Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tween fantasy and adventure for a new year

If winter's got you down, if the holidays seemed so last year, it may be time for stories set in other times and places. Here are some new titles that will take readers away with fantasy and adventure, available here at BookBag using the Amazon and World Catalog search boxes.

Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press) Historical Fiction. Feisty 12-year-old Abilene Tucker isn't too keen on spending the summer away from her daddy, but since she can't accompany him on his new railroad job, she'll be staying with a family friend in Manifest, Kansas, where her dad once lived. Abilene is disappointed in Manifest when she first gets off the train--it looks like any other ratty, worn-out old town in the throes of the Depression--but she soon uncovers all kinds of mysteries to investigate. Spies, outlaws, secrets, and even murder are woven into this complex, multilayered story that's sure to please fans of memorable characters and richly detailed settings.

The Clockwork Three, by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press) Fantasy. Giuseppe is an orphan who plays the violin on street corners for spare change, most of which goes to his cruel master, Stephano. Hannah works as a hotel maid, trying to earn the money for an operation that her father desperately needs. Frederick, apprenticed to a clockmaker, is building an automaton in secret. In this adventure that melds magic, action, myth, and mystery, the three characters' separate paths converge...and none of their lives will ever be the same. If you liked the historical setting and suspense of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, be sure to give The Clockwork Three a look.

Blue Fire, by Janice Hardy (Balzer + Bray) Fantasy. Like other Takers, 15-year-old Nya can physically remove a person's pain, but her ability to transfer pain from one person to another is extremely rare. In this thrilling sequel to The Shifter, Nya must use her healing powers as a weapon in order to rescue her sister and a small band of Takers from the sadistic ruler who has invaded their homeland. Fans of action-packed fantasies with girl heroes (such as Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper books) will finish Blue Fire breathless for the next volume in The Healing Wars series.

A Long Walk to Water: A Novel, by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books) Fiction. When rebel soldiers attack his Sudanese village in 1985, 11-year-old Salva runs away. Separated from his family in the chaos, he walks--sometimes with other refugees, sometimes alone--all through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of a safe haven. Many years later, a young Sudanese girl also spends most of her time walking, but her trek is the same every day: it takes her eight hours to reach the place where she fetches water for her family. Both of these spare, harrowing stories are based on real-life events, and readers are sure to be surprised and uplifted when they learn what connects them.

Virals, by Kathy Reichs (Razorbill) SF/Thriller. While exploring an abandoned laboratory near their secluded South Carolina home, science geek Tory Brennan and her friends rescue a quarantined dog...and, soon after, they all develop much keener senses and quicker reflexes. It's a bizarre situation that the friends--now more of a "pack" than ever--use to their advantage when an unsolved murder case from years ago suddenly becomes news again. Fans of the TV show Bones (Tory is Temperance Brennan's niece) will love the forensic science details in Virals, and anyone who enjoys fast-paced, action-packed fare will be eager for the next volume in this new series.

No comments:

Post a Comment