Book Review: A Land Without Magic by Stephen Elboz

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  A Land Without Magic by Stephen Elboz Kit Stixby, previously introduced in A Handful of Magic, learns that his arch-enemy Stafford Sparks – the most dangerous criminal in Britain – has escaped from prison. For his own protection, Kit is pulled out of school at Eton Magical Academy and packed off on an overseas airship trip with his best friend, Prince Henry. Lost? No wonder. This is a version of history you didn’t read about ... Read More »

Book Review: A Handful of Magic by Stephen Elboz

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A Handful of Magic by Stephen Elboz Kit Stixby lives in an alternate-history version of Victorian England. His father, Sir Charles Stixby, is the Witch Doctor to Queen Victoria herself. But when Kit gets into a bit of trouble with the queen’s favorite grandson Prince Henry – nothing much, only Henry does get bitten by a werewolf – Sir Charles falls out of favor. In fact, magic in general may be doomed, the way things ... Read More »

Book Review: Foundling by D.M. Cornish

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Foundling by D.M. Cornish Book One of Monster Blood Tattoo introduces a fantasy world imagined in such detail that it compares to The Lord of the Rings and Dune. Check it out: besides the story itself, the book contains pages of maps, diagrams and tables, and a voluminous vocabulary list with detailed definitions. All this may come in handy as you plunge right into an entirely new world, set in a vast and detailed landscape populated with strange types of ... Read More »

Book Review: I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier

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I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier The title comes from the last verse of the children’s musical game, “The Farmer in the Dell.” Nevertheless, Cormier is more of a suspense novelist for young adults than a children’s writer. This is a profoundly disturbing story, in which a lonely and vulnerable boy is led to question his memories, his identity, and even his sanity, beginning when he starts to realize that his parents haven’t been ... Read More »

Book Review: Lionboy: The Truth by Zizou Corder

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Lionboy: The Truth by Zizou Corder After escape upon escape, Charlie Ashanti has finally been reunited with his parents, the lions have returned to their native forest, and the bad guys have gotten theirs. (See Lionboy and its sequel, Lionboy: The Chase for more on what I mean.) However, Charlie and his parents aren’t entirely out of danger. The evil Corporacy is more determined than ever to control Charlie’s parents and their scientific knowledge. An embittered teen hoodlum and ... Read More »

Book Review: Lionboy: The Chase by Zizou Corder

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  Lionboy: The Chase by Zizou Corder If you have read Lionboy, the first book in the aptly named “Lionboy Trilogy,” you already know that Charlie Ashanti lives in a post-combustion-engine future and speaks the language of cats. You know that his parents are scientists on the verge of discovering a cure for asthma, and that they have been kidnapped by a sinister corporation that plans to brainwash them into working for itself. You also know ... Read More »

Book Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

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The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle It would be a shame if adults reading this review noted the “12+” age recommendation and decided this book wasn’t for them. This is a book adults may appreciate on a level only an exceptional 12-year-old can grasp. In fact, it is a book to be loved, revisited, shared, and savored in the mouth like a favorite poem read aloud, even if you read without moving your lips. ... Read More »

Book Review: Lionboy by Zizou Corder

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  Lionboy by Zizou Corder Charlie Ashanti is an interesting boy, and he lives in an interesting world. Half-English, half-Ghanaian, he also has a bit of cat blood (long story) and so, since a very early age, he speaks cat. Cats love Charlie because he speaks to them in their own language, and understand what they have to say. They also love Charlie’s parents because they are important scientists on the verge of a breakthrough ... Read More »

Book Review: Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle

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Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle Jenny Gluckstein of New York City does not seem, at first, to be a very likely heroine. In fact, the early chapters of her first-person account show her to be somewhere between pitiful and repulsive. Almost the least pleasant thing about her is the fight she puts up when her divorced mother announces she is getting remarried and moving to England to live with Evan and his two boys, and ... Read More »

Book Review: Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

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Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper The fifth and last book of the Dark Is Rising series brings back together “the six”: Great Uncle Merry and young Will Stanton, the first and last-born of the Old Ones; Bran Davies, the Welsh albino boy who is destined for great power; and the three Drew children, Simon, Jane, and Barney. With other characters old and new, the battle between the Dark and the Light rises to its final ... Read More »