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How to Train Your Dragon Series

how to train your dragonHow to Train Your Dragon Series

By Cressida Cowell

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Knights/Dragons, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy

Grades: 3-7

 

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Meet Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, heir of the Viking chiefdom, but a boy with one very big problem: a hero he is not. How to Train Your Dragon is the riotous story of Hiccup’s quest to hunt down the fiercest dragon, bring it into submission, and–hopefully–pass his initiation. Instead, he ends up with the smallest, most ornery dragon—it’s even toothless! Thus begins the hijinx of the world’s most lovable, unlikely hero and a most reluctant “beast.” Packed with energetic drawings and plenty of action, this boisterous tale is just right for fantasy fans or anyone with a spirit for adventure.

 

 

 

PRAISE

“This hilarious farce will appeal to heroic fiction fans.” –Booklist

 

“A narrative rich in dragon muck [and] cartoon violence … genuinely fierce, intelligent, and scary dragons nearly steal the show, but Hiccup and his diminutive sidekick ultimately come out on top, both displaying a proper hero’s mix of quick wit, courage, and loyalty.” –Kirkus Reviews

 

“Short chapters, clever slapstick, kid-pleasing character names and goofy, childlike drawings will keep even reluctant readers turning these pages–and chuckling as they go.” –Publishers Weekly

 

“This is a goofy and exciting tale of an underdog who proves that brains can be just as important as brawn. Kids will hoot at the ridiculous names and sympathize with Hiccup’s exasperation with his truly obstinate but strangely lovable dragon. A delightful read.” –School Library Journal

 

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Ghost Knight

Ghost Knight

By Cornelia Funke

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/Ghosts, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy

Grades: 3 – 7

From international phenomenon Cornelia Funke, the bestselling author of Reckless and Inkheart.

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure…

Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?

 

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Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

By Laini Taylor

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: 10 – 17

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited–not in love, but in tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.
But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?
The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as–from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond–humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

 

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 PRAISE

*In the final book of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Taylor revives the strong interweaving of reality and fantasy that gave the first story such cross-genre appeal.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

*”Though readers will be loath to leave this world behind, the trilogy ends with a sweet buffet of just deserts; the best balm for the bereft may be to start the series again from the beginning.” –The Bulletin (starred review)

*”The conclusion promises resurrection, renewal, and long-postponed love happily resolved, and that should satisfy even the most meticulous fans.” –School Library Journal (starred review)

“[An] ambitious, gorgeously edgy drama lit up by its coruscating characters and prose.” –Kirkus

“New revelations, characters, multiple love stories, and constant plot twists and suspense will not disappoint Taylor’s many fans.” –Booklist

“For all the well-made trappings of fantasy and horror, the patchwork amalgamation of myth and legend, the machinations of plot, and the colorful menagerie of ensemble characters, this story remains, at heart, a romance-clear-eyed, tender, and satisfying.” –The Horn Book

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

By Laini Taylor

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: 10 – 17

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

 

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 PRAISE

* “National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times) again weaves a masterful mix of reality and fantasy with cross-genre appeal. Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, the tale is set in ghostly, romantic Prague, where 17-year-old Karou is an art student–except when she is called “home” to do errands for the family of loving, albeit inhuman, creatures who raised her. Mysterious as Karou seems to her friends, her life is equally mysterious to her: How did she come to live with chimaera? Why does paternal Brimstone eternally require teeth–especially human ones? And why is she “plagued by the notion that she wasn’t whole….a sensation akin to having forgotten something?” Taylor interlaces cleverly droll depictions of contemporary teenage life with equally believable portrayals of terrifying otherworldly beings. When black handprints begin appearing on doorways throughout the world, Karou is swept into the ancient deadly rivalry between devils and angels and gradually, painfully, acquires her longed-for self-knowledge. The book’s final pages seemingly establish the triumph of true love–until a horrifying revelation sets the stage for a second book.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “[A]long with writing in such heightened language that even casual banter often comes off as wildly funny, the author crafts a fierce heroine with bright-blue hair, tattoos, martial skills, a growing attachment to a preternaturally hunky but not entirely sane warrior and, in episodes to come, an army of killer angels to confront. Rarely–perhaps not since the author’s own Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer (2007)–does a series kick off so deliciously.” –Kirkus, starred review

* “Taylor crafts both her world and her romance with meticulous care, building the first on a wealth of thought-provoking details and making the second equal parts tender and antagonistic…Fans of torturously star-crossed lovers a la those in Marr’s Wicked Lovely and Black’s Tithe will find much to enjoy here, but those who flock to innovative, character-driven fantasy with thematic depth will be equally enthralled.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Author Taylor has created a variety of worlds, time frames, and creatures with such detail and craft that all are believable…Readers will look forward to the suggested sequel to this complex, exciting tale.” –Booklist

* “Lush description of a gothic and ghostly Prague beckons readers from the first page and fulfills its promise, leading to a star-crossed romance that spans worlds and transcends death…[Leaves] the reader both satisfied and eagerly anticipating a forthcoming sequel.” –The Horn Book (starred review)

* “The suspense builds inexorably, and the philosophical as well as physical battles will hold action-oriented readers. The unfolding of character, place, and plot is smoothly intricate, and the conclusion is a beckoning door to the next volume.” –School Library Journal (starred review)

“[A] breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one’s true self” –The New York Times Book Review

“Thrillingly fresh and new” –Entertainment Weekly

“An adventurous story of self-identity, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is written with high-stakes flair and a touch of humor…[It is] well-told and well-paced, raising intriguing questions about notions of identity, expectation, trust, betrayal and belonging.” –The Los Angeles Times

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures

By Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Family, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Teen Life: Personal Development

Grades: 7 – 17

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

 

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PRAISE

 

“This book has it all…Who could ask for more? A sequel? Please!” –VOYA

“In the Gothic tradition of Anne Rice, the authors evoke a dark, supernatural world…Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight or HBO’s “True Blood” series.” –School Library Journal

“[Readers] will be swept up by the haunting and detailed atmosphere, the conventions and structures of Southern life, and a compelling and dimensional mythology” –Publishers Weekly

“Smart, textured and romantic” –Kirkus Reviews

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.

 

PRAISE

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

 

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.

 

PRAISE

“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

When We Wake

When We Wake

By Karen Healey

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Science Fiction,

Grade: 7+

 

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027–she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

 

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies–and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

 

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity–even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn’t all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

 

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

 

★ “Science Fiction done right.” – Kirkus Reviews

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.

 

PRAISE

 

★ “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

 

 

Reckless

Reckless

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.

 

PRAISE

★ “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