Crossover Fantasy for the ‘Kid at Heart’: Titles new, old and a little in-between
Riordan is definitely not new to the youth fiction fantasy scene. In his newest book, The Sword of Summer, Magnus Chase discovers he is the son of the Norse Viking God and must prepare for battle. In is this fast-paced and action packed story I’m reminded of the Percy Jackson (also by Riordan) or Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling) as the characters always find themselves in trouble (troll in the dungeon, anyone?) The Sword of Summer was also a Good Reads Choice 2015 winner for best middle grade children’s fiction.
One of my favorite young adult books! Here’s the plot: It’s Victorian times and Gemma Doyle is sent to boarding school in the English countryside. Struggling with her mother’s death, Gemma also has the challenge of making new friends and succeeding in her studies; not to mention her discovering she has magical powers. Similar to A Great and Terrible Beauty, try Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
The Newberry Medal winner, A Wrinkle in Time (ARIT), is a contemporary classic if you ask me. Meg, her brother Charles and their friend Calvin are on a mission is to save their father who is lost in a parallel universe. Will they conquer the evil force that awaits them? If you’ve already experienced ARIT, try something newish like Colin Meloy’s Wildwood. This book is similar to ARIT because the protagonist, Prue, is on a mission to save her baby brother that has been kidnapped by crows.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman’s Newbery medal winner is a must-read! After the murder and loss his parents, a young toddler named Nobody (AKA Bod) ends up being raised in a graveyard by supernatural creatures. Jack, the man that murdered Bod’s family is also after him (DUN, DUN, DUNNNN!) Read to find out what happens next!
I read this book last month and quite enjoyed it. Why, you may ask? It has it all: Magic, battles and maybe a little bit of romance (wink-wink). The main character Alina, discovers she has magical powers and joins the almighty Grisha, where she is trained as a fighter. Although I found this story got off to a slow start, there is a twist in the middle of the book that I didn’t see coming. The book’s themes of self-discovery and perseverance definitely shine through (you’ll get this reference once you’ve read it!).