Set on Wilneff Island in Nova Scotia, Molly Knox Ostertag’s graphic novel The Girl from the Sea revolves around the life of fifteen-year-old Morgan Kwon.  Morgan likes to keep her life tucked neatly into boxes, but she finds that plan unraveling when she meets Keltie. Keltie brings a sort of wild, chaotic, fairy-tale magic to Morgan’s otherwise grounded life. Keltie is a selkie, a seal who transforms into a human to walk on land for a period of time.  It is Morgan’s kiss that provides the magic for the transformation. But Morgan wants to keep that part of her life hidden from her friends Serena, Lizzie,Read More →

Readers of the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend and the Starfell series by Dominique Valente will likely enjoy The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder. This fantastical tale features the young Emily Featherhaugh, whose mother’s idiosyncrasies turn Emily into a “human firework of foot-stamping rage” (2). Emily was shamed at school and accused of living like trash after helping her mother retrieve “important art materials” from the dumpster.  Even the City Council receives complaints that Maeve Connolly is a “crazy Irish art woman who makes noise at all hours” (2). But when her mom receives a special delivery– a heavy, khaki-colored envelope from a giant carryingRead More →

Sheltered on a remote island and taught to think that the rest of the world has been destroyed by swelling tides and rising temperatures due to the effects of global warming and selfish, greedy people, Moss lives a nearly idyllic existence with her Pa and their dogs, Jess and Adder. On Flower Island, Pa experiments with magic since the storm-flowers that grow there have healing properties and their petals are capable of engendering a buzz of relaxation, happiness, and queasy-strange feelings—even hallucinations.  When Pa is “flower-struck,” his thinking buzzed, he dances and tells stories.  In this hopeful and happy state, he pushes healing pollen toRead More →

After their mother’s death, fifth grader Piper Meyer is focused on taking care of her father and monitoring his diet for healthy choices, while her sister, seventh grader Megan Meyer, is simply trying to survive junior high school in a new location.  Since their recent move from Colorado to Scottsdale, Arizona, Megan, whose passion is math equations and science, is hoping to transform from meek to chic. With this clean slate opportunity, Megan would rather be known as Miss Impressive or the Fun Meister than Miss Science Fair or the girl with minimal boobage who snorts when she laughs. However, being popular comes more easily forRead More →

Forced to kill or die, Archer Aurontas has a history of horror as a cage fighter for the impressors.  Wishing to be whole again, he looks to Sefia, a girl who is focused, determined, and daring.  The daughter of Lon and Mareah who were hoping to shape the future, Sefia is known as the traitors’ child and as a girl whose life is illuminated by magic. Hoping to atone for what Sefia sees as the sins of her parents, people who helped to set in motion the prophesy for the Red War, Sefia steals the Guard’s greatest weapon, a weapon of paper and ink.  ThisRead More →

Two young people, one twelve and the other only thirteen, aspire to change the world. Hobson Smythe is muir, an ordinary human from a remote settlement called Dusk where everything is “cold and dull, a tiny outpost smothered in snow and pine needles” (106).  Hazel Faeregine is mehrùn, a magical being who has lived her entire life sheltered from hardship in Impyria, where everything is “an explosion of colors and sound, swift riptides of people and money” (106).   Despite their different backgrounds, both Hob and Hazel wish to matter, to make a difference, and to fight the injustices they see. Hazel’s family has ruled theRead More →

   What  would it be like to lose both of your parents and then to live under the guardianship of a greedy, conniving, and cold-hearted aunt and uncle who threaten to uproot you from the familiarity of place?   Barbara Mariconda answers those questions in The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons, the first installment in a trilogy of middle grade fantasy novels.  Set in 1906 New England, Voyage is not only a fantasy, adventure story featuring lore and legends of the sea but also the tale of Lucille Prudence Simmons and her family’s house—her father’s “ship on shore” that turns out to be both menacing andRead More →