“Wundersmith: The Calling of Morigan Crow” is the sequel to the first book in the “Nevermoor” series, “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow,” about a young girl who was whisked to Nevermoor just before she had been doomed to die on her 11th birthday. As an illegal immigrant in Nevermoor, the only way she can stay in Nevermoor is to pass rigorous trials to earn a place in the illustrious Wundrous Society — which she does in the first book.
“An Easy Death” is by acclaimed author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the fabulous Sookie Stackhouse series. It’s the first in a new series featuring Lizbeth Rose, a 19-year-old, determined, talented gun for hire.
The setting is an alternate United States which was forever altered when Franklin Roosevelt was assassinated before he could be sworn in. Texas has been reclaimed by Mexico, Russia (the Holy Russian Empire) has grabbed California, and Canada has taken over many of the northern states. Native Americans have claimed their ancestral land which had been stolen from them. The only part of the actual United States that’s left is really poor, and those who live there have a hard life. Farmers hoping to get to a safer and better place to live must hire gunslingers to ensure their safety as they journey to a different place.
Start the new year right — get some of 2018’s (and one 2019 new release) middle grade books for the young reader in your life. There is a wide range of titles that will appeal to many different readers.
Graphic novels are high in interest and many children who aren’t interested in reading text-only chapter books love the illustrations and fast-moving pace of these books. There are several 2018 releases that include graphic novels and books with many illustrations along with text, mimicking the feel of a graphic novel. Continue reading
“Fire & Heist” by Sarah Beth Durst is a wonderful young adult fantasy. Long-time fans of this author will not be surprised that it’s engaging and boasts a fabulous plot. While she has included a lot in the story — there is some “Ocean’s Eleven” mixed up with a bit of “Wrinkle in Time” and every book with a wonderfully evil villain (think Michael Grant’s newest book, appropriately titled “Villain”) — it just boils down to a book that ends up being a quick read because the action simply doesn’t stop.
“A Sorrow Fierce and Falling” is the last in the “Kingdom of Fire” trilogy by Jessica Cluess. The series began with “A Shadow Bright and Burning” and continued with “A Poison Dark and Drowning.” In this brilliant finale, Cluess manages to keep the reader enthralled from the first page to the very last.
Get ready for a set of new superheroes. And super bad guys. “Villain” by Michael Grant has them all.
Claus Bruce” by the talented Ryan T. Higgins is a picture book that is certainly as much fun (or more) for adults to read as it is for the kids listening to the story. Higgins’ wry humor coupled with the extremely expressive illustrations make for a wonderfully satisfying picture book experience.
It’s winter and Bruce wants to stay in bed, but the mice and geese have other ideas. They want holiday spirit, and they want lots of it. They deck the halls, make eggnog, and put up the Christmas tree. Needless to say, Bruce is not in the holiday mood.
A picture book is often the perfect gift for almost any age reader. Some picture books make us laugh, others touch our hearts. Some are entertaining while others inform us. Here are some recent picture books that are perfect to consider as gifts for this holiday season.
J. C. Cervantes is the talented author who has written the first book in a trilogy about Mayan gods and the kid who is the child of one of them. It’s Rick Riordan’s “Lightning Thief” taken south to Mexico (and New Mexico). In “The Storm Runner,” Zane Obispo, who limps because one leg is shorter than the other, discovers that he is godborn, the child of one of the Mayan gods. In fact, that explains his leg because as one character tells him, humans and the gods don’t mix perfectly.
With “Sawkill Girls,” author Claire Legrand creates a positively Stephen King-ish horror story that takes place on an exclusive island for the extremely wealthy where girls have mysteriously disappeared for decades. In addition to the three female main characters, the island, with its woods and cliffs and mysterious hidden areas, becomes almost another character.
In “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates,” talented author Ryan T. Higgins explores what it would be like if a dinosaur, specifically a very carnivorous T. Rex, attended school. Penelope the T. Rex was ready to start. Her dad had made her lunch, three hundred tuna fish sandwiches. What she was not ready for, though, was the fact that her classmates were human children.
As any self-respecting T. Rex knows, children are delicious. So Penelope ate them. Her teacher grew angry and insisted that she spit them out immediately. She did. The children were not happy. Penelope was not happy. Going to school with delicious snacks available was just more than the precocious dinosaur could stand.
But one day, in a hilarious turn-around, Penelope found out what it feels like to be the one on the dinner plate, and she didn’t care for it at all. Higgins entertains readers — young and old — with his trademark clever twist that will keep his fans loving each and every picture book he writes. Kids will love this one, and their parents will, too.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Disney-Hyperion, the publisher, for review purposes.
Tamora Pierce’s fans are legion. But if you haven’t read one of this master of fantasy’s many books, this is the perfect time to start and the perfect book to start with: “Tempests and Slaughter.” It’s the first book in a new series, and it’s a prequel to some of the other books about the Tortall universe.
As with all of Pierce’s books, the characters feel quite authentic, and each of the three main characters is unique. Each one demonstrates very human weaknesses and strengths. Pierce is fabulous at hinting at events to come through characters’ actions and dialogue — just subtle hints at deeper character traits.