Saturday, December 19, 2015

Brand new titles

This week, my group voted for the titles in middle grade fiction that we wanted to move on to the next round of voting.  Five titles made it into the next round and while I'm pleased with all of the titles that got through, I AM sworn to secrecy.  All will be revealed VERY SOON.  In the meantime, I am staying FAR, FAR away from realistic fiction at the moment.  I think all of us in the group had read ENOUGH about dead parents, dead siblings, dead best friends to last for awhile.

So I'm back to Netgalley and there are some really terrific titles there that aren't out yet but will be soon.  The first one is called "The Goblin's Puzzle" by Andrew S. Chilton.  It's about three kids, a boy and two girls named Alice.  The boy doesn't have a name because he is a slave and who would bother to name a slave.  He leads a slavish existence (no pun intended but he is a slave to some not very nice people) until one day, fate intervenes.  The boy is a big believer in fate and meets a goblin who tells him if the boy helps the goblin, that the goblin will also help the boy in some very specific ways.  At the same time, Plain Alice (who is not a princess, but just regular, Plain Alice) is mistakenly kidnapped by a dragon, who is being held hostage by an evil man.  When their paths cross, it's really very witty.  There is a lot of logic involved and some really great vocabulary.  It's kind of slow going (and a little gory) at first, but I really loved the trusting hopefulness of the boy and the trickery of goblin.  I didn't like how most of the adults were complete oafs but I think that's part of what made it so funny.  I liked this one a lot.


The second one I read is called "Red" by Liesl Shurtliff.  I am a huge fan of Liesl's work and I was lucky enough to get to meet her when she came to an event here in Palm Beach County called "April is for Authors".  She came and spoke at my school and she is an amazing author and a really terrific speaker.  I'll try not to gush about how awesome I thought this book was, but it was AWESOME.  Liesl has written two other books that are fairy tale adaptations.  Her first one Rump was about Rumplestiltskin.  The second one was Jack and it was about Jack and the Beanstalk.  This one is Red and it's about Little Red Riding Hood.  Red is a character who was introduced back in Rump and she's a little scary.  In the place where these stories take place, names hold a lot of power.  Red is color of passion and anger and Red has a lot of uncontrolled magic.  Red goes to visit her grandmother and her grandmother gets sick.  Red decides to go off in search of a cure.  What's really great about this story is how Liesl weaves all these different fairy tales into one story.  There are guest appearances from Snow White and Rose Red, the Huntsman, the Wolf, Goldilocks, and a very cranky dwarf.  It's funny, exciting, and has a great message.  I loved Rump and Jack but I think this one might be the best one yet.  

The last one is non fiction (oh it is SO GOOD to read different genres!).  It's called "Our Heroes" by Janet Wilson.  It's about kids who are making a difference.  Each double page spread profiles one child.  There is large illustration plus photographs.  There is a short amount of text profiling the child and an overview of their project as well as a text box that tells more details about their project.  The stories are short enough to be intriguing and will probably inspire some research because I think kids will want to know more about some of the featured kids.  This one is going to be great in my school library because we do a unit in the spring about social issues and this one will be a great companion piece to the novels the kids usually read.  




1 comment:

  1. This year, the books were sad, but at least there was more diversity! I need to read Red, and The Goblin's puzzle was a good dose of adventure!

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