Tag Archives: Young Adult

Review: The Rope Trick by Lloyd Alexander

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The Rope Trick by Lloyd Alexander Recommended Ages: 11+ “Lidi was not easy to ignore, especially when flame shot out of her fingertips. Also, she had an attractive smile.” A book that begins with a pair of sentences like this is off to a strong start. There’s even more to say about it if it comes to an ending as mindblowing and intense as this book does. If, in between a strong start and a ... Read More »

Review: The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson

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The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson Recommended Ages: 13+ A few pages into this book by the author of The Tears of the Salamander, I decided that Peter Dickinson is probably the best writer living today. Given that I have only read these two of his fifty-odd books, that may come across as a hasty judgment. But I haven’t forgotten that Tears was the best book I read in 2005, and I don’t plan to forget ... 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: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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The False Prince—buy it by Jennifer A. Nielsen—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ The kingdom of Carthya is in trouble. Its king and queen, together with their eldest son, have been poisoned. The younger of the two princes was lost at sea four years ago, presumed dead. Its borders are lined with the armies of neighboring countries, hungry for the land’s rich resources. Once the noblemen begin squabbling over succession to the throne, the resulting civil ... 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: 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: The Suburb Beyond the Stars by M. T. Anderson

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The Suburb Beyond the Stars—buy it by M. T. Anderson—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Several years ago, during a visit to New York City’s Books of Wonder, I picked up a copy of The Game of Sunken Places, by this author I had never heard of, and thought it was great. And though I’ve read a number of his other books, it was only quite recently that I found out that the above title is ... Read More »

Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations—buy it by Charles Dickens—Wiki him Recommended Ages: 13+ There was a time in the British Commonwealth when crimes that would formerly have been punished by death were commuted to a sentence of “transportation.” This is to say, the convicted criminals were packed into prison-ships and banished to Australia, to become forced colonists. There they led such a hard life that only the toughest succeeded—but even the most successful colonials would have gone home ... Read More »