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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 SF, Fantasy, and Horror for Youth
Hey, robots, unicorns, and whatnot—make room for the monsters. This year we’re folding horror into the sf/fantasy spotlight, and the genre is well represented in this list of books reviewed between May 15, 2013, and May 1, 2014, in Booklist.
The Abominables. By Eva Ibbotson. Illus. by Fiona Robinson. 2013. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (9781419707896). Gr. 3–6.
This imaginative comedy-adventure boasts a rich cast of idiosyncratic characters—of both the human and yeti persuasion. After a family of friendly yetis is threatened, it’s up to two kids to whisk them safely off to England.
Beyond the Door. By Maureen Doyle McQuerry. 2014. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (9781419710162). Gr. 4–8.
Threaded with ancient and medieval mythologies, this lyrical mystery propels a trio of kids (plus a half-man, half-tree; a white wolf; and others) through both time and stories, as they each find their purpose in the battle of Light versus Dark.
Earth Girl. By Janet Edwards. 2013. Pyr, $17.95 (9781616147655). Gr. 9–12.
Forget moody dystopias. This darn-near-bubbly debut follows Jarra, an Earth-bound “ape,” who is nonetheless intent on showing her universe-traipsing contemporaries that she is every bit as heroic.
Far Far Away. By Tom McNeal. 2013. Knopf, $17.99 (9780375849725). Gr. 7–10.
Rife with classic references to the Brothers Grimm, McNeal’s dark fantasy involves three children abducted by a vengeful baker. An iconic look at outcasts, faith, and the classic fight between good and evil.
The Final Descent. By Rick Yancey. 2013. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (9781442451537). Gr. 9–12.
Yancey concludes his celebrated Monstrumologist series with an unflinching dive into darkness. Young Will Henry is now 16 and becoming exactly what he has long hunted: a monster. Can he hold on to his sanity?
Half Bad. By Sally Green. 2014. Viking, $18.99 (9780670016785). Gr. 9–12.
Nathan is caged and beaten until his seventeenth birthday, when he is to lead two factions of witches to his evil father—or so they hope. A grueling look at good and evil with compelling racial overtones.
How to Catch a Bogle. By Catherine Jinks. Illus. by Sarah Watts. 2013. Harcourt, $16.99 (9780544087088). Gr. 4–6.
Birdie has a knack for helping catch goblins known as “bogles”: she lures them with a song, and then her master does the dirty work. But her loyalties soon fracture in this richly atmospheric 1870s horror-fantasy-adventure.
September Girls. By Bennett Madison. 2013. Harper, $17.99 (9780061255632). Gr. 9–12.
Sam’s new beach town is populated by strange and beautiful young women with blond hair, exotic accents, and dark secrets he can’t imagine. Madison’s ethereal tale masterfully intertwines Sam’s raunchy narrative with the collective grieving of the girls.
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim. By E. K. Johnston. 2014. Carolrhoda/Lab, $17.95 (9781467710664). Gr. 8–11.
This blend of alt-history, high fantasy, and contemporary fiction introduces Owen, who takes over for his injured dragon-slaying aunt. If you think this sounds standard, it isn’t—for instance, dig those Gordon Lightfoot tunes about dragons.
The Waking Dark. By Robin Wasserman. 2013. Knopf, $17.99 (9780375868771). Gr. 9–12.
Kicking off with one of the most terrifying scenes in YA history, Wasserman’s twisted look at the perils of mob mentality involves a wave of indescribable violence washing over a small town—and possibly our heroes, too.
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