unRequired Reading Blog
Growing into womanhood is a very hard experience for Shabanu and her beautiful sister Phulan. They belong to a nomadic culture in Pakistan where it is absolutely normal for 12- and 13-year-old girls to be married off to older men.
Welcome—or not—to middle school. Laura Eboni Dyson and her best friend, Sage, are trying to make the most of a tough year. Both love fashion, and both are bigger than average. It’s hard to feel “runway ready” when the kids call you Fat Larda. But Laura and Sage are gifted in other amazing ways. And Laura discovers she is part of the incredible Laura Line.
Want a book that takes you on a leisurely journey into magical realms, punctuated by extreme fight scenes? The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson, is a hero quest where getting to know the characters and exploring its very detailed world are on at least an equal footing with the magic-drenched action sequences.
The last time we saw our three heroes, Anthony Lockwood, George and Lucy, they had spent a night in the most haunted house in England and conquered a feisty and persistent ghost at the bottom of the Screaming Staircase. However, six months have passed since the incident made them famous, and Lockwood & Co. are not seeing any progress toward their goal of becoming London’s (and the World’s) most successful modern-day ghost agents. To make matters worse, Fittes Agent Quill Kipps and his team of young bullies are consistently on their backs.
It’s not her fault they call her Bloody Jack. Well, not exactly, though I suppose in her way she earned it. ‘Twasn’t always like that, though. She came from a nice if poor family in London, Mary did, before the pestilence came and took their lives, and horrible Muck came with his wheelbarrow for their bodies to give to the doctors to cut up. Set out on the curb, crying as a small girl will, old Muck tried to cheer Mary by assuring he’d be back for her before too long.
Like martial arts, magic, and high school heartbreak? Amanda Sun’s Ink has got you covered.
It’s not easy moving to Japan, and Katie Greene was having an especially rotten day. She forgot to change from her school slippers—again! and ended up barging into a huge break-up scene between moody, gorgeous kendo captain Yuu Tomohiro and his leggy, book-smart girlfriend of the glittery nails.
Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds is a supernatural romance set in the real and not-too-distant past when people were dying by the millions from the flu epidemic. Everybody hopes to connect with their dead loved ones, and con artist “psychics” are lined up, ready to serve.
Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black didn’t believe in such nonsense. When a “spirit photographer” uses her image with that of ghost who seems to be kneeling at her feet, she is outraged—until the ghost of her dead sweetheart comes to visit her.
As K.M. Grant’s Blood Red Horse opens, young Will has just been dunked in a horse trough by his blustering brother Gavin—though he gave him a bloody nose in return. But Gavin’s teasing doesn’t keep Will from wanting a Great Horse—one that he can ride into battle when he’s a knight like his brother.
In Rebecca Tingle’s The Edge on the Sword, Flæd tries to ignore the man who pursued her. In truth, he had been behind her for all of the day, and at night he would sit outside her door. Golden-haired Flæd was accustomed to running free in the great woods with her little brother Edward, only returning to her father's stronghold to take her meals with her family and her lessons from Bishop Asser.
Tepary Jones hiked to the ruins of the ancient city on the night of a total lunar eclipse. He had always felt the magic of the forgotten spaces, but tonight the place seemed especially alive, its pictures of animal and mystic figures telling pieces of stories long forgotten.