For my 6th grade friends--check out The Lunar Chronicles series by new author Marissa Meyer. Cinder is Book I of the series. Entertainment Weekly summed up Cinder best: “In an interesting mash-up of fairy tales and science fiction, the book is a cross between Cinderella, The Terminator, and Star Wars.” I have really enjoyed both Cinder and Book II, Scarlet, because they are, in a word, FUN! The fractured fairy tale genre has gained great popularity in recent years with shows like Once Upon a Time andGrimm, but this series has another interesting dimension in that it takes place in the future.
The Earthen Federation of countries is in a very precarious situation. A terrible plague has been claiming the lives of thousands of humans, and is on the brink of a war with the evil Queen Levana of Luna. That’s right, Luna. As in, the moon. Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing, shunned by society and working as a mechanic to benefit her (you guessed it) adoptive mother Adri and (wait for it) Adri’s two biological daughters. Would a marriage union between Queen Levana and Prince Kai of New Beijing bring peace to the Earthen Federation and an imminent cure for the plague? Or is this just another Lunar plot to get humans to do Luna’s bidding? And how does a cyborg mechanic fit into the equation???
Book Two, Scarlet, introduces a new character into the plot. Scarlet must decide if she should trust the transient prize fighter, Wolf, who offers to help her find her missing grandmother. What does Scarlet’s missing grandmother have to do with Cinder, Levana, and the plague? You’ll find out in this truly enjoyable twist on your favorite fairy tales. Perhaps they’re not the greatest books ever written, but you can’t say they aren’t a whole lotta FUN! For all ages!!
FYI, the third book in the series, Cress, is out in hard cover, and the fourth and final book of the series, Winter, is due out in 2015.
Nate Foster lives in small-town Pennsylvania, but has big dreams of being a Broadway star. He and his best friend, Libby, hatch a plan to get Nate all the way to New York on his own for the open auditions to E.T., The Musical. But, as it would happen, nothing goes according to plan. Will Nate get the part? Will he make it to New York and back safely? More importantly, will Nate gain a better sense of who he is as a person?
I recommend this book for students in grades 4-6. Nate is a lovable character, full of dreams and spunk, to whom many children could easily relate.
Jacob's grandfather had always told him of the monsters. Those monsters whom he still feared, even as an old man. Jacob's family never took his grandfather seriously, thinking the Nazis he fought in WWII were the true monsters he spoke of. But after a horrific tragedy, Jacob begins to wonder if the "monsters" could be something else altogether. He travels to the village in Wales where his grandfather lived as a boy to see if he can learn more about the stories and secrets of his grandfather's past. He ends up finding much more than he bargained for.
I enjoyed reading both Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Book II, The Hollow City. It's a great combination of historical fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy, written exceptionally and featuring vintage photographs that are perfectly woven into the plot. I can't wait for Book III in 2015!