Tag Archives: Fantasy

Splendors & Glooms

Splendors & Glooms

Clara is a lonely only child growing up in a grief-filled house. Her parents are overwhelmed with sadness after the deaths of all of  brothers and sisters. Not just one. ALL of them. Every holiday, every Sunday even, the family walks to the cemetery and remembers “the Others”. It’s very hard for Clara to have so many days of her life taken up with mourning. And it isn’t that she doesn’t miss her brothers and sisters. She does. But she is having trouble figuring out how to LIVE now that they are gone.

For her 12th birthday Clara begs to have a puppet show. She longs for something fun because there is just so much sadness in her house. She pleads. She cries. She gets her way! And when Grisini and his assistants, two orphans named Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, come to perform they are SO good the show seems like MAGIC! It’s like the marionettes have no strings. They move just like people!

When Clara disappears after the puppet show Grisini is suspect #1, but no one can find him. Lizzie Rose and Parsefal can’t even find him…but they do notice a new puppet, one that looks really, really familiar. Can you guess where this is going? Lizzie Rose and Parsefal are tough and street wise and know how to take care of business, even when the business gets a little creepy. And in this book, it sure DOES.

Lizzie Rose and Parsefal follow this mystery to a creepy old country house as well as the creepy old lady who lives there. Again, I mean CREEPY. They need to be brave and smart and resourceful. They also have to know how to be a good friend. Author: Laura Amy Schlitz

This is a great read for lovers of Coraline or The Graveyard Book. Spooky. Spooky wonderful! It has a creepy old mansion like The Secret Garden, and ghostly characters like The Aviary and The Shadows. If you like to read stories with just a little bit of shiver in them…try Splendors & Glooms or one of these:

Coraline The Graveyard Book The Secret Garden The Aviary
Books of Elsewhere The Shadows
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The Secret of the Ginger Mice – Staff Recommend

The Secret of the Ginger Mice – Staff Recommend

The Secret of the Ginger Mice

Alex, Alice and Alistair think they are just three ordinary mice, until Alistair mysteriously vanishes. Then Alex and Alice learn a secret about their family: a secret which means Alistair’s life is in danger – unless Alex and Alice can find him first. So begins a hair-raising journey. Author: Frances Watts

Alistair, with his ginger fur, might not look like Alex and Alice, but these mice triplets stick together.  When Alistair mysteriously disappears, his siblings are determined to find their brother and rescue him.  As the story alternates between the siblings’ journeys, they discover secrets about their parents and who they really are that could put them in harm’s way.  Their journey brings them into contact with a variety of characters as they stumble into a secret resistance movement.  Can Alistair, Alex, and Alice make wise decisions about who to trust?  And will they uncover the truth about ginger-furred mice?

Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection

More Staff Recommends

More stories about adventuring mice:
The Tale of Despereaux Redwall Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh Stuart Little
The Cricket in Times Square Tumtum & Nutmeg The Wind in the Willows
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Kid Review: The Giver & Son

Kid Review: The Giver & Son

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone hold the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. Author: Lois Lowry

“Once I started to read this book I did not want to put it down. My teachers haad to make me stop reading it throghout school. This is the best book ever.”

Review by: Deanna

The Giver Series:

#1: The Giver on: eBook, eAudio, Large Print, CD, Español
#2: Gathering Blue on: eBook, eAudio, Large Print, CD, Español
#3: Messenger on:
eBook, eAudio, CD
#4: Son
on: eAudio, CD

More books like The Giver:

The City of Ember Airborn Among the Hidden The House of the Scorpion
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The Tapestry #4: The Maelstrom

The Tapestry #4: The Maelstrom

Max McDaniels is a student of mystical and magical combat at the Rowan Academy. The Academy sits within the Demon Kingdom. Laws have been issued to govern the life of the people living in Rowan. In this fourth adventure, the fortress Gravenmuir, where the demons hold court and oversee Rowan’s obedience, has been magically destroyed by the mysterious and powerful sorcerer Elias Bram.

But all is still not well.  If Rowan is to keep its new found independence it will have to find a way to take on the Demons. The Academy’s director, Ms. Richter, Max and his warrior friends in The Red Branch, the mysterious Elias Bram and his grandson David, the ogre Bob, a ragtag refugee army and a very puzzling little girl…all of them will have to cooperate. It will take all of them working together to take on the powerful Astaroth.

A mighty battle is brewing and Max isn’t at all sure who to trust.

  • The Demons are fighting amongst themselves vying for power…who is the most dangerous enemy?
  • Elias and David hold powers Max can’t begin to understand.
  • Max’s best friend Cooper is missing in action.
  • Legendary assassins have been sent to kill Max – assassins who are magically bound to relentlessly hunt their target.
  • Max has been put in charge of a ragtag group of refugees who are to be Rowan’s first line of defense against an advancing Demon army.
  • And to make matters even worse…his former girlfriend is not happy with him. Not happy. At. All. Annnnnd she has a good reason not to be. That reason keeps popping into Max’s head. Who can even guess how that might turn out!

Another fast moving adventure with a complex network of people who need to trust each other when trusting is a very difficult thing to do. Loyalty vs Concern for Self, Trust vs Betrayal, Strength vs Weakness…it’s all in there. Looking forward to #5 The Red Winter, Available Fall 2013. Author: Henry H. Neff

The Tapestry Series:

#1: The Hound of Rowan  Available on CD
#2: The Second Siege
#3: The Fiend and the Forge Available on CD
#4: The Maelstrom
#5: The Red Winter Available Fall 2013

Here are the first two Tapestry books plus two more adventures in worlds where monsters, trolls & demons are alive and well:
The Crowfield Demon The Amulet of Samarkand The Beyonders The Ring of Solomon
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Staff Recommend – Last of the Gullivers

Staff Recommend – Last of the Gullivers

Last of the Gullivers

After orphaned twelve-year-old Michael Pine, who seems headed for trouble, meets old Lem Gulliver, he finds new purpose as protector of the Lilliputians who live in Lem’s back garden, even if that means saving them from one another. Author: Carter Crocker

“Michael Pine is always in trouble – he’s headed right for the Young Offenders Institution if he messes up again. Then one night he hears strange singing and discovers the Lilliputians, tiny people (the size of your thumb!) with tiny animals, living in a garden surrounded by a tall stone wall.  At first, Michael can’t believe it, but pretty soon he is visiting them every day and helping out in their village.  When weasels and other humans attack the Lilliputians, Michael must turn his life around if he is going to save them.”

Recommended by: Melissa Wooten, Glendale Library

If you like Michael’s adventure with little people, try the original story, Gulliver’s Travels, which will tell you how Gulliver came across the Lilliputians in the first place. Also try The Borrowers, The Minimoys and The Littles – more little people with large adventures living in our regular-sized world:

Gulliver's Travels The Borrowers Arthur and the Minimoys The Littles
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