When a terrible storm (think Katrina) strands an inept young man with his highly sheltered cousins, he turns to storytelling to hold their fears at bay. Read full book review >
Animals talk, attack dragons prowl the skies and political unrest afflicts the land of Oz in this richly detailed sequel to Maguire's contemporary fantasy classic Wicked (1996).
Its protagonist is Liir, the probable offspring of Elphaba Thropp, the late, mostly unlamented Wicked Witch of the West (unless Liir's birth mother was actually Elphaba's unfortunate sibling Nessarose; it's complicated). Read full book review >
Having faced ghosts, aliens, and deadly Siberian snow spiders in previous adventures, the fifth graders at Josiah Fawcett Elementary take on a very different sort of challenge when a Grecian urn from Fawn Petros's aunt shatters, releasing four bright-eyed cupids from a 2,300-year nap. Read full book review >
Having survived an influx of giant, poisonous Siberian snow spiders (Seven Spiders Spinning, 1994), the rival boys and girls of Miss Earth's class in Hamlet, Vermont, face another set of prehistoric critters: a herd of ghost mammoths hunting through the centuries for a misplaced youngling. In the wake of a classroom argument about the existence of ghosts, the Tattletales (girls) gleefully don fright masks and beehive wigs (`` `There is nothing quite so terrifying as hairstyles that have gone out of fashion' '') and send the Copycats (boys) fleeing down spooky Hardscrabble Hill in panic, where there are actual ghosts—indistinct mounds that appear at the first sign of peanuts and wander about with a mournful air. Read full book review >
A young man's struggle with grief over the sudden death of his father is the central conflict in a novel that effortlessly illuminates the depth and strength of the human spirit. Hand Gunther blames himself for the death of his father, Rudy, of a heart attack; condemns his estranged mother, Clare, for returning to the family too late; and resents his sister Vida's eager forgiveness of Clare. Read full book review >