Isabelle is an orphan. She works in a factory to pay the rent and buy food for herself and the ailing elderly lady who adopted her. Her job? Sticking address labels on umbrella boxes…all…day…long. And she’s only ten! It rains all the time in her town. She doesn’t even know what sunshine feels like.
Even though this life sounds miserable, Isabelle is sure that one day, something special will happen to her and one day, something special does! Isabelle unexpectedly receives a perfect red apple from a very unusual source. This gift begins Isabelle’s journey to her home, not her room in the attic of the decrepit boardinghouse, but her real home – Fortune’s Magic Farm. The Farm is Isabelle’s real home, it’s the place where the ingredients for magic potions are grown. At the Farm, Isabelle meets some people like herself – special people who have an important job to do saving the world from misery and unhappiness. Author: Suzanne Selfors
Isabelle reminds me a lot of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Charlie is also down on his luck when he finds the golden ticket – his ticket to a magical place that is actually meant for him, like he was destined to go there. Isabelle is destined to go to Fortune’s Magic Farm too.
I loved the characters in this book. In Isabelle’s crummy town, Runny Cove, there are some real meanies. On Fortune’s Magic Farm there are some really fun, crazy characters – crazy in a good way – like Willy Wonka.
Conn is an orphan surviving the best he can picking locks, thieving and picking pockets. One night, he picks the pocket of the powerful wizard, Neverly Flinglas. Conn gets the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone that is the center of the magician’s power. Nevery isn’t mad that Conn tried to pick his pocket, he’s astonished that touching the magic stone didn’t kill Conn. No one else is supposed to be able to touch a wizard’s stone. Intrigued, Nevery takes on Conn as a servant and when Conn shows he indeed has a mysterious and powerful attraction to magic and magical things, Neverly makes him his apprentice.
The two of them get caught up in a magical investigation when Neverly is hired to figure out why magic is draining away from their city. This story has it all: wizards, a power hungry crime boss, friends, enemies, spying & betrayal. Nevery and Conn are both great characters. Neverly is grouchy and stern, but Conn is so endearing, smart and funny he manages to weasel his way straight into Nevery’s heart…although Neverly would never admit it. Author: Sarah Prineas
Great reading in league with Harry Potter, Septimus Heap and The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
If you haven’t tried any of The Sisters Grimm series, I’ll fill you in a little. Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sisters who find out The Grimm Brother stories are actually a history of all the crimes committed by fairy tale characters. The girls are part of a long line of detectives from the Grimm family whose job it is to investigate the fairy tale crimes. In each book the girls do some sleuthing to figure out which fairy tale characters have been behaving badly.
In Book Seven, The Everafter War, things are really heating up in Ferryport Landing. Prince Charming is gathering an Everafter Army to protect the city from the mysterious “Master” who threatens to use an army of his own made up of evil fairy tale characters.
As the story begins, Sabrina and Daphne’s parents wake up from a sleeping spell. Everybody is happy for about 5 minutes…until the girls’ Dad and their Grandmother disagree about whether the two girls should be involved in the “family business”. What their Dad doesn’t understand is that he has been asleep for a couple years – the girls are already up to their eyeballs in the growing conflict and already in danger.
All the Grimms, Dad included, are caught up in the conflict when The Prince organizes the rebels to make a final stand against their deadly enemy. Who exactly is “The Master” and what does he/she hope to accomplish? It can’t be anything good. (And you won’t believe who it is!)
A boy wakes up in a dark cave, confused. He doesn’t know where he is or even who he is. Three people mysteriously appear to lead him to safety. The leader of the three is Lord Umber, an explorer, inventor and adventurer who studies all things mysterious and magical. He gives the boy a name, Happenstance, or Hap for short.
As the group heads to Lord Umber’s home, they discover unusual things about Hap besides his startlingly green eyes. For one, he never sleeps. Ever. He can see in the dark and he can jump high…Superman high.
How did Lord Umber know where to find Hap? Does Lord Umber know who and what Hap is? Lord Umber seems to be trying to solve the mystery of where Hap came from, but at the same time, he keeps deep secrets about himself.
Lord Umber and Hap are only the beginning of the great characters you meet in this book. Try the creepy villain who is after Hap. Naturally this guy’s name is “The Creep.” He has a multitude of eyes. He has stolen them from unsuspecting animals and people. His knees bend in the wrong direction…like a bird. You also meet Nima, captain of the Leviathan Barge, a ship/submarine carried on the back of a huge sea creature. And living in the walls of Lord Umber’s castle is Thimble, a fierce warrior that is only a few inches tall.
All of these mysterous and magical elements begin a really original and exciting new adventure series. There will be more – Happenstance Found is just the beginning.
Stephanie leads a very ordinary life until the death of her novel-writing uncle Gordon. In his will, Uncle Gordon leaves Stephanie his mansion and everything in it. She also inherits Uncle Gordon’s mysterious friend, Skulduggery Pleasant, who just happens to be a wise-cracking, classic car driving detective, an impeccable dresser…and a skeleton with magical abilities!
When a crazed stranger tries to break into Stephanie’s house, it’s Skulduggery who comes to her rescue and reveals a world within her world…a world with magic and vampires and and a slew of creepy villains bent on taking over the world. This is about as perfect a Halloween adventure as you can get – action packed creature combat, a little magic and very funny. Stephanie doesn’t have to worry, Skulduggery’s watching her back…even if he doesn’t have one! The sequel just came out. It’s called Playing with Fire and it’s just as good! Author: Derek Landy