Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Ogre Enchanted

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.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Spark

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!

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Shadow Magic

shadowmagic.jpgShadow 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.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

A Face Like Glass

facelikeglass.jpgafacelikeglass.jpgA 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.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Rules for Thieves

RulesforThievesRules for Thieves (Aladdin, 2017) by Alexandra Ott was a satisfying story.
For twelve-year-old Alli adoption day at the orphanage is the worst. No one wants her and she doesn’t want to be adopted either. When taken into a room with potential parents, she escapes the orphanage for the final time. Unfortunately, life on the streets does not go well and she is cursed with a spell that will eventually kill her. She meets Beck, a young thief, who not only helps her get food, but has an idea of how she can raise the money to save her life. Through Beck she may have found a home of her own with the Thieves Guild, but will she pass the trial they’ve set?
I don’t want to do spoilers, but was very pleased with the decisions Alli makes in the end.
This is author Alexandra Ott’s debut fantasy. A sequel is coming in summer 2018, which makes me happy. Alexandra is also an editorial assistant at Entangled Publishing. Read more about her on her website.

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