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The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

By Holly Black

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Responsibility

Grades: 7-12


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Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.


Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.


At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.


Until one day, he does…


As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?



★ “Terrific…  Black is in fine form here.” –VOYA, starred review


★ “Black returns here to the dark faery realm that spurred her initial success, and if anything, she’s only gotten better, writing with an elegant, economical precision and wringing searing emotional resonance from the simplest of sentences…  [C]aptivating…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review


“Expertly weaving fairy-tale magic into a contemporary setting, Black slowly reveals Hazel’s mysterious involvement with the fairy court and her heroic role in setting the prince free…  Black’s stark, eerie tone; propulsive pacing; and fulsome world building will certainly delight her legion of fans.” –Booklist


“Black blends magic with the ordinary world deftly and believably…  Her empathetic protagonists are familiar in their vulnerability but compelling in their bravery. Rich descriptions of beautiful but terrible creatures and the thorny briar circling a fairy mound draw readers in to the vividly conjured world.” – The Horn Book



The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

By Chris Colfer

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Heroes/Heroines/Princess/Prince, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: 3-7


Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.


The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.


But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


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#1 New York Times Bestseller


“There’s more in Colfer’s magic kingdoms than Disney has dreamt of.” –USA Today


“It will hit big with its combination of earnestness and playful poise.” –The New York Times Book Review


“In The Land of Stories, Colfer showcases his talent for crafting fancifully imaginative plots and multidimensional characters.” –Los Angeles Times


“Captivating.” –Teen Vogue


“A magical debut.” –Family Circle


“It’s hard not to love [the book]…Colfer gets off many good lines [and] the nifty ending ties the plot’s multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures.” –Publishers Weekly


Seven Wild Sisters

Seven Wild Sisters

By Charles de Lint

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy
Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic
Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: 3-7

This captivating adventure from two masters of modern fantasy is a story of magic, family, and the power in believing in both. Sarah Jane has always wanted to meet a fairy, but she has no idea that the tiny wounded man she discovers in the Tanglewood Forest is about to ensnare her in a longtime war between rival magical clans. When her six sisters are kidnapped and split up by the opposing sides, she’ll need the help of several friends–from the reclusive Aunt Lillian to the mysterious Apple Tree Man–to bring them home. But if they don’t untangle themselves from the feud quickly, they could all be trapped in the fairy world forever. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly noted “the lyrical narrative blends a contemporary setting with a fairy tale that might have been plucked from a distinctly different time and place.”


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* “The lyrical narrative blends a contemporary setting with a fairy tale that might have been plucked from a distinctly different time and place.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review


* “Beautiful bookmaking, lovely storytelling, and wondrous illustrations….readers will be enchanted.” –Kirkus Reviews , starred review


* “[A] delicious companion novel.”
School Library Journal, starred review


“There is an elegance and thoughtfulness to both the text and accompanying illustrations that elevates the story…. Folktale and fairy tale fans who are seeking a longer adventure into which to settle will find this a perfect fit.” –The Bulletin

Guardian of the Dead

Guardian of the DeadGuardian of the Dead

By Karen Healey

Genre: Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: School; Adventure: Magic/Fantasy

Grades: 7 & Up


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Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.


But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie’s circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, “You need it. It will save your soul.” Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.



William C. Morris Award Finalist

Aurealis Award


★ “Healey has done a wonderful job… This story starts off fast and strong and just builds from there.” -SLJ


★ “This book offers likeable characters with mythical heritage, reminiscent of Percy Jackson, tying together myth and reality into a cohesive whole.”-VOYA


“Fast-paced adventure and an unfamiliar, frightening enemy set a new scene for teen urban fantasy.” –Kirkus


“Healey’s prose is a notch above others… the Maori legends… are a breath of fresh air.” –Booklist


“It’s been a long time since a debut novel grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. From the first chilling mention of the Eyeslash Murderer (Note to self: Keep lights on) through the wonderfully evocative New Zealand setting, the fantastic Maori influence, the creepy school atmosphere, the introduction of funny, whip-smart characters, and the delicious, growing dread that something wicked this way comes, I was as hooked as hooked can be.” -Libba Bray, author of The Diviners


“Smart, hilarious, and wholly unique. Healey makes juxtaposing totally modern characters with numinous and ancient magic look effortless.” -Holly Black, author of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown


The Mostly True Story of Jack

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill The Mostly True Story of Jack

By: Kelly Barnhill

Genre: Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic; Character Development: Friendship

Grade: 3 – 7


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When Jack is sent to Hazelwood, Iowa, to live with his strange aunt and uncle, he expects a summer of boredom. Little does he know that the people of Hazelwood have been waiting for him for quite a long time.


When he arrives, three astonishing things happen: First, he makes friends — not imaginary friends but actual friends. Second, he is beaten up by the town bully; the bullies at home always ignored him. Third, the richest man in town begins to plot Jack’s imminent, and hopefully painful, demise. It’s up to Jack to figure out why suddenly everyone cares so much about him. Back home he was practically, well, invisible.


The Mostly True Story of Jack is an eerie tale of magic, friendship, and sacrifice. It’s about things broken and things put back together. Above all, it’s about finding a place to belong.




★ “Truly splendid…the ultimate page-turner.” –Kirkus


★ “Suspense builds steadily, with twists and surprises woven throughout, and friendship emerges as a powerful theme….Barnhill explores the struggle between good and evil and the power of love and sacrifice, creating a provocative and highly original mystery.” –Publishers Weekly


★ “Wonderful in the best possible way: filled with wonders and magic, yes, but magic that is ancient, numinous, and tied to the natural world…Barnhill’s first novel for children is a marvel of both plotting and characterization, and it provides a foundation for the omnipresent magic that elevates this title to the first rank of contemporary children’s literature.” –Booklist


★ “A compelling story with genuine characters and a deliciously creepy atmosphere. The suspense builds from the very first page…This delightful story will captivate readers with its blend of magic, mystery, and adventure.” -VOYA



Odin’s Ravens

Odin’s Ravens

The Blackwell Pages

By M. A. Marr and K. A. Armstrong

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic, Personal Development: Friendship

Grade: 3-7


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Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world.


When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?


But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that’s only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and stop the apocalypse–a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.


Authors K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr return to Blackwell in the epic sequel to Loki’s Wolves with more explosive action, adventure and larger-than-life Norse legends.



“This sequel stands by itself, as essential details of the first are neatly woven throughout. Intense action, well-crafted scenes and humor-laced dialogue add up to a sure winner…What Riordan has done for Greek and Egyptian mythology, Armstrong and Marr are doing for Norse myths…A Hel of a good read.” – Kirkus Reviews


“This sequel to Loki’s Wolves delivers plenty of action…offering moments of humor even as it delivers exciting scenes of quest, combat, and adventure. Narrative shifts from one teen hero to another add further dimension to the story…Keep this series in mind for Percy Jackson fans in search of fresh reading material.” – Booklist

Loki’s Wolves

Loki’s Wolves

The Blackwell Pages

By K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic, Personal Development: Friendship

Grade: 3-7


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“The runes have spoken. We have our champion…Matthew Thorsen.”


Matt hears the words, but he can’t believe them. He’s Thor’s representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents…or the world ends? He’s only thirteen.


While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he’s always lived a normal kid’s life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.


But now Ragnarok is coming, and it’s up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor’s hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.


In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.



“This smart, fast-paced, action-packed novel…offers readers a solid adventure story that still manages not to skimp on character.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


“Norse mythology brought to life with engaging contemporary characters and future volumes that promise explosive action; ideal for Percy Jackson fans who want to branch out.” – Kirkus Reviews


“These authors are no strangers to weaving a compelling tale. Once the story moves past the background, the plot picks up quickly and the adventure doesn’t disappoint.” – Library Media Connection


“Rousing, fast-paced adventure.” – Publishers Weekly


Loki’s Wolves brings Norse mythology to the modern world…The background and explanation of the legends are clear and a natural fit to the story and dialogue, bringing life to lesser-known Norse mythology.” – School Library Journal

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest

By Charles De Lint, illustrated by Charles Vess

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Fantasy, Adventure

Grade: 3-7


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On a quiet day, when the wind was still, the creek could be heard all the way up to where the old beech stood. Under its branches cats would come to dream and be dreamed. But they hadn’t yet gathered the day the orphan girl fell asleep among the beech’s roots, nestling in the weeds and long grass. Her name was Lillian Kindred.


When Lillian is bitten by a poisonous snake while napping under the branches of a beech tree, the magical cats of the forest reveal themselves and save her by turning her into a kitten. Now she must set out on a journey that will lead her through an untamed wilderness full of fabled creatures–from Old Mother Possum to the fearsome Bear People–to find a way to make things right and become human again. In this whimsical, original folktale created by two masters of modern fantasy, a young girl’s journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about friendship, bravery, and shaping one’s destiny.


Set in the countryside north of de Lint’s fictional town of Newford–the setting of many of his most beloved novels–this book is a new novel-length story for middle graders based on the author and illustrator’s picture book A Circle of Cats.



★ “De Lint zestfully combines the traditional and the original, the light and the dark, while Vess’s luminous full-color illustrations, simultaneously fluid and precise, capture Lillian’s effervescent blend of determination and curiosity.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Starry River of the Sky

Starry River of the Sky

By: Grace Lin

Genre: Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Magic/Fantasy, Folk/Fairy Tales: Magic, Europe/Asia/Africa

Grade: 3-7


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The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can’t help but notice the village’s peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper’s son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying sound Rendi keeps hearing? And how can crazy, old Mr. Shan not know if his pet is a toad or a rabbit?


But one day, a mysterious lady arrives at the Inn with the gift of storytelling, and slowly transforms the villagers and Rendi himself. As she tells more stories and the days pass in the Village of Clear Sky, Rendi begins to realize that perhaps it is his own story that holds the answers to all those questions.


Newbery Honor author Grace Lin brings readers another enthralling fantasy featuring her marvelous full-color illustrations. Starry River of the Sky is filled with Chinese folklore, fascinating characters, and exciting new adventures.




★ “That the book celebrates the significance of storytelling is especially gratifying, conveyed as it is through such an enthrallingly told and handsomely illustrated tale.” – The Horn Book


★“Lin’s writing is clear and lyrical, her plotting complex, and her illustrations magical, all of which make this a book to be savored.” –Booklist


★“The lively mix of adventure, mystery, and fantasy, supported by compelling character development and spellbinding language, will captivate a wide swath of readers.” –PW


★“Tight and cyclical plotting, combined with Lin’s vibrant, full-color paintings and chapter decorations, creates a work that is nothing short of enchanting.” –SLJ


★“Lin artfully wraps her hero’s story in alternating layers of Chinese folklore, providing rich cultural context.” –Kirkus





By Cornelia Funke

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Fairy Tales & Folklore / General, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic

Grade: 7 & up


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Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father’s abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He’s also made many enemies and allies–most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.


But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob’s younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl–a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.


Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell–before it’s too late.



★ “Masterful storytelling.” – Kirkus Reviews


“This adventure-driven fantasy…will have readers turning pages.” – Booklist

“The intricately described, lushly developed other world is stunning.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books