Review: If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch

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If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late—buy it by Pseudonymous Bosch—his website Recommended Ages: 10+ This sequel to The Name of This Book Is Secret features a recipe for roast villain, instructions for a magic trick, an explanation for why you can hear voices across a lake at dawn or dusk, and an interview with the author, by the author—and that’s just the appendix! The remainder of the book, in chapters numbered backward like a ... Read More »

Review: Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

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Friday Brown – Buy it   (aka Friday Never Leaving) by Vikki Wakefield – her website Recommended Ages – 14+ This review was cross posted to Hot Key Books blog for UK Independent Booksellers Week 2013. FRIDAY BROWN is a heartrending new novel by Vikki Wakefield. From the very first page, Friday grabbed me by the hand and pulled me along on the whirlwind tsunami of her journey – a definite contender for favourite book of ... Read More »

Review: Tales from the Hood by Michael Buckley

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Tales from the Hood—buy it by Michael Buckley—website for The Sisters Grimm Recommended Ages: 10+ The sixth book in the “Sisters Grimm” series features another “fractured fairy-tale” to delight middle-grade readers. Sabrina and Daphne go through a lot in this installment. While Sabrina finds herself reaching the age where she can’t help worrying about how she looks, Daphne suddenly—and, to Sabrina, irritatingly—takes to imitating her older sister. But Daphne’s trust in Sabrina will take a ... Read More »

Theater Review: ‘The Moment of Truth’ starring Bonnie Wright

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The revival of little known plays by highly regarded playwrights is always an interesting affair. On the one hand, it is great to blow away the cobwebs and bring back to life old texts whilst on the other, is the wonder as to whether there was a reason the play never took off in the first place. For Peter Ustinov’s The Moment of Truth, last produced professionally in 1951, the latter doubt isn’t an issue. Exploring warfare ... Read More »

Book Review: The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

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The Gray Wolf Throne—buy it by Cinda Williams Chima—her website—my interview with her Recommended Ages: 14+ In The Demon King, the author of the “Heir Chronicles” introduced a marvelous fantasy country in which the powers and interests of three groups—the noble families of the lowland Valefolk, the craftsmen and warriors of the upland Clans, and the Council of Wizards descended from a race of foreign invaders—are held in a delicate balance by the line of ... Read More »

Review: The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

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The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group—buy it by Catherine Jinks—her website Recommended Ages: 13+ Thirteen-year-old Toby Vandevelde falls asleep in bed one full-moonlit night, and wakes up the next day in an MRI machine. Nobody, least of all Toby himself, can explain how or why he turned up naked in the dingo pen at a suburban Sydney zoo. His mother suspects epilepsy, until a pediatrician rules that out. The only explanation anybody has to offer is ... Read More »

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – buy it by Matthew Quick – his website Recommended Ages – 15+ How would you spend your birthday if you knew it was your last? Matthew Quick, author of Silver Linings Playbook, introduces us to social outcast Leonard Peacock in this heart in your throat young adult novel. Self-confessed weirdo and terminally sad, Leonard is an eighteen year old high school senior, completely disillusioned with the promise of growing up. ... Read More »

Review: The Empire of Gut and Bone by M. T. Anderson

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The Empire of Gut and Bone—buy it by M. T. Anderson—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ In The Game of Sunken Places, best friends Brian and Gregory learned that the destiny of Earth is tied up in a game played by two humans in every generation, representing two pointy-eared races with very different ideas about what to do with the planet. The elfin Norumbegans would peacefully coexist with mankind; the alien Thusser intend to invade, conquer, ... Read More »

Review: Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud

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Ptolemy’s Gate—buy it by Jonathan Stroud—his website Recommended Ages: 13+ In Book 3 of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, a seventeen-year-old magician named Nathaniel, though he calls himself John Mandrake, has clawed his way nearly to the top of a world of (sometimes literally) backstabbing ambition. It’s an alternate-history version of present-day Britain, where magicians are the ruling class and the non-magical “commoners” toil in conditions not far above slavery. It’s a government founded on the summoning ... Read More »

Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

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Cold Days—buy it by Jim Butcher—his website Recommended Ages: 14+ Book 14 of “The Dresden Files” follows up on Chicago-based wizard/detective Harry Dresden’s apparent death in Changes and post-death experiences in Ghost Story. If you haven’t read those books yet, I’ve already spoiled that much; to say anything about this book, I’ll have to spoil a lot more. It’s too late to pull out now, so here goes: Dresden lives! Can I avoid spoilers by ... Read More »