Fans of Alice Hoffman’s Nightbird or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will likely enjoy Temre Beltz’s new tweens novel, The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom with its fractured fairy tale elements, its message that words matter, and its invitation to believe in magic. Set in Wanderly, a kingdom that lives “by the book,” Birdie Bloom is a Tragical, an orphan sentenced to live out her days at Foulweather’s Home for the Tragical, “a house full of bad endings” (16).  The children living here have been brainwashed by Mistress Octavia—who manages to put a damper on everything with her sinister plotting—to believe that they are nothing,Read More →

Middle-grade readers looking for an adventure story with a dash of history and a little mystery will likely enjoy A.M. Morgen’s new book The Inventors at No. 8. Set in 1828 London, Morgen’s historical fiction novel takes the reader on a treasure hunt with George, the Third Lord of Devonshire who is weighted by fear and self-doubt but has a stubborn streak; Ada Byron, a sharp, funny, and rarely humble girl who always has a plan swirling in her scientific mind; Oscar, a gifted artist who knows colors and the minerals that produce them; and Ruthie, an orangutan who has learned semaphore and can readRead More →

Almost thirteen year old Will Scarlet is the sheltered, spoiled son of Lord Shackley.  He chaffs against the rules of his father’s house, the impending threat of responsibility, and would rather run reckless through the castle playing with his childhood friends.  But his father’s been gone to war with King Richard for too long now, and trouble is brewing in England: the King’s brother, John, who’s been minding the throne while the King has been on crusade, is making his move to consolidate his power and the Shackley House and Will’s honorable uncle Geoff stand in John’s way. When the Shackley House falls, Will fleesRead More →