Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
I love how Story Magic (Jolly Fish Press, 2020) by Laurel Gale dives right into a magical world where stories are magic.
Kaya A’Dor isn’t supposed to know anything about the listeners and the magic they will do if you tell them a good enough story. But she’s learned enough from her older brother Hob to attempt a story herself despite it being forbidden to girls and women. When Hob is taken prisoner, Kaya’s sure it is her fault and she has to save him. Will she survive the dangers of her journey? Especially since it will require more story magic?
This story is a page turner. And isn’t that a lovely cover?
Read about Laurel here where you can also see pictures of animals she’s taken.
I recommended Laurel’s other books too: Dead Boy and Monster, Human, Other.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
If you’ve read Newbery Honor Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, you’ll know you’re in for a treat with Ogre Enchanted (Harper, 2018). (And if you haven’t read Ella, you should.)
This is a gender reversed Beauty and the Beast inspired story. Read more what the author has to say about that here.
Fifteen-year-old Evie is enchanted when she turns down a marriage proposal from her best friend, Wormy. Now she has 62 days to accept a new marriage proposal or remain an ogre for ever. What will all her patients do?
The book is funny and keeps one guessing. Is that tingle because Evie the ogre loves the guy or that she thinks he’ll taste good? The countdown of days adds to the tension.
Read about Gail Carson Levine here and check out her other books here.
For Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, I’ve got a fantasy, Spark (Clarion Books, 2019) by Sarah Beth Durst, to recommend.
Quiet twelve-year-old Mina is anxiously waiting for her egg to hatch and find out which storm beast she’ll have. Will it be a rain, wind, or sun beast? Everyone knows she doesn’t have the temperament for a lightening beast. But when Pixit hatches everyone is surprised at the creature Mina is bonded with. Maybe she’s not meant to be a guardian. When Mina learns that their wonderful life in Alorria is hurting others, she has to decide whether to tell the truth or not.
I love that this novel shows quiet girls can be heroes too!
Sarah writes for kids, teens, and adults. Check out her website here where you can discover she’s authored 19 books!
Shadow Magic (Disney Hyperion, 2016) by Joshua Khan is fantasy told from two viewpoints. We have twelve-year-old Thorn, the outlaw peasant who was purchased from a slaver to become the executioner’s squire, and thirteen-year-old Lily (Lilith Shadow) who is now the ruler of Castle Gloom and Gehenna, the land of the dead. Thorn just wants to escape and find his father. Lily would like to escape her onerous duties. How can she be a successful ruler when girls are forbidden to do the magic that members of her family have done for ages?
These two are drawn together over their dislike of Gabriel, who Lily is pledged to marry. Secret passages, assassins, a puppy named Custard, zombies, and a giant bat named Hades all have their roles in this fantasy. What’s not to like?
I was pleased to discover this was book 1 in a trilogy. Dream Magic came out in 2017 and Burning Magic comes out in 2018.
Read more about the books and the author here.
A Face Like Glass (Amulet Books, 2017) by Frances Hardinge is set in a believable, yet very unique underground city of Caverna.
Neverfell doesn’t remember anything before she was five when she ended up living and working with Cheesemaster Grandible as his cheese making apprentice. Her master makes her wear a mask whenever she meets anyone, which doesn’t happen very often as she’s never let outside his tunnels. At twelvish, Neverfell assumes the mask is because she’s so ugly. But when Neverfell goes out into the city itself, others think her face is terrifying, but for a reason she could never imagine. Will Neverfell be able to solve the mystery of where she came from?
If you like middle grade fantasy, you should read this book.
The cover on the left is the cover of the book I read. The cover on the right is the UK version, which I like better. The book originally came out in 2012.
Author Frances Hardinge has written a number of other books. You can read about them in her library. Her bio made me laugh. She likes wearing black hats as you can see here.