For an analysis that isn’t full of spoilers, read my review on the Broadsheet. Cinder is a futuristic fairytale, and although there are obvious connections to “Cinderella,” it’s really its own tale with nods to many other familiar stories, particularly “Snow White.” Cinder is a cyborg—after a horrific accident, parts of her body have been […]

Stoop of Mastodon Meadow

Stoop of Mastodon Meadow is the sequel to Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits. Oliver’s father is now the American Ambassador to Patria, so Oliver and his family are living in the castle with Farnsworth and Rose. Oliver and Farnsworth begin the school year at the boys’ school, Mastodon Meadow, while Rose goes to Madame Mimi’s […]

The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that made me question the wisdom of reading just before I fell asleep! The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere, though quite middle grade appropriate, plays off of several of my personal fears and is the creepiest kids’ book I’ve read since I was a kid myself. The […]

The View from Saturday

I’ve been meaning to read The View from Saturday for years now, and it took me several false starts before I finally got into it. But it was worth it. It’s an unusual book, told unchronologically from multiple points of view. At its simplest, it’s the story of four sixth graders—Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian, AKA […]

The Case of the Missing Marquess

The Case of the Missing Marquess is the first in the Enola Holmes series. Enola is the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, who are also minor characters in the book. Enola—born late in her mother’s life—is scandalous due to her very existence. Her mother has allowed her free rein, neglecting her education as […]

The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy is one of the more original worlds I’ve encountered in a while. Elizabeth could be a modern day fairytale heroine. Her father remarried after her mother died, and Elizabeth’s stepmother expects her to do a lot of housework. Putting her stepsisters through college costs money, so Elizabeth recently had to give up […]

Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits

Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits is an amusing story of 11 year old Oliver Stoop whose family inadvertently stumbles on the kingdom of Patria, a sovereign nation nestled in Indiana and founded thousands of years ago by ancient Greeks. It’s somewhat inexplicably similar to medieval Europe with castles and knights (plus an old Studebaker), although […]

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander has much in common with other books I’ve read—a bit like A Wrinkle in Time meets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—but it still feels like an original tale. 11 year old Gregor follows his toddler sister, nicknamed Boots, into a hole in the basement which leads to a new land (Underland, as you […]

Hapenny Magick

Hapenny Magick tells the story of Maewyn, a young Hapenny (they remind me a little of Hobbits) who lives with her cruel guardian, Gelbane. Although Hapenny aren’t supposed to be magick, it turns out that Mae is. When other Hapennies start disappearing, Mae has to figure out how best to fulfill her responsibilities—does she stay […]

Dinocalypse Now

Dinocalypse Now isn’t written specifically for younger readers, but with dinosaur attacks, talking apes, Neanderthals, dirigibles, and jet packs, a lot of kids will find it intriguing. It’s set in the world of Spirit of the Century—if you’re not familiar, it’s a bit like the world of Indiana Jones and The Mummy but with even […]