Tag Archives | fantasy

Where Does the Magic Come From?

In 2008, a middle-grade novel called Savvy swept numerous awards lists and was anointed with the silver medallion of Newbery runner-up. The first-time author, Ingrid Law, soon followed up with a well-received sequel (Scumble, 2010), and is certain to make a splash with Switch this September. Savvy has certain elements of a particular genre: a […]

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Lucky Strike by Bobby Pyron

Lucky Strike by Bobby Pyron. Scholastic (Arthur Levine), 2015. 263 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A “lucky” lightning strike changes a lonely boy into a celebrity, with results no one would have predicted. Nate Harlow figures he’s the unluckiest boy on the whole Gulf Coast, starting when […]

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A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic, 2014, 311 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A Snicker of Magic is the folksy tale of a girl who needs a home, but it may rely too much on “magic” as a cure-all. Felicity Juniper Pickle just wants to […]

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Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. Random House, 2015. 610 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Bottom Line: Seraphina, a half-dragon, half-human ityasaari, is desperately trying to rally her fellow ityasaari to the aid of her country, Goredd, but must first face her own personal nemesis. Three years ago, a debut fantasy novel about a young […]

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The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon

The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon. Viking, 1956. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Bottom Line: Farjeon’s classic retelling of Cinderella is a fun read and may have inspired Walt Disney himself in the making of the animated Disney version. Every now and then we remind readers of an older, out-of-print title, a niche book […]

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*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (Retro Reads)

*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. Puffin, 2002 (originally published in 1980). 128 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Bottom Line: Princess Amy, cursed with being ordinary, discovers that she quite likes being ordinary in this charming modern fairy tale. Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne of Phantasmorania (“Amy” for short) […]

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*Faerie Gold edited by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker

*Faerie Gold: Treasures from the Lands of Enchantment edited by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker. P&R, 2005. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10, ages 10-12 Recommended For: all Bottom Line: An excellent collection of literary fairy tales by classic writers, tales that are rich with Truth and the best kind of storytelling. […]

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The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Bottom Line: The Adventures of Beekle, winner of the 2015 Caldecott medal, provides a quirky but loveable look at how children acquire their “imaginary” companions. Where do imaginary friends come from? Beekle “was born […]

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The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.  272 pages Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Bottom Line: In this classic YA novel originally published in 1958, four ghosts from Revolutionary War days teach a lonely young woman about romance. Peggy Grahame, latest in an unbroken […]

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Hector Fox and the Giant Quest by Astrid Sheckels

Hector Fox and the Giant Quest (Hector and Friends) by Astrid Sheckels. FastPencil Premiere, 2014. 32 pages .  Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: ages 0-8 If only fairy tales were real! Such a wish begins this cute picture book as Hector and his friends set out in search of a giant. Detailed illustrations bring […]

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Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, 2015. 220 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up Bottom Line: In an originally unplanned prequel, readers are given the backstory for Queen Levana, a tale that mirrors the darkness of its protagonist. If the title hasn’t already triggered a fairytale memory, think of an evil stepmother […]

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