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January 30, 2015

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The Heart Does Not Grow Back

The Heart Does Not Grow Back

The tagline plastered on the back of Fred Venturini’s debut novel–”Every superhero needs to start somewhere”–may draw in readers, but it may mislead them as well. It is true that the novel’s protagonist, Dale Sampson, has a superheroic ability to regenerate his limbs, but the novel is much less of an origin story than it […]

High Marks from Teens for Medieval Magic and McCloud’s “The Sculptor”

Scott McCloud

Science continues to surface in contemporary fiction, and titles with magical settings still hold their edge. Scott McCloud’s impactful graphic novel The Sculptor examines one man’s countdown through his last 200 days alive.

Review of the Day: Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Review of the Day: Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Cuckoo Song By Frances Hardinge Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $17.95 ISBN: 978-1419714801 Ages 10 and up On shelves May 12, 2015 I was watching the third Hobbit movie the other day (bear with me – I’m going somewhere with this) with no particular pleasure. There are few things in life more painful to […]

The World of Ice and Fire

The World of Ice and Fire

As this blog’s resident Game of Thrones reviewer (again, despite having never read the novels), I took it upon myself to read the newest entry into the world of The Song of Ice and Fire, a “nonfiction” companion to George R.R. Martin’s epic world. The book has Martin’s name above the title, but the smaller […]

First Frost

First Frost

Happy New Year! Given the frost on the ground in my usually balmy California home, I thought we would ring in the New Year here with the appropriately titled First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen–our first 2015 title, to boot. This book is an example of one of my favorite parts of this blog: when […]

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon, Gregory Maguire Candlewick Press, September 2014 Reviewed from final copy What an ingenious little (okay, big) book this is. Maguire is at his best when he’s being sly and subverting tropes and expectations; he did it to genius effect in Wicked, which remains one of my favorite novels, and while his overall […]

The Story of Owen

The Story of Owen

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston Published by Carolrhoda Lab, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy You know we’re not going to get out of here without a Trogdor reference, right? I mean, that’s not in any way the point or even relevant, but it’s still burninating me up […]

Magical Trilogies

Today we review the first books in three new speculative fiction series. Let’s begin with Charlie Holmberg‘s The Paper Magician series. We review the first, The Paper Magician, Holberg’s debut, published in September. The second in the series, The Glass Magician, is already available. Both are published by Amazon’s fantasy, science fiction and horror imprint, […]

Old Friends, Fresh Stories: New Middle Grade Fantasy

MidGradeFantasy_TN

Fantasy writing for children has a long and storied history, populated with all manner of heroic quests, forgotten prophecies, and strange magic. Despite its near-century of popularity, there is no sign of flagging enthusiasm for this much-beloved genre.

It’s not on any chart / You must find it with your heart

It’s not on any chart / You must find it with your heart

Please join me on Saturday the 25th at the Boston Book Festival for “Masters of Fantasy,” a panel discussion with Soman Chainani (A World Without Princes), Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (The Iron Trial), and Gregory Maguire (Egg & Spoon). We’ll be talking about–well, I guess I should get on that right quick, as I’m […]

The post It’s not on any chart / You must find it with your heart appeared first on The Horn Book.

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014 Reviewed from ARC This is a book that, I’m pretty sure, was written just for me. I love fantasy, I love courtly politics, I love dragons and willful ladies. Somehow, though, even though my review is due, I have to confess that I’m […]

Ghostly Guinea Pigs, Time-Travelers, and Seelie Wars | Fiction Series Update

SLJ1410w-FicSeriesUpdate-TN

These latest updates in ongoing series, these books encompass a wide variety of topics: a dark and haunting title about Vietnam from Chris Lynch, more drama from the world of the Seelies from Jane Yolen and son Adam Stemple, and time-traveling adventures with Mira.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Winner’s Curse

The Winner’s Curse

The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski Macmillan, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy Not gonna lie. I loved this book. I loved from the pretty dress cover — I know! But I’m a sucker — to the thoroughly unexpected world. I loved the lack of easy answers and the fact that there is more to come. […]

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?”