May 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

And They All Lived Happily Ever After. Or Not. | JLG’s Booktalks to Go


In traditional fairy tales, villains get their comeuppance, while royal families live perfect lives. However, the following novels selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild subvert expectations. Sovereign rulers endure tragedy. Princesses don’t wear pink. Princes make bad decisions. Kings and queens have evil agendas. Full of action and adventure, pain and sorrow, these novels will give teens plenty of incentive to read the next of these series installments.

THe Wrath and the DawnAHDIEH, Renée. The Wrath and the Dawn. 400p. Putnam. 2015. ISBN 9780399171611. JLG Category: Y+ : Young Adults (Grades 9 & Up). LiveBinder Resources

In a tale inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, Shahrzad volunteers to marry the Caliph of Khorasan, even though he has murdered his last bride—her own best friend. Shazi’s plan for revenge becomes complicated when she learns there is more to the story than just staying alive long enough to complete her mission. Falling in love with her enemy distracts her even further.

Red QueenAVEYARD, Victoria. Red Queen. 400p. HarperTeen. 2015. ISBN 9780062310637. JLG Category: CTH : Current Trends High (Grades 9 & Up). LiveBinder Resources

Aveyard has launched a new dystopian series that’s perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. Mare, a red-blooded commoner, finds herself caught in a royal mess when an accident reveals her superpowers. In an unprecedented effort to hide the truth, the Silvers, named for their blood, betroth Mare to the youngest prince. In the midst of a revolution, nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted.

  • A visit to the debut novelist’s website reveals that a second and third book are in the works.
  • Aveyard is only 24 with an exciting career in front of her. She’s currently working on a Stan Lee project, Eternal, and editing book 2 of her series.
  • Teens can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Fans of the new series may enjoy the online encyclopedia A Red Queen Wikia.
  • Between the cover and the book trailer, the book will probably have a long hold list. Universal has optioned the film rights.

Shadow ScaleHARTMAN, Rachel. Shadow Scale. 480p. Random. 2015. ISBN 9780375966576. JLG Category: FH : Fantasy/Science Fiction High (Grades 9-12). LiveBinder Resources

In this sequel to Seraphina (Random, 2012), which picks up where the first book left off, the kingdom of Goredd enlists Seraphina to locate other half-dragons. If these ityasaari can link their minds, they may be able to prevent danger to the humans caught in the crossfire. Amid the brewing dragon war, Seraphina must undertake a difficult journey, filled with new cultures, characters, and challenges.

Forgotten SistersHALE, Shannon. Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters. 336p. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781619634855. JLG Category: B : Upper Elementary & Junior High (Grades 5-7). LiveBinder Resources

In the thrilling conclusion to the series, Miri must go to the outlying swamps as a tutor to three very unconventional cousins. They are to be offered as brides to a warring king in the hopes of preventing war in Asland. Soon after she arrives, Miri realizes that princess training is the least of her worries. Who are these cousins? Why have they been left to survive on their own?

  • Follow Hale on Twitter and Tumblr.
  • Visit the Princess Academy website for behind-the-scenes tales, deleted scenes, and a peek at Hale’s rewriting process.
  • In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, the author says, “When boys are shielded from reading books about girls, everyone loses.” Be sure to share this with all of your readers who like a good mystery/adventure.

The Wrath and the DawnSTANLEY, Diane. The Chosen Prince. 368p. Harper. 2015. ISBN 9780062248978. JLG Category: B+ : Upper Elementary & Junior High (Grades 5-7). LiveBinder Resources

Prince Alexos knows that he is to be the goddess Athene’s champion, restoring his kingdom to a peaceful truce with Zeus. When his life takes an unfortunate turn, reaching his destiny seems an impossible task. With the aid of his physician, a loyal peasant, and a cadre of classmates, Alexos adapts to overcome impossible odds.

Additional Resources

The resources for the above titles have been organized in JLG Booktalks to Go: Spring 2015 LiveBinder. Titles are sorted by interest level, PreK-3, 3-6, 5-8, and YA. All websites are posted within each LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)


Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.



  1. As always, Deborah’s descriptions make me want to start every one of these books right now! Thanks for the recommendations!

    • Deborah Ford says:

      Thanks, Jane. I’m happy to be the “cup bearer.” Love my job! So many books, so little time.