Monday, February 20, 2012

Read any good books lately?

My WIP is fantasy so I must, simply MUST, read everything new and noteworthy in the children’s fantasy genre. (Or at least that’s my excuse!) Here’s my latest favorite.


In the time-honored tradition of children’s books, our heroine Maya’s mother is very ill. To fulfill the mother’s fantasy, the family moves to Paris for a year. There, all roads seem to lead to a mysterious Society of “beautiful people” who sniff a heady substance called anbar, live in houses with brass salamander doorhandles, and, as it turns out, are all connected to a shimmering Cabinet of Earths. In the midst of Maya’s ordinary problems of adjusting to a French middle school without speaking French, her little brother James goes missing. When the Cabinet chooses her as its next keeper, she must decide whether to sacrifice her brother’s essential personality or her mother’s shot at immortality.

I love fantasies and I read so many of them that it's exciting to find an original vision like this one. For one thing the magic is French and it's set in Paris--a refreshing change from the English magic trope. For another, the "earths" themselves represent such a interesting reworking of the classic theme of magically preserving a life. And the book is beautifully, whimsically, even deliciously written. I read this in a waiting room while my husband was having surgery and it was like having a friend there to entertain me and keep me company.

Have you read any kid’s books recently that you would recommend to the rest of us? If so, why?


  1. I've got three that I've read over the past few months that I absolutely loved: OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt, DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver, and IF I STAY, by Gayle Forman.

    All different, all beautifully written. Schmidt brings pathos to a new level -- I was laughing, then crying, sometimes both at once. I enjoyed DELIRIUM every bit as much as HUNGER GAMES, and as soon as I finished IF I STAY, I had to get WHERE SHE WENT, and put it at the top of my TBR pile.

  2. I am finally getting to the HUNGER GAMES (yes, a bit late), but what a gripping start. Before chapter three, I laughed, cried, and held my breath. What a ride!
    One of my favorites from a few months ago was SAVVY -- a fresh take on magical powers, with very likable and authentic characters.

  3. I just finished THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, which was beautifully written but gory!

  4. I have just read an incredible political thriller ebook. I was browsing around at and found this ebook called The Cain Sanction, I read the preview and a
    few chapters. It really was a page turner can’t put it down kind of book.
    I didn’t know how it ends until the last sentence of the last page.. great read!!


  5. I agree with Amanda. I too just finished The Cain Sanction and loved it! It's refreshing to see a political thriller written by a woman. I thought it was very visual and though provoking. I like her writing style. Hoping for a sequel or a new book real fast.