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Books categorized as 'Fantasy'

Shadows of Sherwood

shadows of sherwood coverShadows of Sherwood: a Robyn Hoodlum adventure by Kekla Magoon
Recommended for: Grades 5-7

Overnight, Governor Crown, with help from a certain Sheriff, has engineered a takeover of the government. All members of Parliament and their families who might have opposed the takeover are imprisoned or killed, with one exception: 12-year old Robyn. Robyn comes home to find her family gone, and an ominous pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Now she is a fugitive. She needs to evade capture by government agents and try to find and rescue her parents. Luckily, she finds friends – other kids, each with unique talents that help the group. Together, they band together and do what they can to help others survive this new, militaristic state. Can the ancient legends about the moon help them? I loved this futuristic Robin Hood story.  It’s the first in a new series.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Teixeira

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The Imaginary

The Imaginary CoverThe Imaginary by A.F. Harrold
Recommended for: Grades 4-8

One day Amanda opens her wardrobe and finds Rudger, a boy that only she can see; a boy brought to life by her imagination. For a while they carry on with the fantastic adventures that Amanda invents, happily flying through space and running from dinosaurs. But some other adventure, not so safe and not so fun, is coming for them. This just-creepy-enough story is fast moving. A perfect read for a summer afternoon.

Reviewed by: Mrs. White

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Doll Bones

doll bones coverDoll Bones by Holly Black
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Zach, Poppy, and Alice are best friends who have played a long game of make-believe for years.  When the creepy china doll they call “The Queen” begins to haunt Poppy’s dreams, the friends begin an adventure to learn about the doll’s past and reunite her with her bones.  As they travel on their quest, the rifts in their friendship caused by dishonesty, jealousy, and growing pains begin to show.  Can they complete their errand and stop the haunting? Can their friendship survive this task?  This was a great spooky read that featured believable young teen characters in an unbelievable situation.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Far Far Away

far far away coverFar Far Away by Tom McNeal
Recommended for: Grades 6 and up

Jeremy Johnson Johnson is best friends with the ghost of Jacob Grimm.  Jeremy is quiet, studious, and earnest, but when he falls for one of the wildest girls in town, Ginger Boultinghouse, his world will radically change.  After a series of seemingly harmless adventures, Jeremy and Ginger are abducted, and Jeremy’s ghost must help save them.  This layered and gripping story was impossible to put down.  It is a darkly creepy horror story but also tremendously moving.  Not for the faint of heart!  I strongly recommend this book for older kids who are ready for a more mature (and supernaturally enhanced) coming of age story.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

flora and ulysses coverFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Recommended for Grades 4-7

Kate DiCamillo’s gift of storytelling shines in this 2014 Newbery Medal novel while she reaches across genres and includes realistic fiction, the graphic novel and fantasy all in one.  Readers who got hooked on reading from the Wimpy Kid series will love the combination.   Ten year old Flora sees a squirrel sucked into a Ulysses vacuum and saves its life using CPR, then names it Ulysses.  Ulysses recovers having the ability to fly and to type poetry!  Their humorous adventure, playing off her wacky divorced parents and a comic book she avidly followed, braids three stories into one.  Tweens and adults alike will laugh aloud, while younger readers are likely to go back and pick up the book again and again as they digest more of the twisted tale each time. Holy Bagumba!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Yggyssey

the yggyssey coverThe Yggyssey by Daniel Pinkwater
Recommended for grades 5-7

Yggdrassil (Iggy) Birnbaum lives in a haunted hotel in Hollywood, California.  Iggy and her friends travel to a city on another plane to find out why all the ghosts are disappearing from Hollywood. The story takes place in the fifties and is filled with fantastic locations and zany characters (ghosts included).  Sequel to The Neddiad

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Real Boy

real boy coverThe Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Recommended for: Grades 3-5

Oscar lives in the cellar, preparing plants and herbs for his Master, the Magician Caleb. When Caleb’s apprentice, Wolf, is discovered dead in the woods, the comforting predictability and regularity of Oscar’s life is turned upside down. Oscar lives on an island called Aletheia, where the city dwellers are protected by magical charms and walls, and the villagers in the Barrow are protected by magical wizard trees. Wolf’s death is only the beginning of a series of strange occurrences, marking the breakdown of the island’s magical protections. It is up to Oscar and his new friend Callie to piece together the mystery and save the island’s inhabitants. Ursu’s use of language is itself magical; she creates a world that you don’t want to leave and characters that you understand so well. If you like stories about friendship and magic with mystery and drama mixed in, you’ll love The Real Boy.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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A Tangle of Knots

tangle of knots coverA Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
Recommended for: Grades 3 to 5

How would you like to live in a world where everyone had a special Talent? Spitting, stealing, whistling, floating, & knitting are just a few of the Talents possessed by characters in this book. Cady’s talent is baking, and she excels in matching people up with their “perfect cake.” Cady is an orphan, and A Tangle of Knots is the story of how her Talent, and the Talents of those around her, weave together with a little bit of Fate to find her the perfect family. Delicious cake recipes are scattered throughout this sweet read.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Spindlers

Spindlers coverThe Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Recommended for: Grades 3-5

Liza’s little brother has been stolen by the Spindlers, she just knows it.  He isn’t acting like himself and has an emptiness behind his eyes.  Liza’s parents tell her to stop making up stories and ignore her attempts to make them see that their son is not the same.  So Liza must be brave and go Below, to the world of the Spindlers, to rescue her brother.  Along the way, she meets many strange creatures, some she can trust and some she can not.  Her journey takes her all the way to the Spindlers’ nests, where she must pass the ultimate test and free her brother’s soul.
This is an exciting fantasy adventure that takes place in a fascinating underground world.  If you liked Gregor the Overlander, give The Spindlers a try.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms coverHorten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 6

Ten year old Stuart Horten has just moved to a small town in northern England. Since it’s summer and he can’t make new friends at school, he passes his time exploring Beeton on his bicycle. Gradually, Stuart begins to discover mysterious clues the lead him on an adventure discovering both his past and his destiny. Filled with quirky characters, history, magic and mystery, this book will really grab you if you liked The Mysterious Benedict Society or  The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

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