Magical Mayhem

10/05/2011 - 4:06pm
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

In Cassandra Clare’s novel City of Bones, Clary Fray is just an average girl living in New York city until she witnesses a boy getting murdered by three teenagers covered with intricate tattoos and carrying bizarre weapons. Clary wants to go to someone about the murder, but the body mysteriously disappears out of thin air and she is the only person who can see the strange teenagers. What Clary soon finds out is that these teenagers are Shadow Hunters, warriors whose job is to hunt down and kill demons, and to keep a watchful eye on the other creatures that go bump in the night. Soon events take a turn for the worst when Clary herself is attacked by a demon and her mother is kidnapped and placed into a magically induced coma.

Clary can’t understand why any of this is happening -- she is just a normal girl with an average life, and nothing strange had ever happened until she met the Shadow Hunters. But, what she soon finds out is that there are secrets about her past and events that have been wiped from her memory. Now, she needs the Shadow Hunters to remember her past and rescue her mother just as much as they strangely need her to defeat the malicious Valentine, a powerful Shadow Hunter who has turned against his own kind.

06/26/2012 - 1:35pm
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.

If you liked The Lightning Thief, then you'll probably enjoy the rest of the series: The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.

Sea of MonstersThe Titan's CurseThe Battle of the LabyrinthThe Last Olympian

The Red Pyramid
And also by Rick Riordan ... The Red Pyramid
After their father's research experiment at the British Museum unleashes the Egyptian god Set, Carter and Sadie Kane embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest which brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Here are some other titles you might like that are adventurous and surprising:

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.



The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey
Through a series of dangerous and violent misadventures, teenage loser Alfred Kropp rescues King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur from the forces of evil.



09/05/2011 - 12:55pm
Lost and Found by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan has created a book with visually stimulating pictures and rich text in Lost and Found.  This book is a compilation of four stories addressing the concepts of loss and hope.  The tale is enhanced through the vivid and inventive illustrations accompanying the stories.  Tan's muted tones create sometimes somber settings juxtaposed with the vivid introduction of a surprise element.  For example, in the first story “The Red Tree,” Tan takes the reader on a melancholy journey through sadness and despair with a stunning surprise in the simplicity of a red leaf.  The reader finds herself thrust into a hopeful and encouraging element that compels the character to smile.

08/18/2011 - 3:24pm
Forever book cover

Forever, the final book in (local author!) Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is out! (Of course, you die-hard fans already knew that.) If you haven't gotten your hands on it, place your hold now.

Steifvater's creativity seems to know no bounds. She created this stop motion book trailer and wrote the accompanying music.

06/20/2011 - 6:38am
The Tears of the Salamander, by Peter Dickinson

Peter Dickinson’s The Tears of the Salamander begins with a simple gift and ends with a magical legacy. When his seldom-seen, rich Uncle Giorgio gives young Alfredo a strange present on his name day, his parents aren’t sure they want him to have it. The golden chain doesn’t have the expected cross on it—from it dangles the golden image of a strange animal—a little lizard with splayed feet and other peculiar features. Alfredo’s older brother is very jealous. He sees nothing special in Alfredo. Sure, he can sing like an angel, but that’s not much use to a baker’s boy, is it?

The local priests see Alfredo’s gift differently. They want him in their boys’ choir, and he is happy to be there for he loves to sing—but he also loves baking and hopes to follow his father into the trade. When catastrophe strikes leaving Alfredo alone and friendless, the priests urge him to join the choir permanently, and he would have done so even though it would have meant giving up a normal life. But just at the crucial moment, his Uncle Giorgio comes to take him away to reclaim his birthright—the birthright his father refused by choosing instead to become a simple village baker.

06/13/2011 - 5:41am
Entwined, by Heather Dixon

Entwined, by Heather Dixon, is a new take on the fairytale of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” The twelve sisters live in the kingdom of Eathesbury where their father the king rules with a firm and practical hand. Their mother loves to dance, and her joy and optimism are passed down to her eldest daughter, Azalea. On the eve of her death, their mother makes Azalea promise upon a silver handkerchief that she will take care of her sisters; and Azalea does just that, with the fulfillment of her promise being enforced by the magic of the silver handkerchief.

06/08/2011 - 2:27pm
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets....After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, the Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny ... forever.

If you like The Thief Lord then you might like:

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
The Amulet of Samarkand
by Jonathan Stroud
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.



Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton
Endymion Spring
by Matthew Skelton
Having reluctantly accompanied his academic mother and pesky younger sister to Oxford, twelve-year-old Blake Winters is at loose ends until he stumbles across an ancient and magical book, secretly brought to England in 1453 by Gutenberg's mute apprentice to save it from evil forces, and which now draws Blake into a dangerous and  life-threatening quest. 


Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish
Troll Fell
by Katherine Langrish
Forced to live with his evil identical-twin uncles after his father's death, Peer tries to find a way to stop their plan to sell the neighbor's children to the trolls.



Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Wee Free Men
by Terry Pratchett
A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland.



04/18/2011 - 3:30am
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

In Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare returns to the world she created in her series, The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel, the first installment in the new Infernal Devices series, is set in London, several hundred years before the events in City of Bones. Tessa, an American, is called to London by her brother, only to find him missing and herself a captive, embroiled in a dark world of demons, warlocks, vampires and Nephilim, those descendants of angels who strive to protect the world from the forces of evil.

The London Clave that shelters Tessa is also home to three orphaned Nephilim, each apparently with secrets of their own. The attraction between Tessa and fiery Will takes center stage. But the quiet, mysterious Jem also falls for her, as Will pushes her away. Which handsome young man will get the girl in the end? Can a Team-Jem versus Team-Will fan split be far off?

04/13/2011 - 8:08am
Pegasus by Robin McKinley

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

If you haven't read Robin McKinley's newest book Pegasus (published in 2010), you might want to check it out :

Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.

If you're looking for some other prolific authors, you might also enjoy Vivian Vande Velde and Donna Jo Napoli, who don't write entirely fantasy but are excellent writers in that genre and others.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.


Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
Cabinet of Wonders
by Marie Rutkoski
Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister. (An exciting mix of fantasy, historical fiction and adventure!)


A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce
A Curse Dark as Gold
by Elizabeth Bunce
Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family's woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price. (This is an amazing retelling of Rumplestiltskin)


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