Tag Archives: family

Review: The Seven Keys of Balabad by Paul Haven

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The Seven Keys of Balabad—buy it by Paul Haven Recommended Ages: 11+ Oliver Finch is an all-American boy who likes wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a New York Yankees baseball cap. But thanks to his father’s career as a journalist and his mother’s interest in archaeology, he finds himself living so far from Yankee Stadium that, in his time zone, the night games start at 5:00 the next morning. The country is Balabad, somewhere ... Read More »

Review: Dirty Magic by Carol Hughes

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Dirty Magic—buy it by Carol Hughes—about the author Recommended Ages: 12+ Joe Brooks, a boy who likes models and Monster Machine magazine, gets up in the middle of the night and finds that his bathroom door opens into a muddy plain stretching to the horizon all around. Suddenly Joe is in a strange, island world where the sun never shines, the war never ends, and the lost children who regularly appear out of nowhere never ... Read More »

Review: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

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A Tale Dark and Grimm—buy it by Adam Gidwitz—his website Recommended Ages: 11+ This book is what happens when a New York City schoolteacher stitches together nine fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to form one coherent story—while, at the same time, restoring much of the original versions’ weird, scary, and bloody bits. And although the narrator often pulls the reader aside and begs him to make sure there are no small children in the ... Read More »

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: 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 »

Review: The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

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The Kite Rider—buy it by Geraldine McCaughrean—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ It’s the 13th century. Kublai Khan has conquered China, spreading the Mongolian empire from Ukraine to Korea. His epoch-making attempt to invade Japan is about to get underway—the one that will end with Kublai’s army at the bottom of the Yellow Sea, thanks to a storm that will go down in Japanese memory as “Kamikaze” (divine wind). At that crucial point in history—to the ... Read More »

Review: The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

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The Kneebone Boy—buy it by Ellen Potter—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ The Hardscrabble children are (let’s face it) strange. Elder brother Otto never takes off the scarf he has worn since their mother disappeared, and speaks only in a private sign language understood only by his siblings. Youngest child Max is a walking encyclopedia with a head for heights. And in the middle is Lucia, the narrator (though she pretends to be anonymous), scared and ... Read More »

Review: The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

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The Woman Who Died a Lot—buy it by Jasper Fforde—his website Recommended Ages: 14+ In book 3 of the second quartet of “Thursday Next” novels, we find Swindon U.K.’s greatest literary detective facing a vast array of mid-life challenges, such as controlling the residual pain in the leg she broke in her previous adventure, not being bitter when command of the newly re-organized Spec Ops literary division is handed to a younger agent, settling into ... Read More »

Review: House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

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House of Secrets—buy it by Chris Columbus—at IMDb—at Wikipedia & Ned Vizzini—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Without screenwriter, director, and movie producer Chris Columbus, where would your childhood be? Perhaps it would be lost in a world without such films as The Goonies, Gremlins, Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and—oh, yeah!—the first two Harry Potter movies! So when the folks at HarperCollins offered ... Read More »

Review: The Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull

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Keys to the Demon Prison—buy it by Brandon Mull—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ It’s the fifth and final “Fablehaven” adventure, and the world is coming to an end. More of the world’s magical game preserves are falling to the Society of the Evening Star, which is collecting the five hidden talismans needed to open the demon prison of Zzyzx. Young Kendra and Seth Sorenson, along with their family and friends, are charged with protecting these ... Read More »