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Showing posts from November, 2017

Shorter Musings (MG)

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads.

Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas
This is the first book in a new series. The world suffered from a global earthquake that took out the Internet and changed everything. There is also magic, a school for special children, secret societies, and a quest. The group of kids the story centers around is wonderful. They each have a talent and a special thing to do. It reads as a real life RGP. The writing is good though a trifle stilted in some places. You can tell the author thinks she knows how one is supposed to write for/talk to children, but is a little rusty on actual practice in this area. But overall, it is a fun engrossing read. It is definitely a great recommendation for fantasy obsessed MG readers.


Ghosts of Greenglass Houseby Kate Milford
Fans of the first Greenglass House book will be happy to see most of their favorite characters return here. In a many ways the plot rehashes a lot of what was done in the first book. I f…

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

The Epic Fail of  Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya is a book I found via the new arrival shelf at the library. (Yay libraries!) I am so happy I found it too. It is an excellent book about family and community centered around the Cuban restaurant Arturo's family owns.

Arturo has high hopes for the summer. He will be working in his family's restaurant earning money. His mom's goddaughter, Carmen, is visiting and suddenly he is feeling all kinds of things in his gut he is unused to. When a greasy developer tries to convince the city council that what Arturo's Miami neighborhood needs is a high rise, the restaurant his family owns and runs (but is in a building they lease) is threatened. Arturo is determined to save the day, win the girl, and make his Abuela, who pours her heart into the restaurant, community and its people, proud.

The kids in this book, with Arturo in the lead, are wonderful. I loved the entire cast of characters. Arturo is definitely going to be a favorite …

Future Favorite Friday

This is the place where I highlight upcoming releases I'm excited for. I do it the second Friday of every month. Feel free to join in and write your own posts. Please link back to my blog and leave a comment if you do!
I enjoyed Roshani Chokshi's YA duology and was so excited to discover she has a MG fantasy coming out soon.

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. T…

Long Way Down

If Jason Reynolds writes it, I'm going to read it. Sooner rather than later. I made a special trip to the bookstore just so I could buy his latest, Long Way Down, because I didn't want to wait even a little bit for it. It was worth the trip and money a thousand times over. My only regret is that I don't have a class full of teens to read and discuss it with at the moment.

Will is 15 and his brother is shot right front of him. It's not the first death Will has seen and he knows the rules.
1. Don't cry.
2. Don't snitch.
3. Get revenge.

The next day Will sets out to find the person he knows is responsible for Shawn's death with Shawn's gun tucked in to the back of his pants. He gets on the elevator with a hazy plan in his head and a determination to follow rule three the same way he followed one and two. But the elevator stops on every floor and each time a person gets on. A person Will knows but who shouldn't be on that elevator because they're de…

Young Adult Book Holiday Gift Guide: 2017 Edition

As promised last week, here is the book buying guide for those who love to read Young Adult books. I hope this is useful to you as one more resource for finding the right book for a young adult in your life.

Note: YA tends to refer to ages 13 up, but there is a lot of range in how mature the books are and the issues and situations they deal with. If you have specific questions about content, feel free to ask me. If you don't want to ask in the comments, you can always email me. (See the contact information tab for my email address.)

I did a similar guide for the 9-12 crowd last week. You can find it here.

These are mostly books published in the past three years or so. I've put the genre and year published after each.

Links are to my reviews.

For Those Who Enjoy Epic Sweeping Tales of Magic, Myth, and Journeys



 The Queen's Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner (mythopoeic fantasy, 1996-ongoing)
*I don't write reviews of the books in this series because it's my all time…