The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel by Susan Hill Long. Knopf, 2016, 308 pages Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-up Bottom Line: A few language cautions aside, this medieval fantasy tale illustrates some profound truths about finding oneself in the
The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion, 2016, 376 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom Line: This storyline of the series, which focuses on the now mortal god Apollo, is great in theory, but the first book is lackluster and inappropriate for younger readers.
The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice, by Andrew S. Chilton. Knopf, 2016, 279 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-15 Bottom Line: This lively tale combines a fairy-tale plot and likeable characters—even a likeable dragon—with philosophical musings. The Boy has nothing,
The Eye of Midnight by Andrew Brumbach. Delacorte, 2016, 234 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: A thrilling tale set in 1920s New York pits three children against a foe that bears an uncanny resemblance to modern-day Islamism. New York City, 1929: Cousins William and Maxine barely remember their
The Unmapped Sea (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #5) by Maryrose Wood and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. Balzer + Bray, 2015. 416 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended For: Middle grades, ages 8-12 Bottom Line: Miss Penelope Lumley starts to solve some of the Ashton Place mysteries while on holiday by the sea