Brian Farrey’s latest middle grade novel has all the magical details and atmospheric elements that fantasy readers crave—along with some deep and thought-provoking themes. SLJ chats with the author about exploring fundamental questions of ethics and emotions with middle graders through literature.
This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
Exploring topics from grief to bullying in settings both contemporary and historical, a trio of 2016 titles mine real-world emotions and situations—and top them off with dashes of magic, horror, and talking skunks.
Tempt fantasy fans with this spectacular sampling of recent genre titles that reflect this enticing smorgasbord of settings and subject matter, feature diverse casts, and treat an alluring array of coming-of-age themes.
A super short booktalk of Katherine Marsh’s delightfully creepy middle grade fantasy, A Door By the Staircase.
Nine YA and middle grade titles were nominated for the 2015 Andre Norton award for outstanding speculative fiction, including Francis Hardinge’sCuckoo Song and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap.
The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel By Susan Hill Long Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-553-51134-2 Ages 9-12 On shelves May 10th What do you want from a fairy tale? Magic? Romance? Derring-do? Despicable villainy? Academics and scholars have puzzled […]
Publisher’s description Burn is the thrilling companion to Elissa Sussman’s masterful and original fairy tale, Stray. This engaging and imaginative continuation of the original fairy tale begun in Stray will appeal to readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and fans of the musicals Wicked and Into the Woods. After helping to rescue Princess Aislynn, […]
Mark Flowers looks at a wide assortment of speculative fiction titles and a book that seems like it should be science fiction but is actually nonfiction.
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older Arthur A. Levine Books, June 2015 Reviewed from an ARC And now we are at the review I’ve been most excited about all year! The one that made me curse the linear nature of the calendar year, and the September publication date (editing note: I just found out Amazon listed this […]
Mark Flowers highlights recent adult titles with teen appeal in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres, including Cat Winter’s The Uninvited and John Scalzi’s End of All Things.
“I’m quiet for a moment, enchanted by the idea of something stealing over you, settling into you, and telling you, with absolute certainty, who you are and what you’re meant to do.” Summary: The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut. Your […]
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson HarperTeen, May 2015 Reviewed from final copy I’ve been considering this a graphic novel roundup — we’re short on time, you may have heard? — but now that I’m sitting down to write it, I’m finding myself with a lot to say about Nimona. I can’t guarantee that we’ll have a […]
SLJ reviews the latest installment in Ransom Riggs’s YA crossover series, “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.”
SLJ reviews Terry Pratchett’s last novel, a cleverly crafted fantasy starring the intrepid teen witch, Tiffany Aching.
Meet a ratter, a girl with telepathic abilities, and an otherworldly creature in new middle grade fantasy titles that walk the line between light and dark and comfort and creepy with aplomb.
Farah Mendlesohn called my attention to this bit of fuckwittery from The Guardian, in which their art critic Jonathan Jones opines that the late Terry Pratchett wrote “trash” while the equally late Günter Grass was a “true titan of the novel,” so why is everyone more sad about the passing of Sir Terry? The dumbness of this point–let’s […]
NESBET, Anne. The Wrinkled Crown. 400p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Harper. Nov. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062104298.
Gr 3-7–Linny is approaching her coming-of-age “twelve ceremony,” when she will at last be able to touch a lourka—the almost magical, exquisitely toned, stringed instrument, named for Linny’s village in the wrinkled hills. The instrument has been forbidden to her until now. The trouble is, Linny has already broken this strict rule and made her own lourka, which she plays in secret, and only her best […]
Anderson, Jodi Lynn. My Diary from the Edge of the World. 432p. S. & S./Aladdin. Nov. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442483873.
Gr 4-7–Gracie Lockwood is a spirited girl and journal writer, who lives with her parents, brother, and sister right down the street from a T.J.Maxx that was recently burned down by dragons. Her world mirrors ours, in that there is a Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s off of Route 1. It differs, however, because Sasquatches roam the forests, depressed ghosts […]