“The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, named to honor prolific science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton (1912-2005), is a yearly juried award presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America(SFWA) to the author of an outstanding young adult science Fiction or fantasy book published in the previous year. ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton_Award
The two previous winners were: Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black (2005) and by Justine Larbalestier (2006). While I’m not familiar with either book, I have no doubt, since it is a juried award by SF writers, that they are worth a look. The Wiki site lists the other nominees, so it’s a good source to keep an eye on for outstanding SF/Fantasy.
Also, one I’m looking at, since I have two girls, but haven’t read yet is: Private Practices: Girls Reading Fiction And Constructing Identity (Critical Perspectives of Literacy and Education) by Meredith Cherla. Since it mentions Lloyd Alexander, it can’t be all bad : ) But at $170 it will have to be from the library, if they even have it!
A few stories for the younger readers:
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo: “a charming story of unlikely heroes whose destinies entwine to bring about a joyful resolution. Foremost is Despereaux, a diminutive mouse who, as depicted in Ering’s pencil drawings, is one of the most endearing of his ilk ever to appear in children’s books. His mother, who is French, declares him to be ‘such the disappointment’ at his birth and the rest of his family seems to agree that he is very odd: his ears are too big and his eyes open far too soon and they all expect him to die quickly. Of course, he doesn’t. Then there is the human Princess Pea, with whom Despereaux falls deeply (one might say desperately) in love. She appreciates him despite her father’s prejudice against rodents. Next is Roscuro, a rat with an uncharacteristic love of light and soup. Both these predilections get him into trouble. And finally, there is Miggery Sow, a peasant girl so dim that she believes she can become a princess. With a masterful hand, DiCamillo weaves four story lines together in a witty, suspenseful narrative that begs to be read aloud.” School Library Journal
This is one my 14 year old loves and has read a number of times – charming illustrations and four story threads weave together a delightful tale of human and rat societies. She’s been reading it to me!
And The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulaneby Kate Dicamillo: “This achingly beautiful story shows a true master of writing at her very best. Edward Tulane is an exceedingly vain, cold-hearted china rabbit owned by 10-year-old Abilene Tulane, who dearly loves him. Her grandmother relates a fairy tale about a princess who never felt love; she then whispers to Edward that he disappoints her. His path to redemption begins when he falls overboard during the family’s ocean journey. Sinking to the bottom of the sea where he will spend 297 days, Edward feels his first emotion–fear. Caught in a fisherman’s net, he lives with the old man and his wife and begins to care about his humans. Then their adult daughter takes him to the dump, where a dog and a hobo find him. They ride the rails together until Edward is cruelly separated from them. His heart is truly broken when next owner, four-year-old Sarah Ruth, dies. He recalls Abilene’s grandmother with a new sense of humility, wishing she knew that he has learned to love. When his head is shattered by an angry man, Edward wants to join Sarah Ruth but those he has loved convince him to live. Repaired by a doll store owner, he closes his heart to love, as it is too painful, until a wise doll tells him that he that he must open his heart for someone to love him. This superb book is beautifully written in spare yet stirring language. The tender look at the changes from arrogance to grateful loving is perfectly delineated. Ibatoullines lovely sepia-toned gouache illustrations and beautifully rendered color plates are exquisite. An ever-so-marvelous tale.” a starred review from School Library Journal
These two books are for young people, but older readers and adults will find these fantasy tales charming, and delightful. I know I did! And one I haven’t read, but I enjoy all his work for older readers is:
The Wolves in the Wallsby Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean: “Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s picture book The Wolves in the Walls is terrifying. Sure, the story is fairytale-like and presented in a jaunty, casually nonsensical way, but it is absolutely the stuff of nightmares. Lucy hears wolves hustling, bustling, crinkling, and crackling in the walls of the old house where her family lives, but no one believes her. Her mother says it’s mice, her brother says bats, and her father says what everyone seems to say, “If the wolves come out of the walls, it’s all over.” Lucy remains convinced, as is her beloved pig-puppet, and her worst fears are confirmed when the wolves actually do come out of the walls.” Amazon.com
The Book of Three (Prydain Chronicles) (Black Cauldron series) by Lloyd Alexander: “The tale of Taran, assistant pig keeper, has been entertaining young readers for generations. Set in the mythical land of Prydain (which bears a more than passing resemblance to Wales), Lloyd Alexander’s book draws together the elements of the hero’s journey from unformed boy to courageous young man. Taran grumbles with frustration at home in the hamlet Caer Dallben; he yearns to go into battle like his hero, Prince Gwydion. Before the story is over, he has met his hero and fought the evil leader who threatens the peace of Prydain: the Horned King.” Amazon.com
My oldest read these 6 books in the series more times than I can count, and eventually we got her a lovely hardcover set, which she still (at 19) keeps out, and I think secretly reads. She had me read them to her: even though she’d already read them – she wanted to share them with me. They are enjoyable, and a bit easier on the reader than the Lord of the Rings trilogy and less allegorical than the Chronicles of Narnia.
Things Not Seenby Andrew Clements: “Teens, especially those not in the über-popular set, know all about feeling invisible. But what would happen if you actually did wake up invisible one day? Fifteen-year-old Bobby is faced with this curious predicament in Andrew Clements’s compelling novel Things Not Seen. Doing his best to adapt, Bobby informs his parents and grows more and more frustrated as they try to control his (unseen) life. Attempting to take matters in his own hands, he ventures out–naked–to the library, where he meets a blind girl who becomes a natural confidant. The ensuing drama, involving a nationwide search for other invisible people and a break-in to the computer database at Sears, Roebuck legal department headquarters (‘News flash: Invisible people make excellent spies and thieves’) is authentic enough in detail to allow readers to overlook the nuttiness of it all. Teens will identify with Bobby’s experience of being essentially invisible. Highly recommended.” Amazon.com
This one I haven’t personally read, but his books are popular and the story-line is great – something all kids can identify with, if not actually dream of…
Among the Hidden (The Shadow Children) by Margaret Peterson Haddix: “Born third at a time when having more than two children per family is illegal and subject to seizure and punishment by the Population Police, Luke has spent all of his 12 years in hiding. His parents disobeyed once by having him and are determined not to do anything unlawful again. At first the woods around his family’s farm are thick enough to conceal him when he plays and works outdoors, but when the government develops some of that land for housing, his world narrows to just the attic. Gazing through an air vent at new homes, he spies a child’s face at a window after the family of four has already left for the day. Is it possible that he is not the only hidden child? Answering this question brings Luke greater danger than he has ever faced before, but also greater possibilities for some kind of life outside of the attic. This is a near future of shortages and deprivation where widespread famines have led to a totalitarian government that controls all aspects of its citizens’ lives. When the boy secretly ventures outside the attic and meets the girl in the neighboring house, he learns that expressing divergent opinions openly can lead to tragedy. To what extent is he willing to defy the government in order to have a life worth living? As in Haddix’s Running Out of Time (S & S, 1995), the loss of free will is the fundamental theme of an exciting and compelling story of one young person defying authority and the odds to make a difference. Readers will be captivated by Luke’s predicament and his reactions to it.” School Library Journal
This is one my oldest daughter (along with the rest of the series) absolutely loved. We have a nice boxed set, so it’s one of the “treasured” ones.
Gathering Blueby Lois Lowry: “After conjuring the pitfalls of a technologically advanced society in The Giver, Lowry looks toward a different type of future to create this dark, prophetic tale with a strong medieval flavor. Having suffered numerous unnamed disasters (aka, the Ruin), civilization has regressed to a primitive, technology-free state; an opening author’s note describes a society in which ‘disorder, savagery, and self-interest’ rule. Kira, a crippled young weaver, has been raised and taught her craft by her mother, after her father was allegedly killed by ‘beasts.’ When her mother dies, Kira fears that she will be cast out of the village. Instead, the society’s Council of Guardians installs her as caretaker of the Singer’s robe, a precious ceremonial garment depicting the history of the world and used at the annual Gathering. She moves to the Council Edifice, a gothic-style structure, one of the few to survive the Ruin. The edifice and other settings, such as the Fen, the village ghetto, and the small plot where Annabella (an elder weaver who mentors Kira after her mother’s death) lives are especially well drawn, and the characterizations of Kira and the other artists who cohabit the stone residence are the novel’s greatest strength. But the narrative hammers at the theme of the imprisoned artist. And readers may well predict where several important plot threads are headed (e.g., the role of Kira’s Guardian, Jamison; her father’s disappearance), while larger issues, such as the society’s downfall, are left to readers’ imaginations.” Publisher’s Weekly
This one is supposedly a “companion” volume to The Giver, discussed in a previous post, but actually is completely a stand-alone book, but delves into some of the same issues, but with a totally different setting. Recommended, as are all her books.
Coralineby Neil Gaiman: “British novelist Gaiman (American Gods; Stardust) and his long-time accomplice McKean (collaborators on a number of Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels as well as The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish) spin an electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons. After Coraline and her parents move into an old house, Coraline asks her mother about a mysterious locked door. Her mother unlocks it to reveal that it leads nowhere: ‘When they turned the house into flats, they simply bricked it up,’ her mother explains. But something about the door attracts the girl, and when she later unlocks it herself, the bricks have disappeared. Through the door, she travels a dark corridor (which smells ‘like something very old and very slow’) into a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. ‘I’m your other mother,’ announces a woman who looks like Coraline’s mother, except ‘her eyes were big black buttons.’ Coraline eventually makes it back to her real home only to find that her parents are missing–they’re trapped in the shadowy other world, of course, and it’s up to their scrappy daughter to save them. Gaiman twines his taut tale with a menacing tone and crisp prose fraught with memorable imagery (‘Her other mother’s hand scuttled off Coraline’s shoulder like a frightened spider’), yet keeps the narrative just this side of terrifying. The imagery adds layers of psychological complexity (the button eyes of the characters in the other world vs. the heroine’s increasing ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not; elements of Coraline’s dreams that inform her waking decisions). McKean’s scratchy, angular drawings, reminiscent of Victorian etchings, add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster.” Publisher’s Weekly
I adore Gaiman’s fiction for adults – his Nevermoresimply blew me away – but this one is for the young ones, and about time. It’s rare that SciFi authors write for youth, and there should be more out there. To balance out the fantasy, and give more, and better, representation of SciFi for young readers – after all, many scientist and astronauts, etc., have said that reading SciFi as a youth set them on the path they are now on.
Running Out of Timeby Margaret Peterson Haddix: “This absorbing novel develops an unusual premise into the gripping story of a young girl’s efforts to save her family and friends from a deadly disease. Jessie Keyser, 13, believes that the year is 1840. In truth, she and her family, along with a small group of others, live in a reconstructed village viewed by unseen modern tourists and used as an experimental site by unethical scientists. Jessie discovers the truth when her mother asks her to leave the village and seek medical help for the diptheria epidemic that has struck the children of the community. Jessie must cope with the shock of her discovery; her unfamiliarity with everyday phenomena such as cars, telephones, and television; and the unscrupulous men who are manipulating the villagers. The action moves swiftly, with plenty of suspense, and readers will be eager to discover how Jessie overcomes the obstacles that stand in her way. While she is ultimately successful, the ending is not entirely a happy one, for several children have died and others are placed in foster care to await resolution of the complex situation. This realistically ambiguous ending reflects the author’s overall success in making her story, however far-fetched, convincing and compelling. Haddix also handles characterization well; even secondary characters who are somewhat sketchily drawn never descend into stereotype. This book will appeal to fans of time-travel or historical novels as well as those who prefer realistic contemporary fiction, all of whom will look forward to more stories from this intriguing new author.” School Library Journal
My oldest daughter really enjoyed this one, although my younger one hasn’t read it yet. It’s interesting to see, how within the same genre, each likes her own books. The oldest likes more conceptual stuff, the younger, more animal books (like The Sight) and adventure stories.
The Akhenaten Adventure (The Children of the Lamp) by P.B. Kerr: “You can tell from the very first page that P. B. Kerr had great fun writing his novel, The Akhenaten Adventure. The way the author introduces his cleverly named characters, the atmospheric setting, the fun tone of his narration–all indicate that a hugely entertaining story is in store. The first installment of his Children of the Lamp sequence is set firmly in the present day, but it soon breaks away and encompasses several wonderfully colorful parts of the globe, England and Egypt included.
John and Philippa Gaunt, two twelve-year-old not-very-identical twins, live a privileged life on the Upper East of Manhattan with their wealthy parents and two curiously-mannered Rottweilers named Alan and Neil. The twins realize there’s something amiss with their world when a string of strange things begin to happen after their wisdom teeth are extracted–they dream the same dreams, become stronger, their zits clear up, and wishes wished in their presence inexplicably come true. And, when their estranged Uncle Nimrod asks them to come to England for the summer during one such shared dream, the discovery of their destiny is set in motion.
John and Phillippa discover that they are descended from a long line of Djinn, have great inherent powers. They must call on these powers a lot sooner than they anticipated, though, because the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten is not as dead as history has so far declared and his legion of seventy magical djinn could tip the balance of power in the magical realm and affect the whole world order.
P.B. Kerr, under his given name Philip Kerr, is the author of several bestselling thrillers for adult readers. His debut novel for children is a slick, zeitgeisty fantasy adventure that is sure to win him a new raft of fans. The Blue Djinn of Babylon is next up for those who get hooked. ” Amazon.com
Now I have read Kerr’s adult works, some of which as I recall are virus thrillers, one of my favorite sub-genres. And I know my youngest enjoyed this one recently, at around age 12-13, but younger, mature readers should have no problem with it.
Operation Red Jericho(The Guild of Specialists) by Joshua Mowll: “Excerpts from 15-year-old Becca’s diary interspersed with third-person narrative combine to produce a tale of high adventure, intrigue, and science fiction along the China coast in 1920. Following their parents’ mysterious disappearance in the remote Sinkiang region, Becca and her younger brother, Doug, are sent from their home in India to live with their sea-captain uncle, whose research vessel they board in Shanghai. Through their inquisitiveness and spying, they learn of a secret society that may have had something to do with their parents’ fate and of a very volatile substance called zoridium that their uncle is trying to retrieve from an evil warlord. Their curiosity leads to their capture and captivity on his island fortress–the site of a rousing showdown that sets the stage for the second volume in this trilogy. Memorable, over-the-top characters and an often unbelievable plot are united with fascinating sidebars and graphics, such as short biographies of people like Bohr and Einstein, archival photographs of old Shanghai, vintage newspaper clippings, a chart of the Morse code, diagrams of inventions, or Doug’s sketches of the action scenes. Several confidential full-color pull-outs provide detailed descriptions of the various vessels and of an ancient fighting order, the Sujing Quantou. Some readers may pore over the details in this novel; others will simply appreciate the comic adventure.” School Library Journal
This one I haven’t read yet, but the book is stunning visually, and a unique, fresh approach to the genre, and I have it in my TBR pile.
Howl’s Moving Castleby Diana Wynne Jones: “Sophie Hatter reads a great deal and soon realizes that as the eldest of three daughters she is doomed to an uninteresting future. She resigns herself to making a living as a hatter and helping her younger sisters prepare to make their fortunes. But adventure seeks her out in the shop where she sits alone, dreaming over her hats. The wicked Witch of the Waste, angered by “competition” in the area, turns her into a old woman, so she seeks refuge inside the strange moving castle of the wizard Howl. Howl, advertised by his apprentice as an eater of souls, lives a mad, frantic life trying to escape the curse the witch has placed on him, find the perfect girl of his dreams and end the contract he and his fire demon have entered. Sophie, against her best instincts and at first unaware of her own powers, falls in love. So goes this intricate, humorous and puzzling tale of fantasy and adventure which should both challenge and involve readers. Jones has created an engaging set of characters and found a new use for many of the appurtenances of fairy tales: seven league boots and invisible cloaks, among others. At times, the action becomes so complex that readers may have to go back to see what actually happened, and at the end so many loose ends have to be tied up at once that it’s dizzying. Yet Jones’ inventiveness never fails, and her conclusion is infinitely satisfying.” School Library Journal
This is one that we have enjoyed in all its incarnations: as the book, as Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece from Studio Ghibli, and by the picture book that accompanies the movie. A Best Bet!
A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones: “High-spirited time travel fantasy that is sure to delight its readers. When 11-year-old Vivian Smith is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to end up in the peaceful British countryside. Instead she is kidnapped by two youthful time travellers who mistake her for the ‘Time Lady’ and whisk her off to Time City, a richly imagined alternative world which exists in time but not in history. Time City observers, Viv learns, have reason to believe that the Time Lady, the wife of the founder of Time City, a mysterious Merlin figure, is at large in history and is busily altering it, thereby endangering not only the historical world but Time City itself. If Vivian is to return to her own world and time, it will be necessary for her to help her kidnappers foil the Time Lady first. That almost nothing whether person or incident is precisely what it appears to be at first encounter both complicates Vivian’s task and delights readers. This ability to surprise has become a Diana Wynne Jones signature, as have her unflagging inventiveness and almost uncanny ability to create imaginary worlds of resounding reality, a capacity based in part on her attention to detail and in part on her capacity to create believable and sympathetic characters. All of these gifts are in abundant evidence in A Tale of Time City which is, accordingly, absolutely first-rate entertainment. And to her fans, this will be one of the few things about her new book which will come as no surprise!” School Library Journal
This one was one of the best my oldest daughter and I read together, and that was years ago – and I still recall the book – no mean feat. I was intrigued and enjoyed it thoroughly, so much so that I plan to read it again, and also to read some of hers I have missed. For older pre-teens, teens, and adults!
Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster: “‘It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,’ Milo laments. ‘[T]here’s nothing for me to do, nowhere I’d care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing.’ This bored, bored young protagonist who can’t see the point to anything is knocked out of his glum humdrum by the sudden and curious appearance of a tollbooth in his bedroom. Since Milo has absolutely nothing better to do, he dusts off his toy car, pays the toll, and drives through. What ensues is a journey of mythic proportions, during which Milo encounters countless odd characters who are anything but dull.
Norton Juster received (and continues to receive) enormous praise for this original, witty, and oftentimes hilarious novel, first published in 1961. In an introductory ‘Appreciation’ written by Maurice Sendak for the 35th anniversary edition, he states, ‘The Phantom Tollbooth leaps, soars, and abounds in right notes all over the place, as any proper masterpiece must.’ Indeed.
As Milo heads toward Dictionopolis he meets with the Whether Man (‘for after all it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be’), passes through The Doldrums (populated by Lethargarians), and picks up a watchdog named Tock (who has a giant alarm clock for a body). The brilliant satire and double entendre intensifies in the Word Market, where after a brief scuffle with Officer Short Shrift, Milo and Tock set off toward the Mountains of Ignorance to rescue the twin Princesses, Rhyme and Reason. Anyone with an appreciation for language, irony, or Alice in Wonderland-style adventure will adore this book for years on end.” Amazon.com
This is one book that has stood the test of time. It’s fun, wildly inventive, and yet tells all sorts of “lessons” about math, english and other subjects in such a way that kids never know they are being taught something. Definitely a must-have for all bookshelves.
Dark Lord of Derkholmby Diana Wynne Jones: “On a par with Jones’s best (Charmed Life; Fire and Hemlock), this expansive novel manages to be both an affectionate send-up of the sword-and-sorcery genre and a thrilling fantasy adventure in its own right. Something is decidedly rotten in the enchantment-laden world in which teenage fledgling wizard Blade has grown up. Each year, the country’s magical agrarian economy is disrupted by the Pilgrim Parties, tourists from a world much like ours, come in search of Tolkienesque adventure. Organized by the sinister and implacably bureaucratic Mr. Chesney (‘A Dark Lord’s citadel must always be a black castle with a labyrinthine interior lit by baleful fire, you will find our specifications in the guide Mr. Addis will give you’), the Pilgrim Parties are in fact highly choreographed package tours. The local population is bullied, cajoled and paid hard cash to participate, all because of a deal struck with a demon some 40 years ago. This year’s appointee to the onerous post of Dark Lord (who must act as chief villain and tour-coordinator) is Blade’s mild-mannered father, Derk, who would far rather spend his time creating marvelous new animals (he already has flying pigs, talking horses and clever geese). When an encounter with a dragon puts Derk out of commission, Blade’s entire family, including his five griffin siblings, must help. As elaborate charades are staged for the tours, a deeper magic also emerges which (in combination with some hilariously banal legalities) offers the hope of release from Mr. Chesney’s domination. Thought-provoking and utterly engaging, this tour-de-force succeeds on numerous levels. The marvelously characterized griffins are a particularly noteworthy pleasure.” Publisher’s Weekly
This one we haven’t read yet, but it sits on the shelf, begging for time to read it. The plot sounds like the most fun you can have outside DisneyWorld (or more so!). Anything by Wynne Jones is a must-read.
Sight by David Clement-Davies: “In an epic tale of good and evil, legend and history, and the blessing and curse of an extraordinary gift of the Sight (an ability to see through others’ minds and into the future), David Clement-Davies obliges the many fans of Fire Bringer with a new fantasy novel. The Sightfeatures a Transylvanian wolf clan faced with the terrifying changes brought about by Morgra, a bitter she-wolf determined to fulfill an ancient legend in order to have supreme power over all Vargs (wolves). Young Larka, a white wolf pup born with the Sight, embarks with her brother Fell and the rest of her family on an extraordinary quest for truth and salvation, with shocking consequences that even the most astute reader may not foresee. Clement-Davies’s multilayered and elaborate plot will keep young readers riveted for hours on end, drawing on Christianity, fairy tales, and mythology in a colossal allegory and cautionary tale for its human audience.” Amazon.com
Now this is one my youngest enjoyed thoroughly – it is dog-eared from bringing it to school to read in any pocket of time she could find. She also enjoyed the sequel, The Fell.
The Great Tree of Avalon(Children of the Dark Prophecy) by T.A. Barron: “In this first installment in a new series, Barron reimagines the legendary world of Avalon as a gigantic tree, with a separate realm located on each of its seven roots and stars hanging in the unseen branches far atop its trunk. A crippling drought has brought the realm to the verge of warfare, and 17-year-old Tamwyn and his bickering companions seek the advice of the fabled Lady of the Lake. Tamwyn fears he’s the child of the Dark Prophecy, foretold centuries ago as the one who would destroy Avalon, and he wants desperately to change his destiny and save his beloved world. With its mixture of high fantasy and slapstick humor, the tale resembles Barron’s ‘The Lost Years of Merlin‘ series and Lloyd Alexander’s ‘Chronicles of Prydain’. Despite loads of goofiness and violence, the plot moves rather slowly through lengthy introductions of the large cast and descriptions of the Great Tree. While the characters and setting are interesting, this is clearly the prologue to a much longer saga: all beginning, with no middle or end. The story will appeal most to devoted fantasy readers, particularly fans of the ‘Merlin‘ series, who will recognize details from the earlier books and try to guess how the epics will converge.” School Library Journal
Although one is still in the TBR (to be read) pile, it caught my eye, and he has a good, solid reputation as an author of books for younger teens.
The Looking Glass Warsby Frank Beddor: “Frank Beddor’s imaginative tale is definitely not your grandmother’s ALICE. Herein, Wonderland is an alternate universe, the source of all creativity in our world. On Princess Alyss Heart’s seventh birthday, her Aunt Redd seizes power in a bloody takeover. Alyss escapes to Victorian England. Outstanding as always, Gerard Doyle [narrator in the Book on Tape] mirrors Alyss’s fury at the Reverend Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) when he turns her life into a silly children’s story. Doyle also delivers her desperate confusion as she begins to doubt her memories of Wonderland. Beddor’s neat twists on the original clever weaponry, innovative solutions, a host of entertaining (if groan-producing) puns, and Doyle’s use of onomatopoeia through the numerous battle sequences guarantee that listeners of all ages will enjoy this first in what promises to be a wild and wondrous trilogy.” AudioFile
Also in our TBR pile, this one is definitately one for Teens and not the younger set – more about the battles for Wonderland than the whimiscial side, it might appeal to male readers, who usually are not as interested in Fantasy books (The Sight series might appeal to them as well, as would Operation Red Jericho).
I hope you enjoyed this trip through our bookshelves. As usual, more will be forthcoming as I drag in other parents for their favorites, dig through our boxes, and write about ones I’ve seen recommended. All of the pre-teen books are “clean” and suitable for age 8 and up. The teen books, since I haven’t read some of them, esp. Twilight, might be more mature in themes, but most of them are suitable for 12 and up.
Reading is for fun people!