Monday, July 27, 2015

July Fantasy Fiction

I do love me some fantasy fiction!  I found this new one on Netgalley, although according to it's publication date, it came out last year.  Oh well, I just found it this week and it's going to make a great addition to our elementary school library.  It's called "The Red Sun" by Alane Adams.  It starts off with a mom and a dad who are really excited to welcome their first child.  At first, I thought I was reading a grown ups book, but that changes with the first chapter.  Sam is a regular kid who likes video games, burgers, and his friends but has a hard time controlling his temper.  He's gotten in trouble for fighting and is trying to figure out ways to channel his anger.  Some pretty weird things happen, like his favorite teacher is out one day and the substitute is really strange.  And then he meets a boy named Leo who says it's his job to protect Sam.  It turns out that Sam is a son of Odin, the Norse God and his mom is a witch and has been hidden by his parents to protect him.  Now that Sam is old enough to come into his powers, people are looking for him and not really in a good way.  Sam goes on a quest to set things right and it's full of exciting events, scary beasts, new friends, and startling discoveries.  I liked this one a lot.  Here's a book trailer for it.

The second one I read is a creepy one.  It's called "A Curious Tale of the In-Between" by Lauren DeStefano.  She says in the beginning of the book that she was inspired to write the story after a conversation with one of her cousins during a time of great loss.  The story itself has a very old fashioned feel to it.  It's about a girl named Pram who lives with her two aunts because her mother died just before Pram was born.  It seems like kind of a horrible place to start the story, but there it is. Pram is exceptional because she can see and talk to ghosts and they can talk back to her.  Her two aunts run a nursing home and so Pram grows up with out going to school (her aunts home school her) and with out any friends her age.  A city official comes one day and decides that Pram really ought to go to school and so she does.  At school, she meets a boy named Clarence that she comes to know and trust.  It turns out he's also dealing with a big loss, his mother died  and he misses her terribly.  He believes that her ghost is still at his house and he wants to talk to her.  They go to see a woman named Lady Savant who says she can talk to ghosts.  Lady Savant notices Pram and then things get REALLY scary.  If you like creepy ghost stories (like "The Graveyard book" by Neil Gaiman), then this one is definitely for you.  Although it says this book is targeted toward kids in middle grades, I think it would definitely be a book for at least middle schoolers because some of the things that happen (like suicide and an apparent lobotomy) are not really conversations I would like to have with my elementary school students.  

The third one I read is funny, adventurous, and a little mysterious.  It's called "Milo Speck, Accidental Agent" by Linda Urban.  It's about a boy named Milo, who leads a pretty ordinary life.  His mom left the family a while back and his dad travels a lot for work, so he's left at home with "Grandmother" who isn't really his grandmother but a babysitter who believes that he should do chores.  So one day, he's working on the laundry and he gets sucked through the dryer into Ogregon, land of the ogres.  It turns out that ogres really like to eat boys (which is their word for all kids, because they don't see well enough to differentiate).  Milo tries to escape and finds many odd things, including his dad's boss, his dad, giant turkeys, an evil scientist, and other kids who have also ended up in Ogregon.  This is a great story and I think the kids are going to love it.  I know I did.  Here's a book trailer for it.  

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