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September 19, 2014

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SLJTeen Speaks with the Wizard of Kazam, Jasper Fforde

Eye of Zoltar

How does Jasper Fforde come up with the magnificent characters, creatures, and settings in his “Chronicles of Kazam” series? He relies on “stuff—the exciting smorgasbord of weird stuff that happens to us, around us, and in us.”

Court Intrigue

Court Intrigue

Whence our fascination with royalty? Back in my high school American History classes, I used to joke that ever since winning the Revolution, Americans have been trying their hardest to make the President into a king–a joke I find less and less funny as we are treated to ever-expanding executive power and a seemingly inevitable [...]

Review: The Complete Elfquest Volume 1

Review: The Complete Elfquest Volume 1

Ten thousand years ago, the palace of a magical race appeared in the skies of a primitive world with two moons and crashed to the ground. The inhabitants of that world, humans who were little more than brutes, reacted to these otherworldly invaders with fear and lashed out violently. The few survivors of the palace [...]

The Magician’s Land

The Magician’s Land

Is there anything better than a trilogy that improves with each installment? That’s saying a lot when the first book wins an Alex Award (The Magicians) and the second (The Magician King) makes our AB4T Best of the Year list. Lev Grossman wraps up the trilogy with The Magician’s Land (releasing tomorrow) in a singularly satisfying manner. [...]

A New Look at Peter Pan

A New Look at Peter Pan

For such a big fan of fairy tales, you would think that I’d have a healthy appreciation for one of the 20th Century’s preeminent fairy tale creations, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. But in truth, I’ve never much cared for the little imp, even now that my 4-year-old son is obsessed with him and has me [...]

The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling

Is The Queen of the Tearling the next Harry Potter? It is certainly one of the big debuts of the summer. The first in Erika Johansen’s fantasy trilogy releases tomorrow, but many readers are already aware of the book. This is largely thanks to movie news–Harry Potter alumni Emma Watson and David Heyman committed to [...]

Video: Garth Nix keynote | SLJ Day of Dialog 2014

Garth Nix

In this 10-minute clip from his keynote address, award-winning author Garth Nix considers the question “Where do novels come from?”

A New Take on Sleeping Beauty (No, Not *That* One)

A New Take on Sleeping Beauty (No, Not *That* One)

You all know how much I love fairy tales. Indeed, it almost physically hurt me to assign Elizabeth Blackwell’s While Beauty Slept to another reviewer, but I just didn’t have time in my reading schedule to get to it. Now that I’ve read our review, I’m going to make time. Blackwell’s entry-point is a character [...]

Dragons & Romance

Dragons & Romance

For the last two school years, a good half of my student bookgroup meetings have devolved into chatter about The Game of Thrones. There are those who have read all of the books, those who are obsessed with the HBO series, those just getting their feet wet. And yes, there are the quiet few who [...]

Books for Lovers of Indiana Jones

Books for Lovers of Indiana Jones

Today we have two books that prompted our reviewer to invoke the name of Indiana Jones–and for good reason. Anne Fortier’s The Lost Sisterhood and James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell’s Innocent Blood are both rollicking adventure stories, starring University professors, and laden with religious and mythological overtones–precisely the elements that make Steven Spielberg’s archaeologist-adventurer so [...]

Dreams of the Golden Age

Dreams of the Golden Age

When I reviewed Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age back in 2011 (and listed it among our Best Books of the Year So Far), I had to be somewhat coy about my favorite aspect of the novel, because it was revealed in the final pages. But now, I think the time for spoilers has passed: [...]

Short Work

Short Work

Neither of the books reviewed below looks much like a traditional short story collection. Eileen Gunn’s Questionable Practices includes stories as short as one page long, a poem, and a “steam-punk quartet” of stories. Novak’s collection, meanwhile, mocks the whole concept of a “short story collection”, calling itself, in the subtitle,  “Stories and Other Stories”. [...]

Review: All Our Pretty Songs

Review: All Our Pretty Songs

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Two girls, best friends since they were born. Sharing so much: heartaches, family, music. They are not identical, no, but rather they complement each other. “Aurora breaks hearts, and I paint pictures.” Aurora drinks her nights away, knowing [...]

Burn

Burn

And so it ends. We reviewed Julianna Baggott’s Pure exactly two years ago. Later in the year, we named it one of our favorite books of the year so far, and were then validated when it won a 2013 Alex Award. A year after Pure, we felt just as strongly about its sequel, Fuse. Now [...]

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman By Aaron Starmer Farrar Straus & Giroux (an imprint of Macmillan) $15.99 ISBN: 978-0-374-36309-3 Ages 11 and up On shelves March 18th When a book has worked its way into your cranium and is making a home for itself within the darker recesses of your very soul, the natural inclination is to talk [...]

Life After Death

Life After Death

Two young women with recently deceased fathers find themselves immersed in relics of the past: these are the striking parallels between the two novels reviewed below.  In Ellen Marie Wiseman’s What She Left Behind, the teenaged heroine is sucked into the past by the journals of another young woman who had been committed to an [...]

Death and Love: Sorrow’s Knot & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Death and Love: Sorrow’s Knot & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Today, I’m talking about two books that are in my personal top 10 of the year. And both revolve around death and love, two primal, powerful pieces of life. And they’re both fantastic. Other than that, they’re really different, and I suspect neither of them has much chance at a Printz nod, which is sort [...]

From Serial Killers to Fairy Tales

From Serial Killers to Fairy Tales

We do run the gamut here at AB4T. Quite a variety to introduce today, but all three fall under the broad category of speculative fiction.

“Kill the she-elf!”

“Kill the she-elf!”

Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]

The post “Kill the she-elf!” appeared first on The Horn Book.

A Corner of White

orange umbrella to the left, female figure to the right

A Corner of White (Book 1 of The Colors of Madeleine), Jaclyn Moriarty Scholastic, April 2013 Reviewed from ARC and final ebook This is a doozy of a book. Clair talked about the difficulties summing up a complex book like The Raven Boys, but that would be a breeze compared to this one. It’s crowded [...]