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Find more Top 10 Fantasy Books for Youth
Alexander, Lloyd. The Iron Ring. 1997. Dutton, $16.99 (0-525-45597-3). Gr. 6–9.
After losing his kingdom, riches, and even his life in a dice game to King Jaya, the young king Tamar begins a long journey to Jaya’s kingdom with an assortment of companions, who join Tamar in his quest for honor. A thoughtful tale involving magic and high adventure.
Barron, T. A. The Seven Songs of Merlin. 1997. Putnam/Philomel, $19.95 (0-399-23019-X). Gr. 7–10.
In the sequel to The Lost Years of Merlin (1996), young Emrys, the boy who is to become the mage Merlin, takes the dangerous Long Journey to the Otherworld for the Elixir of Dagda to save his poisoned mother’s life. Riveting action combined with a well-crafted setting.
Jacques, Brian. The Long Patrol. 1998. illus. Putnam/Philomel, $21.99 (0-399-23165-X). Gr. 5–8.
The tenth episode in the perennially popular Redwall saga lives up to the series’ level of excellence as the villainous Rapscallions more than meet their match in the Long Patrol, the fighting unit of perilous hares, and their allies.
Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted. 1997. HarperCollins, $14.95 (0-06-027510-3). Gr. 5–8.
A superbly plotted, witty, thoroughly enjoyable retelling of the Cinderella story that neatly incorporates elements of the original and mightily expands them. A Booklist Editors’ Choice ’97.
McKay, Hillary. The Amber Cat. 1997. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $15 (0-689-81360-0). Gr. 3–6.
This fresh, gently comic story within a story works in more than one way: it’s a clever time-travel fantasy and a ghost story rolled into one.
McKinley, Robin. Rose Daughter. 1997. Greenwillow, $16 (0-688-15439-5). Gr. 6–12.
Almost 20 years after Beauty (1975), McKinley returns to the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, creating an even richer, more mystical, and darker story, though leavened with humor, of the merchant’s youngest daughter who goes to live in the Beast’s castle to save her father. A Booklist Editors’ Choice ’97.
Pierce, Tamora. Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book. 1997. Scholastic, $15.95 (0-590-55356-9). Gr. 6–9.
The first book in a new series about four misfits who must learn to harness their powers. Each has run out of options; then they are rescued by the mysterious Niko and brought to Winding Circle Temple. Both the new world, where magic is a science, and the cast of characters are utterly believable.
Pullman, Philip. The Subtle Knife. 1997. Knopf, $20 (0-679-87925-0). Gr. 7–12.
This resoundingly successful sequel to The Golden Compass, Booklist’s Top of the List in Youth Fiction for 1996, continues the epic adventure, as young Will, who becomes a warrior and the bearer of the subtle knife, joins forces with Lyra. A Booklist Editors’ Choice ’97.
Springer, Nancy. I Am Mordred: A Tale from Camelot. 1998. Putnam/Philomel, $16.99 (0-399-23143-9). Gr. 7–12.
Springer humanizes Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur, in a thoroughly captivating and poignant tale as we watch Mordred’s ill-fated attempt to negate his destiny as his father’s slayer.
Thompson, Kate. Switchers. 1998. Hyperion; dist. by Little, Brown, $14.95 (0-7868-0380-0); lib. ed., $15.49 (0-7868-2328-3). Gr. 5–7.
Stunned and delighted to discover that she’s not unique, a young shape-shifter and her newfound friend race to save the world from a sudden ice age in this grand, colorful fantasy.
Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn. Monet’s Ghost. 1997. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17 (0-689-80732-5). Gr. 6–10.
Geena Howe, 15, can think herself into a painting, and when she enters a huge Monet, she finds herself in a bizarre place where stacks of wheat, moats, and castle towers appear and disappear after the appearance of a ghostly figure. The eerie details and scary happenings are well worth the suspension of disbelief.
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