Bulldog Library

Dorothy Must Die

YA F Paige    •    Fantasy Adventure

dorothy-must-die

Amy Gumm is a Kansas girl who’s has been carried into Oz by a tornado.  Amy can hardly believe that she has landed in Oz.  Oz is in turmoil.  It looks nothing like she imagined it would.  The land is being drained of magic and the citizens of Oz are in constant fear of the tyranny of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and Glinda.  Can Amy survive in this terrible place?  Can she find a way to save it?

In the introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum wrote:

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” [is] a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.

Dorothy Must Die is a dark re-imaging of the Oz lore.  Baum’s heroes have been turned into nightmares who drain joy and wonderment from the land of Oz.  Fans of Baum’s original Oz stories might want to avoid Dorothy Must Die.  However, if a reader is looking for a dark fantasy adventure, than this might be a good choice.  The story is engrossing.  It will keep you turning pages.

Interest Level: grades 9-12  •  Lexile: HL720L  •  AR: 5.1

Paige, D. (2014). Dorothy Must Die. New York, NY: Harper an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Deep Blue

YA F Donnelly    •    Fantasy Adventure

deep-blue

When Serafina’s home is attacked, she is forced to flee for her life.  Now the run from her attackers, Serafina begins a perilous journey to not only save herself and defend her home, but protect the ocean itself from an ancient evil about to be unleashed.

Deep Blue is the first book in the Waterfire Saga.  It starts slow, but readers who can persevere will find themselves engrossed in an exciting mermaid adventure.  This is a wonderful read-a-like for Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson series and a must read for all mermaid aficionados.

Interest Level: grades 4-8  •  Lexile: HL580  •  AR: 4.4

Donnelly, J. (2014). Deep Blue.  Los Angeles, CA : Disney-Hyperion.

Leave a comment »

Steelheart

YA F Sanderson    •    Sci-fi

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad,” – Sir John Dalbert-Acton, British Historian

Steelheart

Epics, humans with superpowers, have seized control of what used to be the United States of America.  They are above the law.  They kill on a whim.  They cause destruction and chaos.  Regular people are powerless to stop them.

Steelheart is the among the most powerful  epics on earth.  He can transmute anything into solid steel.  He has super strength.  He is impervious to harm.   He is feared above all other epics, but David has seen him bleed.  David has seen him wounded.  David is determined to see him bleed again.

In Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson, author of the Alcatraz series, has created a though-provoking thrill ride, a supervillian distopia, and a science fiction adventure that readers won’t be able to put down.  Simply read the prologue and you will be hooked!

Steelheart‘s exceptional story is filled with enough action to keep pages turning with great rapidity and ideas that will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.

Interest Level: grades 8 and up  •  Lexile: HL680L  •  AR: 5.0

Sanderson, B. (2013). Steelheart.  New York, NY: Delacourt Press.

Leave a comment »

The Good Neighbors: Kin

YA F Black    •    Fantasy/Mystery

good neighbors

Rue’s mother left three weeks ago.  No one knows where she is or if she is coming back.  No one knows if she is even still alive.

Rue’s father has been arrested for murder.

Rue is now alone.

Can Rue find her mother?  Can she absolve her father?

The Good Neighbors: Kin is a dark fantasy presented in the form of a beautifully drawn graphic novel.  Holly Black, co-author of the wildly popular Spiderwick Chronicles, has created a rich fantasy world that weaves together the myth and lore of traditional folk tales with a suspenseful and intriguing mystery.  If you are looking for a good mystery, a dark fantasy, or a great graphic novel, than The Good Neighbors is a book you have to try.

Interest Level: grades 8 & up •  Lexile: GN310L  •  AR: 2.7

Black, H. (2009).  The Good Neighbors: Kin. Ted Naifeh (Illustrator).  New York, NY: Graphix.

Leave a comment »

The Selection

YA F Cass    •    Romance & Sci-Fi/Dystopia

selection

Prince Maxon has come of age.  It is time for him to find a bride.  Tradition dictates that he choose his bride in the selection, a process were 35 young women are brought to the palace to vie for the affection of the the prince and a chance to win the crown.

When sixteen-year-old America Singer submitted her name for the selection, she never believed that she would be chosen, but she was.  Now she has become property of the royal family and must compete for the affection of a man she has never met.  Can she find happiness in her new life?

Set in a future where the United States of America has been destroyed by war and replaced with the monarchy of Illea, The Selection creates a world where people are divided into casts and have little chance to advance the lot they were born into.  For characters like America and Aspen, their lives are shaped by the low cast they were born into.  They live in poverty on the verge of starvation.  While these dystopian themes are presented in the book, they are not the focus of the book.

The focus is the love story. It is the love story that makes the reader keep turning pages.  The hard realities of poverty and violent rebels faced by the characters take a back seat to the romance and the fashion.

The Selection is a remarkably fast-paced page-turner.   It is a teen romance.  While it is rated for grades six and up, the gooey romance is better suited for older tweens and teens.  The Selection is a book for readers who enjoy a good love story,  adore beautiful ball gowns, or simply want a book that will keep them engrossed from page one.

Interest Level: grades 8 and up  •  HL680L  •  AR: 4.7

Cass, K. (2012). The Selection. New York, NY: HarperTeen.

Leave a comment »