Books by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Released: June 13, 2017

"Deft, succinct, and ringing with emotion without ever dipping into sentimentality, Anderson's novel is both intriguing and deeply satisfying. (Science/historical fiction. 12-adult)"
In the year 2065, 16-year-old Adri Ortiz is one of the hardworking, talented few chosen to colonize Mars. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"An endearing narrator, a beguiling world that accommodates both mermaids and Pixy Stix, and a genuinely moving family story propel this adventure for readers who don't look too hard at the details. (Fantasy. 9-13)"
In her diary, Gracie Lockwood records her family's flight for the fabled Extraordinary World, where magic doesn't exist. Read full book review >
THE VANISHING SEASON by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Released: July 1, 2014

"An intensely gripping tale with a surprise ending that's fully earned. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
In this moody thriller set on an isolated Wisconsin peninsula, the tourists are gone, a serial killer's at large, and incendiary passions ignite in winter's deepening bitter cold. Read full book review >
Released: July 3, 2012

"Working with the darker threads of Barrie's bittersweet classic, Anderson weaves an enchanting tale. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
It's no paradise—white-sand beaches and spectacular sunsets come with mud, mosquitoes and croc-infested swamps—but guided by fragile, insect-size faerie Tink, readers are drawn into this richly re-imagined Neverland anyway. Read full book review >
Released: July 19, 2011

Sounding like a corny uncle knee-slapping his way through a civics textbook, or perhaps a high-school history teacher certain that name-dropping rock bands will make him seem hip, this full-color guidebook aims for edutainment but falls far short.

Despite the implication of the title, the subject matter is not comprehensive, instead covering a hodgepodge of topics from the Electoral College to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Salem Witch Trials. In an attempt to enliven dry, disjointed infodumps, the authors crack constant, unfunny verbal and visual jokes that range from painfully dated (the chapter on dynasties in U.S. business and politics devotes most of a page to an aside about the TV show Dynasty, complete with a photograph of the cast) to downright tasteless ("Mexico sends us hardworking laborers, petroleum...and the irresistible two taco/one enchilada combo plate"). Visual content also serves as a gag (a picture of an Afghan hound in the War on Terror section is captioned "Afghans are known for their distrust of outsiders and lustrous coats"). The brief conclusion takes a more serious turn by suggesting steps toward activism and pointing readers toward organizations working on a variety of issues.

There are a few nuggets of helpful information here, but readers will be too busy groaning to find them. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 18, 2007

Though definitely not a standalone, this decisive closer to a wonderfully droll and scary series takes young May Bird, now 13, back to the Ever After for a climactic confrontation with the nearly all-powerful Evil Bo Cleevil. Unfortunately, that climax—though entirely satisfying and worthy of the two preceding episodes—follows some two dozen water-treading chapters largely filled out by her wandering through old haunts and reconnecting with previously met characters. Dismayed to discover that Cleevil's strip malls have taken over the Ever After and that he is poised, with his malign (if easily distractible) goblins and other Dark Spirits, to conquer Earth, May Bird gathers up her old allies for a seemingly hopeless assault on his massive fortress. Sending her newly adolescent protagonist up against an overwhelmingly powerful opponent that is revealed to be the embodiment of the elemental but infantile need to own or control everything, Anderson brings the root conflict's metaphorical level to the surface without a trace of preachiness. She also offers several artful twists at the end that help, at least, to compensate for the fact that her story line needed some padding to fill up three volumes. It's still mostly masterful. (Fantasy. 11-13)Read full book review >
MAY BIRD AMONG THE STARS by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Accompanied most of the way by a ragtag band of deceased sidekicks, ten-year-old May Bird and her hairless, redoubtable feline Somber Kitty continue a trek across the "Afterlife" begun in May Bird and the Ever After (2005)—and come out the other side at last. Pursued by the Wild Hunt and other minions of kingpin dark spirit Evil Bo Cleevil, the travelers make their way through a land of the dead that looks more than ever like California. They pause at a lotus-eater-style colony of wiped-out surfer dudes and other risk junkies, a huge forest protected by a mysterious sorceress of fearsome repute and, at last, a climactic disco party face-off in Cleevil's own haunts under the Dead Sea. Frequent references to the previous episode keep this one from standing on its own, but the breathless mix of horror and hilarity (noogies and show tunes turn out to be more effective here against supernatural attack than any conventional weapons, for example) continues unabated. And as May Bird's closing reunion with her loving mother in the land of the living leaves the "Ever After" still threatened, readers can look forward to at least one more return visit. (Fantasy. 11-13)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

The Wizard of Oz meets Beetlejuice in this tale of a ten-year-old loner who starts seeing ghosts, and then receives a plea for help that leads her into the Afterlife itself. As it turns out, the Ever After isn't much different from Southern California. Centered around the Pit of Despair Amusement Park and the enormous city of Ether, it's a giant bedroom community, where the dead communicate by Skullophone, vacation at the Towering Inferno Hotel and go to work on Earth each night, haunting their assigned houses. But there are nightmarish monsters too, from ghouls eager to eat your guts to the horrible, genial Bogey Man—all led by shadowy Evil Bo Cleevil, a Dark Spirit out to conquer the entire planet. Narrowly evading all manner of ugly fates, May Bird picks up some unusual companions and escapes the clutches of the Bogey Man by leaping aboard a train bound for her mysterious summoner. First episode of a projected three, this leaves May Bird in full flight through a vividly envisioned setting that's equal parts terror and tongue-in-cheek. Rare fun. (Fantasy. 11-13)Read full book review >