Set in Kyrria, where fairies, elves, ogres, unicorns, and giants live among nobles and commoners, Newbery honor author Gail Carson Levine’s newest book, Ogre Enchanted, tells the story of fifteen-year-old Evie.  Gifted in the arts of healing, Evie is the kind of healer that “knows when to just mention a remedy and when to pry open a jaw” (3).  She has also been accused by her best friend, Warwick—aka Wormy—as seeing people as patients and nothing more. When the sensitive, sweet, and trustworthy Wormy proposes marriage to Evie and the lively, intelligent, single-minded healer with a sense of humor declines, the fairy Lucinda promptly turnsRead More →

Cassie feels lost ever since her older sister Julia got pregnant. They used to be best friends, but now there’s a strange wall between them, bridged only by Julia’s baby daughter Addie. In fact, Cassie feels walled off from her parents and her friends too. So when Julia confides to Cassie that she’s leaving with Addie and invites Cassie to come along, Cassie grabs some clothes and hops in the car. Will running away cause more problems, or can they finally find their way to perfect? This story resembles its cover – peaceful, slow, gentle, beautiful. It is the unfolding of a relationship between sisters,Read More →

October has been designated as National Bullying Prevention Month. While we should always focus on the prevention of bullying, this may be a good month for readers to read books to begin conversations about bullying, and You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino is a good place to start.  Through dialogue, we hopefully can dispel some of the myths and misperception about diverse cultures and identities. Intentionally chosen literature can also serve as a catalyst for sparking conversations on complex social issues like bullying, diversity, and the effects of prejudice. An activist and advocate for LGBTQ communities since 1997, Gino uses the singular-theyRead More →

Duncan and his assistant Emma – or Emma and her co-magician Duncan, depending on which you ask – are preparing to wow their classmates with their magic routine at the  school talent show. Then Duncan accidentally acquires a wand that can do…real magic! Now the local witch is after him to get it back, and she may not be the only person they need to worry about. This book alternates perspectives between Duncan and Emma in a cute if confusing way. It’s fun to realize that one or both of them is an unreliable narrator, but can be hard to remember which narrator you’re readingRead More →

Fourteen-year-old Alyce Greenliefe is witch born and pursued by witch finders.  When her mother Ellen is executed in Fordham, Essex, in 1577 for practicing witchcraft, her dying desire is that Alyce should deliver a letter to John Dee at Bankside. On her journey to that destination, Alyce is caught and confined at Bedlam Royal Hospital, as a prisoner, not a patient.  When an unknown man and woman come to liberate her, Alyce escapes, but in running for her life, she nearly collapses from malnutrition and fatigue.  Eventually, she finds herself at Cripplegate on the northern edge of London’s shopping district.  Knowing it is wrong toRead More →

Readers of Roald Dahl and Rick Riordan will likely enjoy The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes, a mixture of Mayan mythology, adventure, and magic featuring Zane Obispo and his three-legged dog Rosie.  Rosie is a half-boxer, half Dalmatian who is Zane’s best friend, loyal companion, and kindred spirit.  Together, the two explore the mesas in New Mexico, but their favorite turf is the volcano—aka the Beast—in their backyard. Thirteen-year-old Zane has one leg shorter than the other, so he walks with his warrior dragon cane, a gift from his mom to give him confidence.  Although his bum leg is a medical mystery that makes himRead More →