I’m Back! Also Brief Book Recommendations for Younger Readers

I’ve been inactive for quite a while longer than I ever intended! Partially because I started college a while back and got busy with classes and such. I’m determined to change that, so I’ll be posting once again very soon. Nice to see you all again! In the meantime here are a few books that I really enjoyed when I was younger. Since I’m quite a bit older than I was when I read most of these, I find it very interesting to consider how my taste in books has evolved and stayed the same.

 

1195044Title: Swordbird

Author: Nancy Yi Fan

Published: February 1st, 2007

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads 

The blue jays and cardinals of Stone-Run Forest have turned against each other. According to legend, only Swordbird, son of the Great Spirit, has the power to conquer evil and restore peace to the land. But is he real or just a myth? Can Swordbird arrive in time to save the forest . . . or will it be too late?

Twelve-year-old author Nancy Yi Fan has woven a captivating tale about the birds of Stone-Run Forest and the heroism, courage, and resourcefulness in their quest for peace.

Why I liked it:

I can’t say that I remember everything about this book, but I do remember that it really inspired me. The author was only 12 when she wrote it so it made me feel encouraged to also continue writing. I think that all young writers should consider checking it out, especially if they like birds and adventure. Beyond that I loved the interactions of the birds and their quest all felt very engaging, and they were written with an undeniable passion. I can’t say for sure that I would love it as much now, but I think back on it fondly and plan to read it again at some point.

 

769483Title: Magyk

Author: Angie Sage

Published: May 11th, 2005

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads 

The first part of an enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells. Ages 9+.

The 7th son of the 7th son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby’s father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son, Septimus?

The first part of this enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells, and a yearning to uncover the mystery at the heart of this story…who is Septimus Heap?

Angie Sage writes in the tradition of great British storytellers. Her inventive fantasy is filled with humor and heart: Magyk will have readers laughing and begging for more.

Why I liked it:

I loved the magic in this and I loved Septimus. The development of the plot and the characters kept a firm hold on me during the few years that it took me to read up to Syren (book 5 of 7) which is where I stopped. Even now I am still interested to see what will happen to the characters in the last two books, so this is another series that I will probably pick up again eventually paying no mind to its status as a middle grade book.

 

159069Title: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L’engle

Published: 1962

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads 

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Why I liked it:

I’m sure that most people have heard of this one because its going to be a movie soon, but I already love it in its original form, though I do plan to watch it and it looks much much better than the 2003 adaptation (IMBD). The characters in this book are all quite wonderful. Meg is a likeable protagonist and her interactions with her love interest are very sweet and innocent. I really rooted for them to get together. Meg’s love for her younger brother Charles Wallace was also very sweet, and I adored their relationship even more than Meg and Calvin’s, which is saying a lot because I find that sibling relationships can easily seem forced or overdone, if their relationship is healthy at all. Aside from the relationships of the main characters I also loved the world building and the twists at the end. This is a middle grade book that adults and middle grade readers can both enjoy.

 

 

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Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce

 Title: Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures 

Authors: Jackson  Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater (also the illustrator)

Published: April 28th, 2015

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads

From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.
Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.

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