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The Fantasy/SciFr Shelf.

Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys

Trisha Sugarek, author

Jefferson O'Neal, illustrator


100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

9781469912509, $17.95,

"Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys" is book III in the Fabled Forest Series, written for children ages 1-12, an illustrated early chapter book for excited pre-novella readers. A cast of familiar but colorful magical forest characters parade through this gentle teaching tale about bullying, the value of literacy, and ageism. All the Fabled Forest residents who wish to attend a regular spelling and reading circle with Bertie the Bookworm, a wise forest elder. However Slam and his group of bully boys have repeatedly disrupted this learning circle with their behavior. Cheets, an adorable elf who is testing the difference between right and wrong, needs to learn a lesson about tolerance and choosing not to aid in bullying. Will Bertie be allowed to continue his literacy teaching without harassment? Will Pansy, a pixie who defends literacy and truth and also Bertie, be able to help Cheets learn to make wise choices in behavior and friends? Many nods to familiar fairytale characters weave in and out of the story gracefully, and the magical Fabled Forest is a good learning ground for all. Children of middle school age will enjoy this combination of fantasy and reality in a good manners and literacy teaching package. The colorful illustrations add just the right touch of mystery and fantasy to the story.

Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries

S.R. Zales

Dog Ear Publishing

4010 W. 86th Street, Ste H Indianapolis, IN 46268

9781457513305 $14.95

Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries is a fantasy chapter book for preteen and teen readers, featuring the 12-year-old tomboy Jenny, who befriends the magical Hummingbird Faeries of Catalina Island. An invasion of deadly Black Globs threatens the faeries, while the proliferation of Blood Blossom Trees threatens to smother the island's delicate ecosystem. In order to protect the vulnerable and preserve the balance, she must battle the malevolent sorcerer Dex Cobben. With the aid of her pet cat, Jenny must discover her own identity as a White Witch and confront her own deepest fears as well as the machinations of her enemies! A captivating read from cover to cover, Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries is especially recommended for young girls.

Arthur Quinn

Alan Early


c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.

PO Box 7

Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007

9781856359986, $13.95,

Gods tend to not die very easily. "Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf" is a youth fantasy from Alan Early, following the continuing story of Arthur Quinn after he defeated the Viking god Loki and staved him off the advances against the world. But Loki may be on the verge of returning, and Arthur and his friends must rise to the challenge again to foil his plots. "Arthru Quinn and the Fenris Wolf" is a must for those who seeking quality young adult fantasy, not to be missed.

Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb

D. R. Martin

Conger Road Press

9780985019617, $15.99,

Newspaper photography gets a tad more difficult when sometimes your subjects are dead. "Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb" is a novel drawing from classic pulpy style of the 1930s, following Johnny Graphic, aspiring photographer, as he discovers ghosts covering every level of his desired career path. Finding ghosts friendly and hostile, he rushes to protect his sister from the later, a task more difficult than he knows. "Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb" is a strong pick for young adult readers, highly recommended.

Escape to Mars

Greg Krehbiel


100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

9781477443682, $9.99,

Science gone awry may end the Earth, but science will also give it another chance. "Escape to Mars" is a young adult science fiction adventure as Billy Chen and Amber Harris flee from a Black Hole consuming the earth to start a new life on Mars. It won't be easy, but the two preteens are up to the challenge. "Escape to Mars" is a fun read for young science fiction enthusiasts, recommended.

Light & Dark

D. M. Fife

Privately Published

9780985324704, $9.99,

Growing up grows ever more difficult when you're charged with standing against the forces of evil. "Light & Dark" is a young adult fantasy from D. M. Fife who tells of Danny Firoth, eighth grader and Knight of the Light. With his friends, he is put through rigorous training and the time to use that training draws close far too quickly for the quickly aging teen. "Light & Dark" is a fun read for those who enjoy youth fantasy, much recommended.

Castle Falcon

Tom Alan Brosz


100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

9781477506158, $14.99 pbk./$2.99 Kindle,

A castle provides much security, but what is security without life? "Castle Falcon" is a young adult fantasy following castle bound youths who try to escape their cage that their family sealed them inside. As they break out, they see a world very much problematic, and that they might have to meet some weird people to help them save the world that they were shielded from. "Castle Falcon" is a strong pick for youths who love fantasy and unusual worlds.


Marta Stahlfeld

Book Publishers Network

PO Box 2256, Bothell, WA 98041

9781937454371, $16.95,

As one's city hangs in the balance, one has to understand fast how to best win the day. "Pasadagavra" is the second book in the Darkwoods series from teenage writer Marta Stahlfeld as she presents a fantasy very much geared towards her age group as Zuryzel comes of age and finds the weight of the world thrust upon her to bring the support needed to save the Stone Tribe City. "Pasadagavra" is a read well worth considering for young adult fantasy and fiction collections, recommended.

Deadtime Stories: Little Magic Shop of Horrors

Annette and Gina Cascone


c/o Tor/Forge Books

175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

9780765330758, $14.99,

Deadtime Stories: Little Magic Shop of Horrors tells of Peter Newman, who wants to win fancy mountain bike which is the grand prize for his school's talent competition. The only problem is: he needs to identify and demonstrate a winning talent. So when he and his best friend see an ad for the Little magic Shop of Horrors, they spring for a magic kit and Peter becomes "Peter the Great" with some extraordinary tricks that apparently can't be undone. Heady drama evolves in a satisfying supernatural thriller perfect for grades 4-6.

Be My Enemy

Ian McDonald


59 John Glenn Drive

Amherst, NY 14228-2197

9781616146788, $16.95,

BE MY ENEMY is book two of the Everness series and continues the story of Everett Singh, who has escaped from the clutches of Charlotte Villiers and the Order only to find his father missing in one of the billions of parallel universes out there. Everett and his crew have taken a random jump to a random parallel planet where Everett plans to rescue his family - but Charlotte is a step ahead, and a complex story of world-hopping alternate universes evolves where Everett and his crew face evil, corrupted power, nanotechnology gone awry, and more. Young adult science fiction enthusiasts will find this a complex, fast-paced story perfect for leisure browsing.

HarperCollins Children's Books

10 East 53rd Street

New York, NY 10022

Two fine Derek the Ghost 'Scary School' titles just missed mention for our October issue but deserve year-round recommendation for any advanced elementary reader who likes a good scare. Scott M. Fischer's whimsical and appealing black and white illustrations pepper both books, introduced by SCARY SCHOOL (9780061960925, $15.99), in which an entire school is populated by scary inhabitants, from the 850-year old vampire Ms. Fang to a host of monsters, including Frankenstein. The narrator's no ordinary kid either, but an eleven-year-old ghost who is the new kid in school and who makes some Scary friends at the school. It's not all about terror - it's about fun, in this whimsical story recommended for grades 4 and up. Those who like this scary account will also relish its Scary School sequel MONSTERS ON THE MARCH (9780061906956, $15.99), which follows the students of Scary School on a field trip to a Monster Forest, where they encounter the Monster King's toad-faced daughter Princess Zogette, who falls for one of the students and follows him back to Scary School. A host of armies are raised on both sides as the school struggles with its new dangerous inhabitants in this funny, whimsical survey.

Scholastic Press

557 Broadway

New York, NY 10012-3999

M.T. Anderson's THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY (9780545334938, $17.99) tells of Brian and Gregory, trapped in a world under invasion. Most people are in denial - but Brian and Gregor know that if they can't find a way to escape, the rest of Earth will fall to the Thusser invaders, who have already made part of Vermont hostage, sucking on people's dreams. Their only hope is a chamber that has been traveling for years and holds the ability to stop all the chaos - if they can find it. A satisfying science fiction story evolves, perfect for grades 5-7. R.L. Stine is best known for his 'Goosebumps' series and returns with WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK (9780545417938, $15.99), telling of Lu-Ann Franklin who usually loves Halloween - but not thi year. Her best friend will be out of town, she has to go to a boring party - but her doldrums are shaken when she encounters a real haunted mask even as her best friend is encountering a deadly secret on a pumpkin farm. It may have arrived too late for Halloween mention, but fans o spooky supernatural fiction will find lasting attraction to this scary story, recommended for grades 4-7. Chris Westwood's GRAVEYARD SHIFT (9780545399197, $17.99) tells of Ben Harvester, who meets the mysterious Mr. October in a London cemetery only to find his lif changed by knowledge of a Ministry of Pandemonium, a secret organization that tracks down lost souls and guides them to the afterlife. Mr. October wants Ben to be his newest apprentice - and he is introduced to a world of ghosts, magic, and horror as he realizes the Ministry isn't the only organization hunting down the newly dead. Chills and thrills for grades 4-6 make this a fine pick.
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Publication:Children's Bookwatch
Article Type:Children's review
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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