMann, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Janitors, by Tyler Whitesides, at The ABC Writers Guild

Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant 7), by Derek Landy, at Original Content

The Lost Heir, by Tui T. Sutherland, at CatEared Reviews

The Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby, at Fantasy Literature and By Singing Light

Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline Carlson, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile and On Starships and Dragonwings

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny- Detectives Extraordinaire, by Polly Horvath, at Librarian of Snark

Oliver and the Seawigs, by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, at Wondrous Reads 

Persephone the Daring (Godess Girls), by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, at Dee's Reads

The Phantom Toolbooth, by Norman Juster, at Becky's Book Reviews

The Quirks: Welcome to Normal, by Erin Soderberg, at Candace's Book Blog

Rose, by Holly Webb, at A Dream Within A Dream

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, at Looking for the Panacea

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co.) by Jonathan Stroud, at thebookshelfgargoyle, Fairrosa Cyber Library, Nayu's Reading Corner, and Great Imaginations

Secrets of New Forest Academy (Janitors 2), by Tyler Whitesides, at Geo Librarian

Sidekicked, by John David Anderson, at Stop Hiting Your Brother

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters, by Diane Zahler, at GreenBeenTeenQueen

Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, by Charles Gilman, at Bookwyrme's Lair 

The Time Fetch, by Amy Herrick, at Alison's Book Marks

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Wild Born (Spirit Animals 1) by Brandon Mull, at Akossiwa Ketoglo, Random Musings of a Bibliophile, and Book Ends

The Wizard of Oz, adapted from the movie screenplay by Beth Bracken, at Kid Lit Reviews

Young Fredl, by Cynthia Voigt, at Librarian of Snark (audiobook review)

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paulo Bacigalupi, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Three Oz books--Tick Tock, Scarcrow, and Rinkitink, at Tales of the Marvelous

Authors and Interviews

Ellen Booraem (Texting the Underworld) at The Mod Podge Bookshelf

Janice Hardy (The Healing Wars) at Nicole Y. Walters

Claire Legrand (The Year of Shadows) at Nerdy Book Club and Great Imaginations

Diane Zahler (Sleeping Beauty's Daughters) at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Caroline Carlson (Magic Marks the Spot) at Smack Dab in the Middle

Christine Brodien-Jones (The Glass Puzzle) at The Mod Podge Bookshelf

A.J. Hartley (Darwen Arkwright and the School of Shadows) at Nerdy Book Club

Susan Cooper, at Indy Week

Other Good Stuff

The Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards' finalists announced

Five Sci Fi pet peeves, at Views from the Tesseract

A nice list of Percy Jackson read-alikes at Bookshelves of Doom

Lee and Low's New Voices Award deadline is Sept. 30

A new digital magazine for Middle Grade readers is coming!  "The inaugural issue of Middle Shelf comes out this October. Features will include interviews with Margaret Petersen Haddix (author of Shadow Children and The Missing series), cover artist Gilbert Ford, and 12-year-old author MacKenzie Wagner. Top reads for the Halloween season will be included along with spotlights on non-fiction, graphic novel, poetry, and novelty titles."  Read more here.

(I'm hosting a giveaway of a YA time travel book, Infinityglass, by Myra McEntire, and very few people have entered, which makes me feel Sad, so even thought its not MG, maybe some of you might be interested?).


New Releases of Fantasy and Science Fiction for Kids and Teenagers, the beginning of Sept. 2010 edition

It's quite a nice little assortment, this edition of new releases. My pick would be The Crowfield Curse from the middle grade titles, and Firelight from the YA....

ALIEN CONTACT: ALIEN AGENT by Pamela F. Service. Most humans know that scientists are combing outer space for evidence of intelligent life in the universe. And most aliens know that the Galactic Union has been diligently jamming those efforts until Earth is ready to join. A small group of aliens has other ideas, though. They plan on sending humans fake messages as part of a plan for world domination. Only one "human" can stop them Zack Gaither, Alien Agent. Zack will have to use all he's learned in his previous adventures to save Earth from the Gnairt. Fortunately, he's got some help this time. And she's kinda cute...

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN LIVES by Matthew McElligott. Victor Godwin's orderly life is upended when he discovers that Benjamin Franklin never actually died-he was put into suspended animation and hidden away for more than 200 years in Victor's basement! After an accident reawakens Ben, Victor must not only help him adjust to the modern world but also help him overcome a slight flaw: when Ben runs low on energy, he turns into a rampaging monster desperately hungry for electricity! All this while trying to take first place in the school science fair. With one of history's preeminent scientists helping out, what could go wrong?

THE CLOUD SEARCHERS: AMULET by Kazu Kibuishi. In the third installment of the thrilling Amulet series, Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of Cielis, a mythical city believed to be located on an island high above the clouds. The mysterious Leon Redbeard is their guide, and there's a surprising new addition to the crew: the Elf King's son, Trellis. But is he ally or enemy? And will Emily ever be able to trust the voice of the Amulet?

THE CROWFIELD CURSE by Pat Walsh. It's 1347 and fifteen-year-old Will, an orphan boy, lives at Crowfield Abbey. Sent into the forest to gather wood, he rescues instead, a creature from a trap - a hob, who shares with Will a terrible secret. Somewhere in the forest behind the abbey where he lives, is a grave. And buried deep in the snow is an angel. But how can an angel die? What has it to do with the monks of the Abbey? When two hooded strangers arrive at Crowfield asking questions about the angel's grave. Will is drawn into a world of dangerous Old Magic. "The Crowfield Feather" was short-listed for the "Times" Chidren's Fiction Competition in 2008. This is a stunning debut novel and the first of a two part series.

THE DEAD BOYS by Royce Buckingham. In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.

From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland. Every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree’s world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .

THE FAMILIARS by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson. After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.

THE GHOST OF CRUTCHFIELD HALL by Mary Downing Hahn. When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents' death.

But Florence doesn't expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it's too late?

GHOST DOG SECRETS by Peg Kehret. Each day, Rusty feeds a dog that’s left chained in the frigid weather with no shelter and no food or water. When he realizes that the dog’s been injured, Rusty and his friend Andrew unchain the dog and take it. Are they stealing, or are they rescuing a dog in need?

With the dog living in their secret hideout, the boys face multiple challenges, including a mysterious ghost dog that tries to lead them to a startling secret, Andrew’s snoopy sister, and the escalating threats of the dog’s abusive owner. The fast-paced suspense builds to a surprising conclusion, which will leave young readers cheering for Rusty’s compassion and determination.

by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson.
An exciting new middle grade collection of spooky paranormal investigations based on REAL ghost hunts from stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters, the number one reality show on cable television!

In a lush, thick volume, Ghost Hunt will feature multiple stories dramatized with cliff hangers and red herrings to heighten suspense and character interaction. Through the investigations, the reader will learn the ins and outs of ghost hunting, how to spot a hoax, and how to face their fear of the paranormal.

The book will also have tips for ghost hunting at the end of the book, including guides to the technical equipment and how to set up your own traps for ghosts. Though presented as fiction, these stories are based on real cases, and the GHOSTS ARE REAL!

HALF UPON A TIME by James Riley. Life’s no fairy tale for Jack. After all, his father's been missing ever since that incident with the beanstalk and the giant, and his grandfather keeps pushing him to get out and find a princess to rescue. Who'd want to rescue a snobby, entitled princess anyway? Especially one that falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says "Punk Princess," and still denies she's royalty. In fact, May doesn't even believe in magic. Yeah, what's that about? May does need help though--a huntsman is chasing her, her grandmother has been kidnapped, and Jack thinks it’s all because of the Wicked Queen . . . mostly because May’s grandmother might just be the long-lost Snow White.

THE LIMIT by Kristen Landon. An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .

With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.

THE LOST ISLAND: RIPLEY'S BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, and also SHOCK HORROR: RIPLEY'S BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION by Robert Ripley. Join the Ripley's Bureau of Investigation - a group of teen agents with special gifts - as they embark on a series of action-packed adventures, travelling the world in pursuit of extraordinary events and tales. These wonderful new stories are perfect for adventurously minded children between the ages of 7 and 11. In "Shock Horror", reports of mysterious fires, exploding trees and unexplained power cuts in a remote Rocky Mountain town reach the RBI. Is there any truth in the terrifying stories of a strange figure in the forest with sparks flying from his fingertips? Using their own powerful skills, the RBI are tested to their limits on the sizzling adventure.

M IS FOR MAMA'S BOY: N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley. In this second outing for the 5th grade super spies, Duncan Dewey, codename "Gluestick", is the point of view character. This time the group must fight a very unlikely villain - he still lives with his Mum. In other words, it's the NERDS against a nerd.

NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve. A dragon story with a brilliant twist…. Ansel's new master slays dragons for a living. He says he's hunted the monstrous worms all over Christendom and has the scars to prove it. But is Brock just a clever trickster in shining armour? Ansel is sure there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating creature that makes its lair in the crags of Dragon Mountain? Ansel and Brock must climb the ice face to discover the terrifying truth.

PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow. Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish. It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

SCARLETT DEDD by Cathy Brett. You're dead Scarlett...Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact.

Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her. Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...


BEYOND THE MASK: THE GRASSLAND TRILOGY by David Ward In this dramatic conclusion to the Grasslands Trilogy, Corki, Pippa, and all their friends are reunited for a final fight to determine the future of Grassland. After escaping the mountains of Grassland, where Corki and Pippa and their friends were slaves and soldiers, the fugitives finally found a new life, and are seemingly safe at last.

But as the former slaves explore new lands to the north, they discover that cruelty and injustice are not only found in Grassland, and that the people they visit may need their help. Grassland, too, may need assistance. When an appeal from an old friend reaches Corki and Pippa in their travels, will they have the courage to do what’s right for their old land, despite its cruel history? What will it cost them to change Grassland for the better?

THE COUNSELING: GHOST HUNTRESS by Marley Gibson Kendall has just discovered who Emily really is, lost her boyfriend, and nearly died doing the thing she loves most--ghost hunting. It's time to take a break and try to reconcile all the changes she's going through. So Kendall heads to the Sierra Mountains, where there's a camp especially for young people with gifts such as hers. It's a time for reflection and self-discovery.

But when she gets to California, she once again finds restless spirits--and the boy in her last vision. It may be the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one.

CRUSADE by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun. Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose. Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself—and her heart.

EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin. Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe, but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she'll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself

edited by International Thriller Writers Association
Turn the pages if you dare. . . .In this collection of thirteen fabulously chilling storiesÑfrom thirteen true masters of suspense, including five New York Times bestsellers and a number of Edgar Award nominees, all edited by none other than R. L. StineÑnothing is what it seems. From cannibalistic children, to an unwitting date with a vampire, to a crush on a boy who just might be a werewolf, no scary stone is left unturned. A must-have for all fans of the genre!

FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan. Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Tiernan. Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

IMMORTAL REMAINS: WEIRDSVILLE by Rook Hastings Four freak accidents. Four mysterious deaths. Four signs of trouble. Welcome back to Weirdsville…

"You see, the girls that died – it wasn't by accident. They were cursed, every one of them. Cursed to meet a horrible death… And I'm going to be next."

Four girls from posh school Riverbank have been killed in seemingly random but freakish ways and it’s not long before Bethan and co. are lured into investigating the grisly case. Is it really just coincidence or is there something more sinister going on?
Meanwhile Hashim’s playing truant, Kelly’s on the warpath and Jay’s trying to avoid someone even more close to home… Himself. Scary, paranormal and supernaturally chilling experiences are everyday in a town like Weirdsville.

LURE by Deborah Kerbel. A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John .Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.

When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?

MONSTER HIGH by Lisi Harrison. From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the "horrors" of trying to fit in. The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enroll, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a "normie" be trusted with her big secret?

PAST MIDNIGHT by Mara Purnhagen. Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

REVAMPED by Lucienne Diver. The fanged fabulousity of Vamped, FLUX's fastest-selling new release, is back! Gina's Rules for Surviving Super Spy Club Training: 1. First, the dirt and sweat are just too horrible to contemplate. 2. Unless you enjoy cold showers, be the first one to the bathroom in the morning. 3. Cargo pants make you look hip-py. 4. Making out on missions, unless it's part of your cover, is totally grounds for extra push-ups. 5. When going goth, you've totally got to strike words like totally, awesome, and phat from your vocabulary. 6. Who's actually running the Super Spy Club, you ask? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

VANISHED: WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES/CODE NAME CASSANDRA by Meg Cabot. Jessica Mastriani has never liked attention. All she wants is to make it to high school graduation like any ordinary girl. But when Jess is struck by lightning, she becomes anything but ordinary: suddenly she has the ability to locate missing children.

Now Jess is getting noticed in all the wrong ways and by all the wrong people. The media is obsessed with her and her story. The FBI is tapping her phone. And what’s going on with sexy senior Rob? Soon Jess learns the hard way that not everyone who is lost wants to be found….

With no one to trust, it's up to Jess to decide what to do with her new power—before it’s decided for her.

Z by Michael Thomas Ford. The First Rule of Torching: Cleanse with fire.

Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around—at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning, and agility of a real Torcher.

The Second Rule of Torching: Save all humans.

But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than fifteen years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family—and millions of others—is the stuff of history lessons.

The Third Rule of Torching: You can't bring them back.

Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl—and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z. . . .

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