Author Archives: Robbie

Book Review: So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane


So You Want to Be a Wizard—buy it by Diane Duane—her website Recommended Age: 12+ This 1983 book is the first of nine books in the Young Wizards series, which in many ways should be right up your alley (if you like Harry Potter, that is). The author is a prolific science fiction writer who has contributed a number of books to the growing list of Star Trek titles, as well as the Net Force ... Read More »

Book Review: The Cockatrice Boys by Joan Aiken


The Cockatrice Boys—buy it by Joan Aiken—her website Recommended Age: 12+ From the Wolves series, featuring Dido Twite, I had already come to regard Joan Aiken as a wonderful writer with a flair for colloquial British speech, humor, adventure, and the clash of titanic forces of good and evil. From Diana Wynne Jones’ Deep Secret I had come to regard the Starscape label as being possibly the best-kept secret in young-adult fiction. Both of these ... Read More »

Book Review: Perloo the Bold by Avi


Perloo the Bold—buy it by Avi—his website Recommended Age: 12+ The author of Tales from Dimwood Forest brings us this intriguing fantasy novel for the young. Two tribes have been at war, on and off, as far back as history remembers: the rabbit-like Montmers and the coyote-like Felbarts. Among the few Montmers who know anything about this history, is bookish, shy Perloo. But when the old Granter of the Montmers is on her deathbed, she ... Read More »

Book Review: Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz


Snakehead—buy it by Anthony Horowitz—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Alex Rider, Britain’s leading fourteen-year-old spy—more or less James Bond with zits—has survived a lot in only a few fast-paced months. He has been gunned down by an assassin and lived to tell. He has blown up a luxury hotel in outer space. He has even survived a feature-film adaptation that flopped at the box office. And now, in his seventh action-filled adventure, Alex has splashed ... Read More »

Book Review: The Eye of the Forest by P. B. Kerr


The Eye of the Forest—buy it by P. B. Kerr—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Book Five of “Children of the Lamp” continues the series’ ABC-order sequence of titles. Brought to you by the letter E, it’s such a fun book that you’ll hope the pattern holds through all 26 letters of the alphabet. In this installment, teenage djinn twins John and Philippa Gaunt visit the moist, mysterious rain forest of the Peruvian Amazon, together with ... Read More »

Book Review: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima


The Exiled Queen—buy it by Cinda Williams Chima—her website Recommended Ages: 13+ In Book Two of the “Seven Realms” quartet, the author of The Warrior Heir and its sequels continues to amaze with her ability to keep a large-scale piece of world-building interesting, convincing, and hopping with action. This installment takes us out of the Queendom of the Fells and shows us more of the seven realms, particularly the Academy of Oden’s Ford—a sort of ... Read More »

Book Review: The Rose and the Ring by W. M. Thackeray


The Rose and the Ring—read it online by William Makepeace Thackeray—wiki him Recommended Ages: 10+ This hilarious fairy-tale spoof was written as a “fireside pantomime,” to amuse a group of English children between Christmas and New Year while staying in an unnamed European city. Moreover, it was published under the pseudonym “Michael Angelo Titmarsh,” if you please. Today’s American children might not understand what’s so funny about that name, let alone what a pantomime is ... Read More »

Book Review: Plugged by Eoin Colfer


Plugged—buy it by Eoin Colfer—website Recommended Ages: 14+ What happens when an author best known for his young adult fantasy novels pens an adult novel about crime, violence, and hair implants? Sheer mayhem! That’s what happens when a former Irish Army sergeant, turned bouncer at a gambling den in the sleepy town of Cloisters, New Jersey, stumbles into the business of an unlicensed plastic surgeon, a small-time gangster named “Irish Mike,” and a dirty lawyer ... Read More »

Book Review: Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher


Cursor’s Fury—buy it by Jim Butcher—website Recommended Ages: 14+ In this third book of the “Codex Alera” series, you finally find out what main character Tavi’s name is short for. If you’ve been reading with your thinking cap on, it might not be so much a surprise as a thrill of the “At last, it’s out in the open!” variety. Except that it isn’t really out in the open, yet. By the end of this ... Read More »

Book Review: The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs


The Face in the Frost—buy it by John Bellairs Recommended Ages: 12+ John Bellairs (1938-91) specialized in writing spooky tales of the mysterious and macabre for younger readers. One of the most mysterious and macabre things about him is the fact that he went on writing them after his death. It turns out that four of his books were completed by Brad Strickland based on sketches left unrealized at the author’s death; Strickland then went ... Read More »