This is really not what quiet Eric or popular Silvia envisioned when their gifted class graduation trip was announced – and then comes the earthquake!
What’s your ‘worst field trip ever’ story?
Book info: A World Below / Wesley King. Paula Wiseman Books/ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: Trapped in Carlsbad Caverns by an earthquake, a group of eighth graders encounters people living its depths as the young teens struggle against obstacles and their own fears to reach the surface.
Routine field trip a few hours from their New Mexico town, bring some water and a snack for the short tour, simple – until the rumbles begin and the kids are separated from their teacher and chaperones!
Silvia tries to keep them together after an icy river carries them far from the Big Room, but these passageways make her claustrophobia flare up.
Quiet Eric finds himself alone in a forest of glowing mushrooms, crossing paths with a giant rat and wondering about the carved M in this “unmapped” part of the Caverns.
Trespassers in the Midnight King’s realm! And not the renegade Worms who have rejected one hundred years of tradition…
Can the classmates find their way to safety?
Why would anyone choose to live deep in the earth?
This unexpected adventure is recounted from the viewpoints of three different young people far below the surface, as well as the rescue personnel and anxious parents above ground.
Civil War with dinosaurs,
Free black orphans eluding kidnapping slavers,
Actors, mystery, adventure – and pterosaurs, too!
Visit the book website for the Rescue Run video game and ride dinos like Magdalys and Mapper did! Cool map of their New York City, too.
Which dino or ptero would you ride?
Book info: Dactyl Hill Squad / Daniel Jose Older. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Civil War, New York City, dinosaurs everywhere – everyday life for Madgalys and friends at the Colored Orphans Asylum is shattered when riots break out and kidnappers attack!
The wonderful theater for black actors is torched, the orphanage is next, so they escape on a brachyosaur, heading for the free black neighborhood across the river, and the Afro-Cuban girl discovers that she can hear and understand the dino’s thoughts!
Riding pteros to gather information, each kid’s skills will be needed as they work together with Dactyl Hill residents to rescue kidnapped orphans from the corrupt judge who’ll send them into slavery.
Who’s this Mr. Reed noted in the orphanage register?
Can Magdalys really communicate with all types of dinos?
Will she see her soldier brother again?
First in an alternative history series, with youth fighting for justice, despicable villains opposing them, and dino battle beasts on both sides of the war between slave states and freedom.
Peter Pan retold through steampunk goggles in an alternate history where only children survived a plague after the London Blitz where a ruthless German commandant hunts them as possible source for a cure.
Grandfather didn’t really teach her magic, Dragons don’t really eat lovely young ladies,
Kids can’t really go to the Otherworld or Underworld…
These are just a few of the wrong, wrong, and very wrong things that “everyone knows” in Effie’s post-Worldquake England, with its throttled-down technology and disdain for magical arts.
Perhaps she and her friends from the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled, and Strange can use the ring, spectacles, and other objects that Grandfather left to Effie in their search for answers that someone or something is trying to hide from them!
Book info: Dragon’s Green (Worldquake, book 1) / Scarlett Thomas. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] [book series website] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Magical thinking and bravery may help Effie and her school friends outwit the man who stole her grandfather’s magical library, but only the eleven-year-old herself can use his ring to travel to the Otherworld and solve the mystery of Dragon’s Green (and save the world).
Ever since the Worldquake five years ago disrupted the internets and made technology erratic (and perhaps killed Effie’s mother), grandfather Griffin has kept to himself. Of course, Effie’s father and stepmother know that magic is not real (except that it is, and Griffin had begun teaching it to Effie before his demise).
Effie learns more about the unscrupulous man who claims that Griffin’s priceless ancient books belong to him and glimpses what their true powers might be, as she begins to make friends with classmates at her unusual school.
Why are Maximilian and Wolf suddenly brave against their tyrannical teachers?
Who in the Otherworld would willingly become a dragon’s favorite meal?
How can someone be the last reader of a book?
Effie, Lexy, Raven, Maximilian, and Wolf each have to master their gift from the small bag left by Griffin – without letting the magical item master them – if their Realworld is to remain safe from the darkness of the Underworld in this first book of the Worldquake series.
Kidnapping? Already happened.
Puzzles with world-shaking answers? Did some.
Partnered with parents to save humanity? Ohhh…
Hopefully, you’ve met Noah, Wallace, Faye, Jasper, and Lucy as they investigated The Atomic Weight of Secrets (my no-spoiler review here) in early 1900s America and then traveled to Italy with them (and the mysterious men in black) to study The Ravens of Solemano (reviewed here) in the further adventures of the Young Inventors Guild.
Happy book birthday this month to The Strange Round Bird!, the conclusion of this exciting trilogy as our five amazing young people are promised a reunion with their talented parents in Egypt… but the evil Komar Romak has followed them again!
Where do you dream that adventure will take you in this world?
Book info: The Strange Round Bird, or the Poet, the King, and the Mysterious Men in Black (Young Inventors Guild, book 3) / Eden Unger Bowditch. Bancroft Press, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] [book Facebook page] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Arriving in Egypt means reuniting with their beloved parents, but evil forces are intent on preventing the Young Inventors Guild from joining them to solve a mystery which will save humanity from destruction!
An ancient manuscript holds clues about the “strange round bird” – is it the same bird from their childhood song?
Even more mysterious men in black are here in the Cairo castle with the five children and their parents – what is their true purpose?
Noah’s mother is kidnapped from the opera stage – can he rescue her without endangering their mission?
Racing through the marketplaces of Cairo, delving into mysterious secrets, seeking answers without waiting to be ‘old enough to help’ – this thrilling conclusion of The Young Inventors Guild series must overcome the ultimate evil to save the world.
If only Gracie’s family can get to the edge of the world and cross over to the The Extraordinary World, that mythical globe-shaped Earth where they can find a cure for her little brother’s illness before the Cloud takes him from them forever…
When have you seen a Dark Cloud and wondered?
Book info: My Diary From the Edge of the World / Jodi Lynn Anderson. Aladdin, 2015 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: When a Cloud comes for Gracie’s little brother, the 12 year old’s family packs up the RV and goes searching for the mythical ‘Extraordinary World’ to find a cure.
Leaving their Maine hometown, the Lockwoods (plus Oliver, recently orphaned by a Sasquatch attack) visit a witch (Gracie’s grandmother), then head west where they encounter a strange circus, gamble against a genie in Luck Town, and hire a guardian angel on the coast for the perilous voyage to the far south edge of the world.
Can’t they outrun that Dark Cloud?
Will her big sister ever stop complaining about the trip?
How far is it to a miracle?
Time-travel suits (with longlife batteries),
Science-genius buddies (with a wild streak),
Televised first time jump (with non-scientist commentator),
What could possibly go wrong?
Traveling back in time to film the world’s most important events as they happen, a jump goes wrong so Danny heads to ancient Samarkand to rescue Corbin, only to encounter an armored motor defense!
These best friends are making the most of time with attitude to spare, even if time-hopping to outsmart Roaring 20s gangsters and attend epic concerts wasn’t in their backers’ business plan. Now, if they could just fix what went wrong in their personal and family lives before they began time-tripping…
My book talk: Their time-travel suits can take them back to film important world events, but two science genius buddies find it impossible to remain mere bystanders in history.
Corbin’s marriage and family both lost out to his obsession with inventing the chronosuits, while Danny’s womanizing leaves few who’ll weep if he doesn’t make it back from time-traveling.
Transmitting live video of landmark historical events proves the chronosuits’ worth so when Corbin’s signal is lost, his best friend jumps back to rescue him in 11th century Samarkand, right into a skirmish between motorized forces!
Without the cameras on them, Drs. Quinn and Reilly have some fun with places and persons, knowing that they can time-walk away when the going gets rough. But they have left behind family issues – and bosses waiting for marketable history footage – in their own present-day.
Will these smart guys use their time-suits to repair the broken relationships in their personal pasts or get greedy helping themselves to the riches and experiences of every civilization before now?
Wait, what about the consequences of changing history – for everyone stuck in the present!?
The first four issues of the epic webcomic are published together now to give the full arc of this time-hopping buddy adventure in a single volume.
Voting is open until October 2015 and is limited to teens ages 12-18, so head to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens/ when you’ve made your final selections. You can also see individual book trailers for each title on that YALSA page; plot summaries are here.
Here’s a video introducing all 24 nominees, so you can choose more great books to read before voting:
Read, share, discuss, vote – it’s your turn to choose!
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