by Angie Sage, Mark Zug (Illustrator)
There are so many vibrant characters in these books, and I love the main characters, Septimus and Jenna. I was so interested in the twisty plot! There is a lot going on in every chapter with many moving parts in the plot that wind around each other.
The writing is rich and flavorful, but still concise and pointed. I loved the map in the beginning, and the small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.
Can’t wait to read more from this series!
by Delia Sherman
I am delighted with this whimsical tale of wizardry! I love the enchanted town of Smallbone Cove and the rich history of the people there. I love how grumpy and enigmatic Smallbone is, because we slowly discover that he has a heart of gold underneath. I love the twisty plot with all kinds of weird surprises. I like the writing style too! There’s a lot of dry humor and snappy dialogue. Continue reading
by Whitney Gardner
A girl who is obsessed with vampires.
Conclusion: A.J. must become a vampire. Or at least, dress up like one.
Haha! I knew right away that this would be a funny graphic novel, and I was NOT disappointed! A.J. has a crush on Nia, and pretends to be a vampire to get her attention. But he gets the wrong kind of attention, because Nia dreams of becoming a vampire slayer, and comes after him with a stake!
Oh, I almost died laughing, this was so funny!
I loved the dynamic between A.J.’s two best friends. I loved the sweet flirtations between A.J. and Nia. I loved the colorful cartoony artwork. And I loved the hilarious plot and relatable characters. Continue reading
by Jessica Day George
I adore the entire Glower family, and Celie is just as spunky and adventurous as always. I was interested to see this new side of the Castle-magic infused into the Ship, and the magical development in the story is wonderful! The plot drags a little bit at first, with lots of betrothal parties and parades, but once the Ship is at sea the adventure truly begins.
I really loved the mystery of the lost unicorns, and how that influenced so many of the characters and their decisions. I was especially interested in the differing reports they received about the history of the unicorns and why they were lost in the first place, which served as some interesting red herrings in the plot.
I only wish there were more books in this series! It’s a good ending, but I want more!
by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Her mother’s emotionally wounded friend, Deirdre, who is a genius vocalist, makes Allegra wonder about how pain can find a voice through music. Allegra’s grandmother, who escaped the Nazi death camps, urges Allegra to embrace her Jewish heritage, and Allegra reflects on her identity as a musician. And there is a mysterious homeless man who haunts all the local concerts in the park, dancing by himself in the back and searching for a song he can’t remember.
As a musician, I enjoyed this story so much. The writing is quite accurate about how one feels about learning music, and embracing it, and connecting with the composers; how you can make yourself crazy practicing too much, how your nerves will go haywire before or after a performance, how music shapes everything you do and everything you are.
by Bruce Coville, Gary A. Lippincott
I loved this hilarious story, and read it all in one sitting! The madcap plot is full of surprises, and the snappy dialogue makes every page interesting. I enjoyed the magic system and how it interacts in strange ways with the modern world.
I thought Jennifer was sweet and REAL and beautifully awkward. Her family is quirky and weird, and her friends are peppery and unreliable. The best part of the book was Jennifer’s various relationships with her parents, siblings, and school friends, and of course, her magical talking toad.
I adored every chapter! Can’t wait to read more from this series.