Pullman, P. (1996). The Golden Compass. NY: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers.
The Golden Compass is a fantastically written story about a fantasy world where everybody has a companion that is part of their soul, called a daemon. Their daemon is with them when they are born and stay with them until they die. This story is about a girl named Lyra, and her daemon, Pantalaimon, who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Brought up without any parents, by the scholars and people in Jordan College, she is free to explore Oxford, interacting with the other kids living there. So she and the other children are shocked, along with everyone else, when children start going missing. A rumour quickly spreads that a group called the Gobblers are kidnapping these children and taking them up North. Lyra is helpless to do anything until one day when Continue reading
Paver M. (2006). Wolf Brother. NY: HarperTrophy.
In a story that takes place six thousand years ago, Torak’s father is dead, mauled to death by a demon bear. Now twelve year old Torak is on the run, alone in the wilderness. He and his father always traveled alone, avoiding the large tribes that live in the forest. But now Torak is alone and scared. Then, a few days after his father’s death, Torak stumbles onto a wolf cub. After a quick investigation of the scene Torak sees that Wolf’s pack is dead, drowned by a flash flood. Hesitant at first, but more and more interested, Torak starts befriending the small wolf cub. And soon the two are inseparable. Traveling and hunting together. So when the demon bear that killed Torak’s father starts showing up again and murdering people and animals from other tribes, the two get caught up in a mission to defeat the evil in the land.
Wolf Brother is a fantastically written novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole journey.
Oppel, K. (1997). Silverwing. NY: Harper Collins.
Shade is a bat, he lives in a large colony and is, unfortunately, the runt; however, he is determined to prove himself by making the annual migration to Hibernaculum. During the migration however, a fierce storm kicks up and Shade is separated from his mother and the rest of the colony. Shade ends up on an island, where he meets another stranded bat name Marina. The two decide to team up and together, they set out on a journey to find Shade’s colony. The journey is fraught with danger with many near death experiences. And along the path they meet many new bats. One is a giant carnivorous vampire bat named Goth who is trying to hunt them down. But the adventure will only bring Shade and Marina closer together as the travel through the country, avoiding predators and dodging Goth the whole way. Will Shade make it to the Hibernaculum Continue reading
Meloy M. (2011). The Apothecary. NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Moving to new cities can be tough, as fourteen year old girl, Janie, knows all too well. It’s 1952 and she’s just moved to London from America with her family. She soon meets a boy name Benjamin, whose father is the local Apothecary. There is something strange about Benjamin, who talks a lot about spies and such stuff. But when Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie finds herself getting wrapped up in a mission to save him. Benjamin and Janie must search through London, following the clues left behind. This leads the two on a magical adventure from birds, to plants, Janie must let go of everything she thinks is real and embrace the magic that keeps her and Benjamin alive. But the two must hurry, Continue reading
Draper, S. (2010). Out of My Mind. NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Melody is gifted with photographic memory. She can remember everything she’s ever seen; however she can’t walk, or talk. Melody has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects people differently. In Melody’s case, she finds it difficult to move in the same way that normal people can. Moving her legs and feet is difficult and even rolling over on the floor requires a monumental effort. But because of her condition, Melody is looked down on by most adults and fellow kids at her school. Melody refuses to live like this and wants to find a way to show to the world how incredibly smart she is and how she is way more than just her condition. And with some help from a friend and her loving parents, Melody might just find a way to show to the world that Continue reading
Oppel K. (2005). Airborn. NY: HarperCollins.
Matt Cruse is a cabin boy aboard the magnificent blimp, the Aurora. The Aurora is a massive airships that carries hundreds of passengers across the world. Matt feels at home in the sky, and loves his job. One night Matt is on watch, in the crows nest, keeping an eye out for any incoming airships or storms. All is calm until Matt spies a lost hot air ballon, not far away. He notifies the bridge and the airship veers away from its course to go rescue the hot air ballon pilot. Matt is chosen to go across to the hot air ballon when they get near and when Matt lands in the ballon, having jumped from the Aurora, he sees something strange. There’s only one pilot, an old man who’s on the ground mumbling about creatures in the sky. Matt attaches him to the harness connected to the Aurora and as the old man gets hauled out of the ship, Matt looks in the ballon’s log. Inside are detailed drawing of creatures he’s never seen before, creatures that can fly. However later that night the old man dies from his injuries and Matt soon forgets about that night. But years later, when a young women, bearing the same last name of the man that died Continue reading
Mass W. (2005). A Mango-Shaped Space. NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Mia sees colours. Not just the normal colours that most people see, but colours every time she hears sounds. Colours in weird shapes and sizes that show up when she hears the meow of her cat, or the sound of a car. Each sound has their own unique colour and shape. This is synesthesia, but Mia doesn’t know it’s called that, because she’s never told anybody that she can see colours in this way, not even her best friend. But as school gets harder and harder, Mia finds it increasingly harder to keep up in math and Spanish, as her colours make it difficult for her to make those connections. Pressured from all sides about her school work, Mia finally cracks and tells her parents about what she sees. Skeptical at first, Mia’s parents take her to see all sorts of doctors, one even accusing Mia of making it up; however, they soon find out that Mia’s ability is named synesthesia.
A Mango-Shaped Space is a wonderful, heartfelt story, fantastically written and definitely worth the read.