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Books categorized as 'Fantasy'

The Jumbies

the jumbies coverThe Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 6

Corinne La Mer is a brave island girl who does not believe in tales of the jumbies who haunt the forbidden forest. Living alone with her fisherman father, she tends her mother’s precious orange trees and sells the fruit at market. A beautiful stranger named Severine comes to market one day and soon becomes friendly with Corinne’s father. Corinne fights to keep Severine away from her home but finds Severine’s magic too powerful. Corinne’s bravery inspires her friends to band with her when the jumbies and other dangerous creatures decide to attack the village. What does the mysterious Severine want with Corinne and her father and why does she wish to destroy the village?
Tracey Baptiste creates an eerie atmosphere with her menacing creatures of the forbidden forest inspired by Caribbean folktales.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Screaming Staircase

the screaming staircase coverThe Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Since the Problem, ghostly hauntings are a nightly phenomenon in and around London. There are nightly curfews, homes are well stocked with well-known ghost deterrents, and psychic detection agencies are hired to deal with the hauntings. Soon after Anthony Lockwood, young owner of Lockwood & Co. hires a new operative to assist him and his partner, George, they have a disastrous setback. In order to avoid ruin and regain their reputation, Lockwood & Co. is forced to take on London’s most well-known haunted house. Other agencies have already tried and failed at this job. Will the psychic talents of the three investigators be enough to keep them alive through the night?
Book 1 of Lockwood & Co. Series

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Fish GIrl

fish girl vocerFish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Fish Girl, a mermaid, is the main attraction in a unique aquarium run by Neptune, God of the seas. Or is something else going on? Neptune requires Fish Girl to give only occasional glimpses of herself to the public, to keep them coming back for more. One day a girl stays behind and sees Fish Girl. They become friends, even though Fish Girl cannot speak. Fish Girl becomes curious about what is really going on around her and then determined to change her life with help from the ocean and her dearest friend, octopus.
Wiesner’s gorgeous artwork will draw you in to Fish Girl’s watery world.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 8

The People of the Protectorate live a secure life, but they pay a price. Every year the youngest baby must be left in the woods, where the people believe an evil witch kills the child. In reality Xan, a kind witch, finds and takes the babies to be adopted in another village. One year she takes the child and mistakenly feeds her moonlight instead of starlight.  Xan raises the child, Luna, with no knowledge of the magic she will possess. Barnhill weaves together the lives of many characters including a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, a wise swamp monster, a madwoman, deadly birds, a shy yet brave young man and a woman with a tiger’s heart.  We find out how Xan and Luna, are connected with these others in this magical story of misused power, family and love.
2017 Newbery Award Winner

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girls Beats Up the Marvel Universe

squirrel girl coverThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe Written by Ryan North, Drawn by Erica Henderson
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

I love the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I also love comics, but I’m not a huge Marvel fan. You don’t need to know a lot about various Marvel characters to enjoy this graphic novel, although it wouldn’t hurt. Doreen, AKA Squirrel Girl, is a computer science college student who is funny, kind, and generally kick-butt in many ways. When she accidentally gets cloned, and her clone turns evil (surprise!), she will have to use both her super punching abilities and her compassion to save the day. I highly recommend this funny, exciting, and fast-paced graphic novel to all comics fans, ages 10 to 100!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Witch’s Boy

the witch's boy coverThe Witch’s Boy  by Kelly Bramhill
Recommended for: grades 4 – 6

In his village, Ned’s mother is known as Sister Witch. She has been the guardian on an ancient, unruly magic which somehow attaches itself to Ned.
In another kingdom lives Aine, daughter of the Bandit King. Aine loves her father, but he has changed since her mother died. Now he leaves Aine alone while he builds a following of fellow bandits and plans to gain Sister Witch’s powerful magic.
Distrusting each other when they meet, Ned & Aine learn they need each other to survive their quest to cross the enchanted forest between their two kingdoms. They encounter good and evil on their journey and are torn between their budding friendship and loyalty to family. Will their kindness and courage be enough to resolve all the obstacles they face on their quest? Can Ned keep control over the magic he possesses? Can Aine trust Ned’s goodness to overcome the forces against them?
Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Nest

the nest coverThe Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Recommended for: Grades 5-7

When Steve’s baby brother comes home from the hospital, something is very wrong with him. Steve is an anxious kid to begin with, and his difficulties get worse along with the stress on his family. A queen wasp begins to visit Steve in his dreams, and she has plans that will help solve everyone’s problems. But when Steve agrees to help her, what has he signed up for? This is a dark, atmospheric horror story, not for the faint of heart! It had me gasping and wiggling with discomfort. (Probably because I’m afraid of bees and the climax has A LOT of wasps!) If you like a good scare and a psychological thriller, check this one out.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Number of comments: 1


Echo

echo coverEcho by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Recommended for: Grades 5-8

5 stories – told in a variety of folktale, fantasy, and historical fiction – are woven together in this moving novel. How does one enchanted harmonica tie together the fates of Otto, Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy? Each of their stories is full of love, loss, and the power of music. This imaginative book just won a Newbery honor and an Odyssey honor for best children’s audiobook. If you are a musician this book will really speak to you. Fans of good storytelling and historical fiction will love it, too.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Unwanteds

the unwanteds coverThe Unwanteds by Lisa McCann
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 7

The city of Quill is populated by the Wanteds, the Necessaries and the Unwanteds. Quill’s yearly Purge sends Unwanted 13-year olds to their deaths. Those marked as Unwanteds have somehow shown a creative side to their nature, even if only one time.
Alex and a group of Unwanteds are brought to the “death farm” beyond the locked gates at the edge of the city, run by the Eliminators. Instead of death, they find themselves saved by Mr. Today, a magician in the magical world of Artime. Marcus Today created Artime to save all Unwanteds and teach them to use their creativity as a weapon in case of war with Quill.
I liked the fantastical creatures who turned out to be instructors, and also the Magical Warrior Training the select Unwanteds undergo.
This fantasy is the first in an exciting series.
Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Fortunately, the Milk

fortunately the milk coverFortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Recommended for: Grades 3 – 6

While their mum is away at a conference, two sisters find they can’t have breakfast because there is no milk. Their dad reluctantly agrees to get milk at the corner store. After a REALLY long time, he returns and tells them an adventurous tale of being abducted by aliens in a spaceship – and that was just the beginning. Did they believe him? I enjoyed the wild and hilarious frolic through time & space.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Number of comments: 1