Book Reviews

Book Review: LightLand by H. L. McCutchen

McCutchenLightland

LightLand by H. L. McCutchen Recommended Ages: 11+ I don’t know anything about the author of this book except that her first name is Heather, and that Scholastic (the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series) believes in her. Now that I’ve read this book, I believe in her too. I hope she will continue to write books as interesting and touching as this. It begins with two quirky kids, best friends since they were ... Read More »

Book Review: The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon

HaydonFloatingIsland

The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon Recommended Ages: 11+ In the first of (so far) three books in a series titled “The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme,” we become acquainted with an unusual member of the dwarf-like race of the Nain. Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme is the youngest son of a family of shipwrights. Each of his older brothers has a respectable beard and the mastery of one specialized area of the ship-building business, from ... Read More »

Book Review: The Last Siege by Jonathan Stroud

StroudLastSiege

The Last Siege by Jonathan Stroud Recommended Ages: 12+ Three present-day teens are thrown together in the last defense of a medieval castle—each one lonely for a different reason. Emily is an only child whose schoolmates either pick on her or ignore her. Simon is the youngest child of a big, blue-collar, trouble-making family, who often gets picked on at home. And as for Marcus… well, he’s not even from the West Norfolk village where ... Read More »

DragonCon 2013 – My ultimate fan experience

DragonConLogo

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to represent MuggleNet at DragonCon.  For those of you who don’t know (and don’t feel bad if you’re listed among that number, I didn’t find out about the convention until this year), DragonCon is “the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!”  The convention was founded in 1987, and is held in Atlanta, GA ... Read More »

Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

AustenEmma

Emma by Jane Austen Recommended Ages: 12+ This 1815 novel is the fourth of six books by the first name in English-Regency-period romantic comedy, published only two years before its author’s death at age 42. While I found it engaging and pleasurable to read, I am glad that Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility formed my first acquaintance with Jane Austen’s work, rather than this novel. Those books are so liberally seasoned with romantic ... Read More »

Book Review: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

LeGuinLeftHand

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin Recommended Ages: 14+ Winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, this book by the author of A Wizard of Earthsea more than deserves to be in the company of such books as Stranger in a Strange Land, Dune, Foundation’s Edge, Ender’s Game, American Gods, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. It packs ... Read More »

Book Review: First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

ButcherFirstLordsFury

First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher Recommended Ages: 14+ Five books ago, Tavi of Calderon was an active, resourceful, good-naturedly trouble-prone farm boy whose prospects in life were dimmed by the fact that, unlike everyone else in Alera, he had absolutely no fury-craft—that is, no control over the spirits of air, water, wood, metal, earth, and fire. While others had these powers to a greater or lesser degree—and those with the most fury-craft tended to ... Read More »

Review: 13 Curses by Michelle Harrison

Harrison13Curses

13 Curses by Michelle Harrison Recommended Ages: 12+ In 13 Treasures, a silver bracelet strung with thirteen charms serves mainly as a link between twelve-year-old Tanya and a tragically short-lived ancestor who shared her gift, her curse: the second sight, or the ability to see faeries. But other than that, the book wasn’t really about the thirteen magical objects that gave it its name. The treasures were then little more than a talisman representing the ... Read More »

Review: The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman

ShulmanWellsBequest

The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman Recommended Ages: 12+ In The Grimm Legacy, we discovered the wonderful collection of fairy-tale artifacts housed at the New-York Circulating Material Depository: a place where, for a reasonable deposit (say, your sense of direction) you can check out seven-league boots. Now a new group of pages explores one of the Depository’s other Special Collections: the Wells Bequest—as in H. G. Wells, the author who pioneered science fiction. In a ... Read More »

Review: 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

Harrison13Treasures

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison Recommended Ages: 11+ Being able to see fairies isn’t all sparkly dust and tinkly bells. Tanya has been able to see them since she was a baby, and it’s a living nightmare for her. Her parents are fed up with what they see as serious behavioral problems. And the winged creatures that visit her on moonlit nights do not bring wonder and enchantment, but threats and punishment when she doesn’t ... Read More »