Her Gift arrives at age 15!
For cookery or fixing any hair, like her aunts?
Oh no! Not talking to ghosts?!
Maybe Evie will be the one Messenger in her family line who doesn’t have a psychic gift…nope! The Florida teen can see and hear and communicate with dead people!
How can that girl Tommie get into their house without Evie’s momma and stepdad hearing her?
Should Evie really kiss cute Buddy from across the street?
Wild thunderstorms, seeing dead people, and going to a new high school – what a birthday week!
Yes or no for seeing dead people yourself?
Book info: Messenger / Carol Lynch Williams. Paula Wiseman Books (Simon Schuster), 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Become the hunters, not the hunted.
Avoid the monsters, human and otherwise.
Survive without killing the human ones?
So many genetically-modified creatures are out to get Lozen, Hussein, and the others who’ve escaped from the Ones who torture for fun. Perhaps she can protect her family and friends without taking a human life…
As Killer of Enemies (my review here) in the tech-blasted future, Lozen had to obey the Ones, or her family would be killed.
Along the Trail of the Dead, Lozen’s family is larger and the dangers are immense.
Arrow of Lightning is a super wrap-up of this #ownvoices trilogy – Lozen is on my heroes list.
To save your family, what lengths would you go to?
Book info: Arrow of Lightning (Killer of Enemies, book 3) / Joseph Bruchac. Lee and Low Books, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
When Glinda was a schoolgirl
and the Brick Road didn’t shine brightly,
Oz existed, long-historied already…
Every well-known story has a “before” – before the crisis threatens, before the heroes awaken, before the epic battle.
Gabriel Gale’s Ages of Oz series brings us the “before” for Glinda the Good and other citizens of Oz, before Dorothy and Toto followed that familiar yellow brick road, as “the Royal Historian of Oz” allows another to be called “author” so these stories can be published in our world.
Look for book 2, A Dark Descent, in May 2018 as A Fiery Friendship comes out in paperback.
How do you know when a convenient alliance becomes a friendship worth fighting for?
Book info: A Fiery Friendship (Gabriel Gale’s Ages of Oz, book 1) / Lisa Fiedler, illustrated by Sebastian Giacobino. Margaret McElderry Books, 2017. [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: On her Declaration Day, Glinda’s future becomes less certain, as the Scroll doesn’t reveal her foretold occupation, her mother is imprisoned for magic by the Witch of the South, and the young teen is contacted by a secret society intent on reclaiming Oz from its four wicked rulers.
The yellow-hued land of Quadling under Asphidina is only golden for those favored by the Harvester queen, who forbids magic use by most.
Glinda can rescue her mother from Asphidina’s floristic prison – if the magic cards briefly seen have seeped into her very being.
Locasta from purple Gillikin land and Sam from another world entirely – youth joining her to fight ancient Wickedness.
Secrets uncovered will free the four lands of Oz from their bondage – if these friends survive long enough!
First in a series recounting the long-ago history of Oz, Glinda’s new friendships mingle with old prophecies, setting the stage for the Yellow Brick Road story so well-known to us. Followed by A Dark Descent.
As the river-gods sing, boats are safe on the river,
but they aren’t singing to her yet…
will they deny her?
Following in her father’s footsteps should be easy, but Caro hasn’t been Gifted yet, months and months past time. She will have to captain their boat anyway, and the dangers are more than just sandbars and river pirates now!
What has come to you later than you expected?
Book info: Song of the Current / Sarah Tolcser. Bloomsbury, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: By carrying a secret cargo aboard her family’s river wherry to a seaport, Caro hopes to save her father from unjust imprisonment, but the teen soon finds the crate in her boat’s hold is worth more than mere gold and may cost her life!
Soon, the river gods will sing in Caro’s blood, as they’ve done in all the Oresteia wherry captains in her family’s long history… long overdue, but perhaps soon.
The country’s ruler demands that a heavy crate go now to a sea island, and it falls to Caro and crewmember Fee to take it, out of the safe bends of the river, away from the pirates also seeking it, onto the too-deep ocean waters.
Forbidden to open the crate, Caro does…
Seeking assistance from her mother’s family, Caro dares…
Believing this strange young man’s outlandish story, Caro risks…
The fates of two nations collide on a quiet riverbank, as a young woman who wants only to captain her wherry must travel further than she ever dreamed and face dangers she never imagined in order to save her father’s life and find justice amid webs of political intrigue and glimmers of love. (followed by Whisper of the Tide, May 2018)
Choose either or both of these complete audiobooks during their free download time (Thursday through Wednesday, 27 July-2 Aug 2017), by clicking the link after the title. Listen whenever you wish, as long as you download during the stated time and keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Away to other times, other worlds, as you read with your ears!
As shadow weaver, Suzume’s identity changes with each illusion she crafts. Will who she truly is (and who she really loves) interfere with her quest to ensnare the Moon Prince and avenge her family’s death caused by evil stepfather?
Didn’t pass her witch assessment,
Sent to a town near the Great Wood’s untamed magic,
She knows she can do all the right spells… right?
After learning every glyph and its spell-powers from her grandmother, Arianwyn was sure the assessment machine would pass her as a witch on the first try, but no…
She didn’t expect to meet a friendly young man at the Civil Witchcraft Authority office or make a best friend right away in her assigned town – or that her archrival from witch school would arrive in that tiny town, either!
Happy US and Canadian book birthday to The Apprentice Witch! Read the first chapters here free, courtesy of the publisher. And, yes, there is a sequel on its way!
How do you work with that so-annoying, know-it-all, klutzy co-worker?
My book talk: Posted to a remote town as a lowly apprentice witch during wartime, Arianwyn must keep Lull safe from the Great Wood’s dangerous magical creatures and cope with a snobby classmate’s arrival, all while dreading her re-evaluation for full witch status.
As she and new friend Salle make the long-deserted Spellorium ready for charm-making and witchly duties, Arianwyn finds papers from the town’s last witch who vanished mysteriously, years ago.
Snotlings and the terrible hex, an odd blue feyling and the breathtaking moon hare – magical creatures from pesky to perilous fill her catalog as the young teen defends Lull.
Will she ever get every spell correct on the very first try?
Can she unravel the dark glyph haunting her sleep?
What’s wrong with rival Gimma’s spellcrafting?
Arianwyn is growing in confidence and power, but the perils of the Great Wood are also! First in series. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
An old board game comes to life,
little brother rushes in and vanishes!
All puzzles must be solved to rescue him…
Although that wooden box looks like an outdated game, the dangers of entering “the Gauntlet of Blood and Sand” are very real – but how else can Farah get Ahmad back?
True friends Alex and Essie go with her – not the birthday party that any of them expected!
How far would you go to help your best friend?
Book info: The Gauntlet / Karuna Riazi. Salaam Reads, 2017. [author Twitter] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Escaping her 12th birthday party for just a moment to open her aunt’s gift, Farah and her best friends find themselves transported from New York into an exotic board game that they must win in order to find her little brother Ahmad and to stay alive!
A good Bangladeshi girl would welcome her new classmates to the party, but Farah would rather play games with little brother Ahmad (letting him win keeps his ADHD tantrums to a minimum – a Mirza family rule).
Quietly creeping upstairs with Alex and Essie from her old neighborhood, Farah unwraps “The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand” and the ancient-looking game comes to life. Ahmad vanishes into the gameboard, just as Aunt Zohra says that it ruined her life at age 12!
Of course, Farah, Alex, and Essie must play the game to save him, but if they don’t solve each puzzle in time, none of them will escape the Gauntlet.
Who can they trust in the souk marketplace?
What otherworldly perils will the teammates face next?
How will they find Ahmad in this multi-level city made of sand?
A lifetime of playing board games may help Farah, Essie, and Alex outwit the Architect’s deadly puzzle challenges – if he doesn’t cheat! (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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.
Dad’s sudden death,
fast move to never-seen grandparents’ home – in Finland,
that man, everywhere, and the ghost bear…
Dad made sure that Tess and Axel learned Finnish from their late mother’s childhood book collection, but they weren’t at all prepared to wind up with their maternal grandparents far away in Finland, visited by its mythic spirits.
And the mysterious man who visits them on both sides of the Atlantic, the brown bear where none should be, and the ghost wheelchair that only Axel can see? Who could be ready for that?
Visit the book’s page here on publisher’s website and scroll down to read an excerpt as you begin to discover how Tess and Axel wound up in The Winter Place.
Where is the home of your heart’s memory?
Book info: The Winter Place / Alexander Yates. Atheneum, hardcover 2015, paperback 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Sent abruptly to live with never-met grandparents in Finland after Dad’s death, Tess and little brother Axel find themselves farther from their rural New York home than they could have ever imagined, as ghostly creatures continue to visit Axel and draw them both into mysterious places that could steal them from reality forever.
Mom died when Axel was tiny, so Tess is navigating her teen years with just their offbeat professor father (who jousts at the faire each summer). Losing Dad suddenly propels the siblings to Finland to live with grandparents they don’t know, yet the Keeper who visited them in the woods at home finds them in the forest there, also.
The ghostly wheelchair following Axel is truly the Hiisi of Finnish folklore, and the brown bear spotted in their backyard perhaps is Mom’s spirit wandering in search of…
Why do ghost objects keep pestering Axel?
How many times may Tess or Axel cross over that fine line between death and life?
Will they be able to help Mom’s spirit find peace?
The strangeness that follows them from Axel’s first sighting of the bear to the fortress ruins near a Finnish lake sets this mourning sister and brother on an otherworldly path that may not lead back to the mortal world.
Removing a troublesome memory
or unneeded physical attribute,
easy enough to do for Aspen’s family.
Using his ‘reach’ to steal thoughts or feelings or fears from others to keep the Cliff from falling on Grandma’s town?
Aspen sometimes can’t believe the ritual works, but the lure of snipping out someone’s memory for his own benefit is very, very hard to resist.
Go to the publisher’s website here to read an excerpt of this spooky tale (free!); the eerie paperback edition releases on June 6, 2017.
Would you reach into someone else’s memories and take one away?
Book info: Rocks Fall Everyone Dies / Lindsay Ribar. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Summer vacation in upstate New York is no holiday for Aspen, as the teen discovers that his family’s rituals for keeping the Cliff from falling on Three Peaks are more sinister than he ever imagined.
Being able to ‘reach’ into someone’s memories or passions or skills and remove one, just by touching an important object, is his family’s secret skill, but the townspeople don’t know how the things they leave at the May Day tree are used, to heal faults in the Cliff… and more.
Is family story true, about how they became bound to the Cliff which gave the gift of reach?
What if Aspen doesn’t want to help with the ritual any longer?
And that rule about ‘never steal from family’ when you reach – why?
Superstitious tokens at the May Day tree and the power to remove memories, skills, even life itself – the Cliff and this family have a long, dark history together!