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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth
From a feel-good romance to chilling, postapocalyptic scenarios, and from lively, illustrated chapter books (Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat) to devilishly sophisticated short stories (Red Spikes), readers of many tastes and levels will find something worth raving about in this year’s top 10 selections, all published in the past 12 months.
Book of a Thousand Days. By Shannon Hale. Bloomsbury, $17.95 (9781599900513). Gr. 7–10.
Devotees of Hale’s soulful tales will embrace her latest offering, set in an imagined Central Asia and centering on the political and romantic dilemmas of an irrepressible heroine.
Cherry Heaven. By L. J. Adlington. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780061431807). Gr. 8–11.
While expanding upon the postapocalyptic world first introduced in Adlington’s equally excellent The Diary of Pelly D (2005), this companion story, about two sisters’ experiences in a new, seemingly idyllic colony, will easily pull in new readers.
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat. By Lynne Jonell. Illus. by Jonathan Bean. Holt, $16.95 (9780805081503). Gr. 3–6.
In a lightly illustrated chapter book with a classic, whimsical sensibility, a child’s dreary existence is infused with wonder and danger when she crosses paths with a magical rat.
Exodus. By Julie Bertagna. Walker, $16.95 (9780802797452). Gr. 6–10.
Readers will be equally engrossed by Bertagna’s sweeping vision of ecological apocalypse and by her story’s strong-willed heroine, whose refusal to accept injustice saves floodwater refugees.
Golden Dreams of Carlo Chuchio. By Lloyd Alexander. Holt, $17.95 (9780805083330). Gr. 5–8.
Moments of human folly; a cast of vibrant characters; and an exotic, transformative journey are just some of the trademark elements distinguishing this thoughtful quest adventure, the late fantasist’s last.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. By J. K. Rowling. $34.99 (9780545010221). Gr. 6–12.
Seven books; seven appearances on Booklist’s Top 10 Youth SF/Fantasy list. Rowling more than earns this year’s distinction by deftly maneuvering her hero through the finale’s heavy cloak of expectation and inevitability.
The Land of the Silver Apples. By Nancy Farmer. Atheneum, $18.99 (9781416907350). Gr. 6–9.
As personal as it is epic, Farmer’s second hearty eighth-century adventure (following The Sea of Trolls, 2004) sends Jack on a rescue mission to the ageless realm of the fairies.
Powers. By Ursula K. Le Guin. Harcourt, $17 (9780152057701). Gr. 8–12.
With compelling themes about the soul-crushing effects of slavery, and a journey plotline that showcases Le Guin’s gift for creating a convincing array of cultures, this powerful coming-of-age saga stands strong alongside Gifts (2004) and Voices (2006).
Red Spikes. By Margo Lanagan. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375843204). Gr. 10–12.
Like quick, intense plunges into exhilarating waters, the stories in Lanagan’s latest, seductively eerie collection will seize readers’ imaginations with more off-kilter interpretations of folklore and startling eruptions of magic.
Tunnels. By Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. Scholastic/Chicken House, $17.99 (9781905294428). Gr. 6–9.
This cracking debut in the Tunnels series features an endlessly fascinating premise—the existence of secret cities sprawling underfoot—and a hurtling, elaborate plot in which a “topsoiler” boy discovers astonishing connections between his family and the underworld.
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