Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
The Library of Ever (Imprint, 2019) by Zeno Alexander is a blast of a read. In some ways it makes me think of the Thursday Next novels, but written for children instead of adults. Or is it a cross between that and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Prepare for robots, time machines, tardigrades, bowler hats, forces of darkness, and even a kitten.
Lenora is an unhappy rich girl and is BORED, BORED, BORED. But then her nanny takes her to the library where she escapes and discovers a secret archway into the ultimate library. She enters and a librarian tells her she’s not allowed in because she doesn’t work there. An unusual interview follows and Lenora is hired. In her work and adventures, and promotions, she discovers she must save the library.
The book was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and the exciting part is there’s a sequel, Rebel in the Library of Ever, coming out in April.
Read about the author here.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
I loved The Storm Keeper’s Island (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2018) by Catherine Doyle!
Although Fionn Boyle comes from a long line of seafarers, he fears the ocean will gulp him down. When he and his sister, Tara, go to Arranmore Island to visit their grandfather for the summer, it’s like the island itself welcomes him. Fionn hates Malachy Boyle’s house on sight and just wants to be back in their Dublin apartment with his mother. But surprisingly he likes his grandfather. Then he finds out about the magic of the Island. It will be choosing a new Storm Keeper to replace his aging grandfather. Could it be Fionn?
This is the author’s debut novel. Wow! There’s a sequel coming in July–The Lost Tide Warriors. Woo hoo!
Catherine’s own grandparents grew up on Arranmoore Island. Read more about the author here. And interestingly enough, just this week I came across this article about the Island.
The Thief of Mirrors (Capstone Young Readers, 2016) by P.D. Baccalario was a fun read set in Applecross, Scotland, well, mostly set in Applecross. There’s a trip on the Incognito Bus, a visit to the Sunken Castle, plus a puppet who talks in rhyme, and of course a villain.
Thirteen-year-old Finley McPhee has just had one of the best summers of his life until his older brother Doug ruined it. Doug’s got the scorpion key and likes Aiby Lily, the girl Finley likes. Doug says he’ll give the key back in three days, after the meeting that Finley is not invited to. But when everyone is missing, Finley has to go to the rescue.
The book was originally published in Italy in 2013. The translation was well done, except copying editing didn’t catch some errors. Turns out it is book 4 in the Enchanted Emporium series, so I’ll have to catch up on those. But the book stood alone just fine.
Here’s info about the author here.
The Cabinet of Earths (Harper 2012) by Anne Nesbet is a creepily good book. Here’s the first line: “It was his own grandmother who fed Henri-Pierre to the Cabinet of Earths, long ago when he was only four.” See what I mean about creepy? If you like fantasy, or spooky books, I think you’ll like this one.
Chapter two takes off by introducing us to Maya Davidson, a 12-year-old from California who with her family is currently in France. She’s interesting, smart and brave. Will she solve the mystery of the missing children and be able to protect her little brother from the danger facing him? Read it and find out.
Author Anne Nesbet’s website is appropriately subtitled “curious books for curious people.” There I found she has two other titles I need to check out!
A Box of Gargoyles is a sequel to The Cabinet of Earths. Yea, more Maya!
I also like this entry on Anne’s blog: Shadows and Wonders: Or, Write Your Novel Like an Eclipse. It talks about seeing differently. Her comments are not just for writing, but for life!