May 31, 2016

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Shadow Magic | 30-Second Booktalk

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Giant bats, dark magic, necromancy, and non-stop action fill Joshua Khan’s debut middle grade fantasy, as explained in a super short booktalk.

A Chat with Brian Farrey About “The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse”

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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.

Fantasy Series Starters | Listen In

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Multi-volume tales, both classic and modern, to engage listeners

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Magic in Our World | Spring 2016 Middle Grade Fantasy

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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.

Magic, Dastardly Villains, and Less-Than-Perfect Heroes: New YA Fantasy

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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.

The Door By the Staircase | 30-Second Booktalk

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A super short booktalk of Katherine Marsh’s delightfully creepy middle grade fantasy, A Door By the Staircase.

Andre Norton Award Nominees for Outstanding Speculative Fiction Announced

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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.

Review of the Day: The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill Long

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 […]

Book Review: Burn by Elissa Sussman

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, […]

Gregory Maguire’s “After Alice,” Speculative Fiction, and More | Adult Books 4 Teens

After Alice

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.

Magical Mysteries | SLJ Spotlight

The Deadly 7

Who’s the Roald Dahl of today? Well, filling those storied shoes is a tall order, but there are some excellent and emerging middle grade authors who are taking up the task.

Shadowshaper

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 […]

Spectacular Speculative Fiction | Adult Books 4 Teens

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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.

Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, by teen reviewer Lexi

“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

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 […]

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs | SLJ Review

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SLJ reviews the latest installment in Ransom Riggs’s YA crossover series, “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.”

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett | SLJ Review

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SLJ reviews Terry Pratchett’s last novel, a cleverly crafted fantasy starring the intrepid teen witch, Tiffany Aching.

The Allure of the Unsettling | New Middle Grade Fantasy

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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.

If you only had a brain

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 […]

The post If you only had a brain appeared first on The Horn Book.

The Wrinkled Crown by Anne Nesbet | SLJ Review

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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 […]