Archive for the 'Fantasy and Science Fiction' Category

MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne

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Imagine you and some classmates are trapped in a superstore during what seems like the end of the world. When a massive hailstorm diverts their schoolbuses into the local Greenway, that is exactly what happens to narrator Dean and 13 of his classmates. Trapped inside the store, the fourteen are cut off from the outside world. The hailstorm is followed by a giant earthquake and a chemical weapons spill at a nearby government facility. It is up to Dean and the other high schoolers to take charge and take care of the others – 2 middle schoolers and six “little kids”
Set in the not too distant future, Monument 14, is an unnerving realistic story about what seems like the end of the world. The students try to survive while making sense of the disasters surrounding them. Will they survive? Will they be able to get help? Will the students be able to co-exist even though they are all from different social groups?
Monument 14 is a great read for both boys and girls. I would recommend it to students grade 9 and up due to some violence and other mature situations.
Mrs. Rosenberg
YA Librarian

INKHEART by Cornelia Funke

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Have you ever read a book and felt like th characters came right off the page? Well, in the book INKHEART by Cornelia Funke, they really do. In INKHEART, Meggies’ father has an extraordinary talent. He has the ability to make the characters in books come to life. However, there are consequences for this ability. If you like a fantasy story with a twist, this is the book for you.
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS.
Lauren Moerler
Clarke Middle School
Grade 6

SKYBREAKER by Kenneth Oppel

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Have you ever pictured living a life up in the sky? In the novel SKYBREAKER by Kenneth Oppel, we are introduced to a young man by the name of Matt Cruse. Matt is just your everyday hero and pirate-slayer, or at least that’s what he’s known as these days, studying to one day become the captain of his own ship at the Airship Academy. During training aboard the Flotsam, Matt is given the opportunity to go from rags to riches when he spots a ship long forgotten by history. The Hyperion left its dock over 40 years ago, but never reached its destination. The vast treasures of the esteemed inventor, Theodore Grunel, were never seen again. Matt, alongside his friend Kate de Vries, a gypsy, and a sky captain set out in search of this ghost ship and its frozen crew. 20,000 feet in the air, farther than any have ever gone before, Matt and his friends set out to make a name for themselves and maybe even rewrite history.
I would personally recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure novel. This book is packed full of action but there are also aspects of romance and friendship in it. ANYONE WHO LIKES SCIENCE FICTION WOULD DEFINITELY LOVE THIS BOOK TOO.
Alan Alex
Grade 10
W.T Clarke High School

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES by Ray Bradbury

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THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES by Ray Bradbury is an assortment of similar stories that all include human like Martians from Mars, and human astronauts from Ohio. Honestly, if I saw this book right on the shelf I would not bother to read it, because I am not a fan of Science Fiction. After I read this amazing book my mind totally changed. Now I like reading Science Fiction and am glad that I did not judge the book by it’s cover. In three space ships, the astronauts arrive on Mars looking for a place to begin a new civilization. On Mars there are Martians who are amused to see life coming from Earth. The Martians could not believe their eyes because they believed that life could not be retained on Earth because of high oxygen levels. The Martian Chronicles has a couple of great comparisons that show the similarities of Earth and Mars. One of the comparisons being the setting which is buildings, rivers, and the landscaping. The genre of the novel would be a mix of mystery, science fiction, and fantasy because just in one chapter the story would change drastically.
Since this book was so entertaining I would recommend it for young adults from the age of 11-14. When this book ended I wished there could have been a sequel.
Matthew Brass
Woodland Middle School
Grade 8

Orson Scott Card: Stonefather

Raise your hand if :
Your midterms stressed you out?
You’re looking for a way to escape and unwind?
You want a quick read before your homework piles up?
Well, we’ve searched the stacks and found a great short Fantasy book that’s not a thousand pages long, or a trilogy wide.*
Perfect for the semesters end and beginning, this book is a quick and engaging otherworldly read.
Look no further my friend and try STONEFATHER by Orson Scott Card.
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We start off with the main character Runnel, the simple and poor mountain boy born into an abusive family that considers him the unwanted child. On a walk one day, he leaves his home and takes a random path out of the mountains and into the city of Mitherhome, where he discovers so much more to the world than his simple mountain life.
He meets a young servant girl who helps him get a job with her master, the Stonemage Lord Brickel. As he progresses in this new land, far away from his family, he comes to the realization that the people of Mitherhome are not what they seem and that his true heritage may be very ancient and very magical.

” A great story to read when you’re pressed for time, or low on energy; it picks up quickly and is extremely charming. It’s a book that cannot be forgotten.” -Mrs. Hirsch, YA Librarian
Recommended for grades 11 and up.
*Note: reviewer is not responsible if Orson Scott Card later decides to make Stonefather the first book of a possible new series called Mithermages. I can only hope he does.

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

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When Grace was a little girl, she was attacked by the wolves that live in the woods behind her home. One wolf, the one with the yellow eyes, scared away the others and saved her life. Despite being attacked, Grace has always been fascinated by the wolves and has felt a special connection to the yellow eyed wolf that saved her. One day, when Grace is 17 and browsing the shelves at the bookstore, she finds herself staring into the eyes of a boy with very familiar yellow eyes. The boy’s name is Sam and he holds a powerful secret.
Sam is a werewolf who returns to his human form every summer when the temperature rises. But when winter comes, he transforms into a wolf and watches Grace from the woods, longing to be a part of her world. Sam thinks this might be the last summer he is able to change into his human form before he remains a wolf forever, unless he and Grace can find the cure in time.
Told in alternating chapters from Grace and Sam’s point of view, Shiver is a book you will not be able to put down.
I recommend this book to teens in grade 8 and up.
Ms. Cea
Young Adult Librarian

TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA by Shaun Tan

TALES%20FROM%20OUTER%20SUBURBIA%20JACKET%20COVER.jpgMany years ago I traveled to Australia. I saw the cities; I saw the outback; but never did I see suburbs similar to one in Shaun Tan’s TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA. Fifteen illustrated tales makes the mundane suburban world into a magical place. It begins with the water buffalo who sits in an abandoned lot pointing children in the right direction. There is the foreign exhange student, Eric, a tiny leaf-like creature, with a rather large sense of wonder. And there is the Expedition of two brothers; each brothers wonders if the map of their hometown really ends in nothing.
Each story is illustrated by dazzling images to delight fantasy and science fiction fans. These stories are highly entertaining and anyone will read through this short book in just one sitting. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR GRAPHIC FANS, FOR FANTASY FANS, AND FOR SCI FI FANS. It is a treasure to behold.
Mrs. Jackson
Head of Young Adult Services

REWIND by William Sleator

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div style=”text-align: left;”>REWIND%20JACKET%20COVER.jpg The book Rewind by William Sleator is a really great read. In the book Peter is given another chance at life. Peter has died form a car accident. Peter was mad when his parents told him that he was adopted. His parents had told him because his mom was having a baby. So after hearing that he was adopted, Peter ran into the street and was hit by Mrs. Hazelton his next door neighbors car and died instantaneously. After dying Peter hears a mysterious voice tell him that he will be given another chance at life, if he succeds he will get to keep on living his life. Now Peter has twelve hours to think of any place in his life to which he wants to transfered to. Now what place should Peter choose and how should he relive his life. Sould he start playing sports so his parents like him better or should he become friends with his greatest enemy, the school bully. Will Peter survive and make the most out of the chance he is given or will he die again, this time for good?
Yash Shah
W. Tresper Clarke Middle School
Grade 8

Continue reading ‘REWIND by William Sleator’

1984 by George Orwell

1984%20JACKET%20COVER.jpg Books can be timeless and a great example is 1984 by George Orwell.
Winston Smith appears to be the average human; he lives in the Victory Mansions and works in one of the Ministries, but beneath the man there is a deep-seated hatred for “the Party.” He believes in independence and freethinking, both of which have been outdated for many years. After an “illegal” love affair, Winston and his partner, Julia seek the help of a member of the inner party who Winston is determined that he agrees with them. That man, O’Brien, tells them the secrets of “the Brotherhood,” devoted to bringing down the party. After one of many of Julia and Winston’s secret meetings, they are discovered from the dreaded Thought police and brought to the torture rooms as “traitors” in “The Ministry of Love.” Winston, the traitor, is forced to be re-educated in being a “loyal member of the party” from an unexpected teacher. Can freethinking win out against the powers of Big Brother? The answer may surprise you.
Because of the deep messages and complex theories resented by Orwell, I recommend this book for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in psychology and how the mind can be manipulated.
Andrew Scarpitta
Chaminade High School
Grade 12

SENT by Margaret Peterson Haddix

SENT%20BOOK%20COVER.jpg For everyone who has read Margaret Peterson Haddix’s book, FOUND, the first book in THE MISSING series and have waited patiently to find out what happened to Jonah, his sister, Katherine, and his friend, Chip. The answers can be found in Haddix’s SENT.
We left the three young people along with a fourth, Alex, leaving the cave as time travelers. They were headed to the fifteenth century. It seems Chip and Alex were the young princes imprisoned in the Tower of London by their uncle the Duke of Gloucester or King Richard the Third of England. Eventhough Uncle Richard was third in line to be king; he wanted the throne for himself, so there was a plan to murder the young princes. This was the reason the young princes were saved and taken to the 21st Century. Was it possible Chip and Alex were being sent back to be murdered or can they be saved? What is going to happen to Jonah and Katherine, since they do not belong in the fifteenth century? The young people must rely on the Time Travelers from the future, but can these people from the future be trusted?
Since there is an element of historical accuracy, we know that no one really knows what happened to the two princes, but our author tells a pretty good tale. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE WHO READ THE FIRST BOOK, IS INTERESTED IN ENGLISH HISTORY, AND IS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL
Mrs. Jackson
Head of Young Adult Services