Blue Montgomery comes from a cursed family. Some bad, some good, those curses define who they are. Blue can never win, and his father can never lose. Tumble Wilson is a hero in training but instead of saving anyone, she always seems to end up the damsel in distress. Once in awhile comes a special Red Moon that allows one Montgomery to be freed from his or her curse. As the time of the Red Moon approaches, Blue’s grandmother’s house is overflowing with Montgomerys. Will Blue be the one Montgomery to break his curse and will Tumble be able to help him thus fulfilling her destiny to become a hero?
Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head
Princess Serena isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She is the bravest girl in all of Empiria (and possible the world). She swings from the rafters, smashes into tables, and accidentally breaks things. Since she is neither calm nor peaceful, Serena decides she needs a different name. The princess decides she should be called Princess Pulverizer. When she decides she would rather go to knight school, her father, King Alexander, tells her she must go on a quest. Knights need to be kind and selfless, and these have never been her strengths. In order to receive permission to attend knight school, she must perform eight good deeds. On her journey, she gets into some difficult situations and meets some new friends. This is a good series for someone who enjoys fantasy and is starting to read chapter books.
Book reviewed by Katharin D., Youth Outreach Liaison
In Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff, a grumpy dwarf gets caught up in the feud between Snow White and the wicked queen. Borlen, aka “Grump,” is not like other dwarves. He dreams of visiting The Surface, while most dwarves are terrified of it. Borlen is devastated when he is assigned as the undesirable “Seventh” on a deep underground mining crew. But when the crew unexpectedly digs close to The Surface, Borlen makes his escape aboveground, and finds things are even more wonderful than he imagined. He meets Queen Elfrieda, who spoils him with delicious gemstones… but demands magic in return. Grump ends up stuck in the middle when he discovers the queen’s evil intentions towards Snow White. How can he be magically sworn to serve the queen AND to protect Snow White? And what if the other dwarfs discover what he’s done?
Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator
Annie and her mother are very different, and have trouble talking to each other sometimes. Annie finds an old painting in the attic of her house and is drawn to it. It fascinates her every time she looks at it, until she notices one day that things in the painting are actually moving. The more she looks, the closer she gets, until finally she falls into the painting and enters that world. How will she get back? Why do some things feel familiar? Will Annie and her mom improve their relationship?
Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant
Fate can be a great thing, but not for Blue, whose fate it is to always lose, no matter what. Or for Tumble, who wants desperately to be a hero and save others, but always ends up needing to be saved herself in the end. There’s a legend that says a golden crocodile lives in the swamp and on the night of the blood red crescent moon one lucky person who finds him can have a great fate bestowed on them. So, on the night on the blood red crescent moon Tumble and Blue set out to find the golden crocodile and change their fate. However, the crocodile only has one fate he can give. So who should get it? Tumble? Blue? Or someone else that might need it more? This is also a great audio.
Hooray Mark Twain has a new book out! Well sort of, Mark Twain used to make up bedtime stories for his children and this story is based on the recently found notes he left for one of those stories. Those notes made it into the hands of Phillip Stead to turn into a completed story and Stead does a remarkable job of capturing Twain’s humor and voice. Phillip’s wife, Caldecott winner Erin Stead, adds the perfect illustrations to bring the story to life in her classic style. This book is not like anything else out there right now and don’t miss reading it!
Celie is an ordinary princess who lives in a castle with her royal family. Castle Glower, however, is anything but ordinary. It has a mind of its own, and it seems to have taken a shining to the royal family, especially Celie. The Kingdom of Sleyne is happy and safe, until one day, the King and Queen, along with Bran, one of Celie’s brothers, disappear while on a trip. Celie and her other two siblings struggle to solve the mystery of their missing family members. Where did they go? Are they truly gone? Come along for an adventure through the many twists and turns inside Castle Glower. You won’t be disappointed!
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant
“…and they lived happily ever after.” You may have wondered how so many people know that familiar fairy-tale ending, or even how so many people know the details of stories and characters from countless fairy tales passed down through the generations. From the time they were little, Conner and Alex Bailey loved hearing their parents and Grandma read fairy tales to them from a very special book called the Land of Stories. Since the cherished book had been in the family for years, it was presented to the twins just before their twelfth birthday. Curiously, one night the book made a dull humming sound and began to glow, which eventually lead the twins to discover that they could actually go into the book! Can you imagine their shock and excitement, encountering danger and delight as they wandered along, meeting the fairy tale characters face-to-face in the actual stories they knew by heart? Suddenly, the twins were swept up in a race against time to earn a single wish by collecting eight objects scattered throughout the magical fairy tale kingdoms in the Land of Stories. Will they crush the Evil Queen’s plan to use the last wish for herself when they know it is their only hope for returning home? Discover creative stories beyond the stories with some new twists for “happily ever after” endings as you read The Wishing Spell, the first adventure in the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer.
Every year the villagers in the Protectorate sacrifice a baby to the “evil” witch of the forest. And every year, this witch (who isn’t evil at all) wonders why these crazy people abandon their babies. Before the child can be torn to bits by wild animals, the witch, whose name is Xan, rescues it and delivers it to a deserving family on the other side of the forest. This continues until one year Xan accidentally feeds the baby moonlight which turns the ordinary child into an extraordinary child filled with dangerous magic. This means Xan must raise the child, whom she names Luna, herself. For a while she is able to bind Luna’s magic but as Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches her magic begins to return with dangerous results. And what about Luna’s biological mother? Maybe she didn’t abandon her baby as Xan first thought. What will happen when Luna gets her magic back?
Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head
This is the story of Milo Speck, a boy whose father travels a lot for work, and leaves him with Grandmother, a woman who is not actually his grandmother, and who makes him wear dorky clothes with squawking ducks on them. He’s emptying out the laundry machine one day when a sock pulls him in…suddenly he’s in a world called Ogregon, filled with, you guessed it, ogres! They are giant, not very smart, and obsessed with eating children. Milo is desperate for a way to escape, until he hears that his father might be trapped there as well. So he goes to rescue his father, and learns along the way about secret agents, turkeys that obey commands, the mysterious Dr. El, and something called a whatzit that promises to bring the ogres lots of kids to eat. This book is exciting and explores worlds very different from our own, but it should also make you laugh. If you’re looking for something magical with a sense of humor, check out this book!
Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian