5

Nov

New Kids Fiction Must Reads

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

By: Caherynne M. Valente, Illustrations by Ana Juan

Recommend Reading Age: 10 & up

Published: May 2011, Feiwell & Friends

“September is a girl who longs for adventure. When she is invited to Fairyland by a Green Wind and a Leopard, well, of course she accepts. (Mightn’t you?) But Fairyland is in turmoil, and it will take one twelve-year-old girl, a book-loving dragon, and a strange and almost human boy named Saturday to vanquish an evil Marquess and restore order.” (Amazon)

I’m going to go ahead and go there and say The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was the most enjoyable book I’ve read all year. I adored this gorgeous, heartfelt book from start to finish and have been recommending it to children and adults alike. The language is lush, full of depth and whimsy and I don’t think there was one chapter where I didn’t want to pick up my red pen, marking passages with large stars and bold underlines in the library’s copy. That will have to wait until I own a copy of my own.

Wonderstruck

By: Brian Selznick

Recommended reading age: 9 & up

Published: September 2011, Scholastic

“Set fifty years apart, two independent stories—Ben’s told in words and Rose’s in pictures—weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.” (Goodreads)

After reading Selznick’s 2008 Caldecot winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, over the summer I was impatient for Selznick’s latest, Wonderstruck, to be released. And while I enjoyed reading Wonderstruck as much as The Invention of Hugo Cabret (and maybe even a pinch more), I was surprised to find the story so distinctively different. Perhaps in my mind I was anticipating a Hugo Cabret II, but other than Selznick’s prized picture/text format, Wonderstruck was more mysterious and at the same time more real/realatable. The book starts in two parallel stories being told, one in pictures and one in words, but eventually fuses into one where the central characters learn about their family, and thus find themselves.

ps. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is to be released as a movie this Thanksgiving. You can view the movie trailer here.

Liesl & Po

by Lauren Oliver, Illustrations by Kei Acedera

Recommended Reading Age: 8 & up

Published: October 2011, Harper Collins

“Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.

Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.” (Goodreads)

Rising star author of the extremely popular teen titles Before I Fall and Delirium, Lauren Oliver, makes her debut appearance into the world of children’s books with Liesl & Po. Ghosts, murder, and “The Otherside”.  When I first started to read this book, it crossed my mind that it may be too dark for children. Ghosts, murder, “The Otherside”…. but the more I thought about it, death is something we all have to face at various stages of life. It is a part of life. When we censor death from children, I feel like it leaves them even more confused and uncomfortable with it’s nature. Even I uncomfortably squirm when the subject arises, but I feel Lauren Oliver did a masterful job approaching such a difficult subject. In Liesl & Po‘s adventurous world of magic and supernatural, their story isn’t one of loss, rather it’s a tale of friendship, perseverance, and moving on.

Image Sources: The Girl Who Circumnavigated.., WonderstruckLiesl & P0

SHARE THIS
Comments

2 Responses to “New Kids Fiction Must Reads”

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things: “I adored this gorgeous, heartfelt book from start to finish and have been recommending it to children and adults alike. The language is lush, full of depth and whimsy and I don’t think there was one chapter where I didn’t want to pick up my red pen, marking passages with large stars and bold underlines in the library’s copy. That will have to wait until I own a copy of my own.” […]



Leave A Comment