Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

The Lost Gate

You haven’t seen the Norse Gods like this!

lost gateIn The Lost Gate (Tor, 2011) by Orson Scott Card, Danny North doesn’t fit in to his family. Even though he’s a descendent of the gods, he doesn’t have any “godly” talents. Being very smart isn’t enough in the North family. The other kids consider him Drekka (an outsider who is less than them). Danny’s always trying to slip away from his tormentors and one day discovers himself outside the compound. But life outside isn’t going to be easy either.
Enjoy Danny’s journey to finding himself in this very good story. This book might especially appeal to teen boy readers. It’s book one of three in the Mither Mages. I’ll be definitely watching for the others when they come out.
Here’s the wonderful Orson Scott Card’s official website.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

The Timekeeper’s Moon

timekeeper's moonI got to read the ARC of Joni Sensel‘s The Timekeeper’s Moon which came out this month from Bloomsbury. It continues the story of Ariel the first Farwalker in countless generations. Is she going crazy or is the moon really talking to her? Should she follow the itch in the soles of her feet? Or is death coming for all no matter what she does?
This novel is the sequel to The Farwalker’s Quest (see my blog entry here)
Check out Joni’s FAQ on her website where she says she gets her ideas “from her sock drawer!”

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

New-to-me Author – The Humming of Numbers and The Farwalker’s Quest

HummingCoverI love it when I discover a new author with multiple books. I started with reading The Humming of Numbers (Holt, 2008) by Joni Sensel. To Aidan, living creatures hum different numbers. He doesn’t think his gift is from the devil, but since he’s a novice in Celtic Abbey, he doesn’t dare mention it. A girl is brought to the monastery for punishment. She hums eleven. Aidan is fascinated as he’s never met someone who hums of more than ten. His fascination gets him in trouble and he’s put in charge of Lana, who some accuse of being a witch. The Viking raiders come. To rescue the captives, he and Lana get caught up in a scheme which uses both of their talents. I enjoyed Joni’s story very much, and found myself wondering what number I hum. (This is a YA title.)
FWQCoverSmallThen I moved on to The Farwalker’s Quest also by Joni (Bloomsbury, 2009). In this believable fantasy world, 13-year-olds face a test to see which trade they belong to. Ariel believes she’ll become a healer liker her mother and Zeke, a Tree Singer like his father. But after she finds the telling dart and the Finders show up, Ariel fails the test and is labeled Fool. Both she and Zeke end up on an unwelcome adventure where Ariel discovers her true trade. I’m pleased to say Joni has written more in this world – The Timekeeper’s Moon comes out next March, and she’s at work on a third!
Joni (pronounced Johnny) Sensel lives near Mount Rainier in Washington state. She volunteers as Co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI Western Washington, does corporate writing, and was one of the members of the debut writers, Class of 2K7. Go to for more info.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Graveyard Book

2009 Newbery Winner
Have you read it yet?
TheGraveyardBookAn unusual premise and setting, yet author Neil Gaiman had me convinced of the world he created in The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins Publisher, 2008). He breaks one of the unwritten rules of children’s literature–start with your main character. Neil started with the villain. Well, actually he started with the weapon. Listen to this first sentence: “There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
Hey, that’s passive writing, but doesn’t it work? Aren’t you nervous about what’s going to happen? I was. And the villain is horrible, has done horrible things and is now after a baby!
I’m not going to tell you anything else, because you really ought to read it! But I will tell you Neil’s website: And his blog about receiving the award. And a link to the youtube video with Steven Cobear in case you missed any of that.
P.S. FYI – Neil’s twitter name is neilhimself.

Posted in Award Winners, So Many Good Books, YA Novels


gracelingKatsa is Graced (talented) with Killing. She’s very good at it, and her uncle King Randa takes advantage of that fact and has her deal with people who have angered him, disobeyed him, etc. Katsa hates what she is and what she does. She hates how most people won’t even look into her mismatched eyes. If it wasn’t for her few friends, and the council she started to right wrongs, how could she keep on?
Thanks, Laura M., for turning me on to Graceling (Harcourt 2008) by Kristin Cashore. I hope this well-written fantasy becomes a classic. It’s another book that I’ll be rereading.
In October this debut author has another book coming out–I can hardly wait! Check out her website for more details on the upcoming Fire and to learn more about this talented (or should I say “graced”) lady. The title of her blog/website is: This is My Secret.