Next, there are some great YA dystopias coming out. I've listed the ones I recommend below.
And finally, there are some great books for middle-graders and one book in the Kid-department which I recommend.
I've listed them in order of age category and added notes for the books that could be read by another age group. For example, Adults and Young Adults can certainly enjoy Brandon Mull's new book.
The Trouble with Chickens
(A J.J. Tully Mystery)
by Doreen Cronin
Kevin Cornell (Illustrator)
Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins to track down clues. But is everything really like it seems?
Wonderful book. Doreen Cronin -- of Diary of a Worm fame -- has once again done it right and written a story for the elementary-aged crowd that an adult can be satisfied with as well.
Kevin Cornell's illustrations are fabulous. The chicks are adorable little trouble makers, and if mom's eyes got any closer she'd be a cyclops--lol. This book is funny throughout and ought to be a great series (we want more!) for both boy and girl readers. Good read-aloud!
- Reading Level: generic 4
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- (March 1, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0061215325
A World Without Heroes
by Brandon Mull
In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.
Brandon Mull already has a huge audience who love him because of his Fablehaven series. The Beyonder series is only going to add to the throng because this just a great non-stop action story. What I particularly like about Mull's writing is his creativeness and what he brings to the genre. There may be a cliche or two, but he matches them one for one with fantastic and novel ideas.
Suitable for adults and young adults looking for a lighter read.
Suitable for Tweeners who can stick with a longer book.
- Reading Level: generic 5
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Aladdin
- (March 15, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 141699792X
Eliza's Freedom Road
An Underground Railroad Diary
by Jerdine Nolen
A freaking brilliant book told in a first person diary format. Ms. Nolen doesn't delve into the age-inappropriate bad treatment slaves received, but rather tells the human side of this story so well that children aren't likely to fail to comprehend the great human cost of that abysmal institution. Simply an outstanding historical novel.
- Reading Level: generic 4
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
- (January 4, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1416958142
Suitable for any age.
For Young Adults
(The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
by Lauren DeStefano
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
These days it's not often that I'm pulled into a story from the first page, but Wither did it. DeStefano absolutely mastered the first person voice of her character Rhine and even better, gave the story, which could have been trite, real bite. The characters, all except for the father-in-law, were sympathic and complex. A great dystopia.
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
- (March 22, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1442409053
I’ve heard of this happening. Where I come from girls have been disappearing for a long time. They disappear from their beds or from the side of the road. It happened to a girl in my neighborhood. Her whole family disappeared after that, moved away, either to find her or because they knew she would never be returned.Now it’s my turn. I know girls disappear, but any number of things could come after that. Will I become a murdered reject? Sold into prostitution? These things have happened. There’s only one other option. I could become a bride. I’ve seen them on television, reluctant yet beautiful teenage brides, on the arm of a wealthy man who is approaching the lethal age of twenty-five.
Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
**Starred Review** Kirkus
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Razorbill
- (January 11, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1595143971
The Wise Man's Fear
by Patrick Rothfuss
(Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2)
Haven't read it. (Are you listening DAW?)
- Hardcover: 1008 pages
- Publisher: DAW Hardcover (March 1, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0756404738
Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss
(Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)
**Starred Review** Publisher's Weekly
4.5 Stars with nearly 800 reviews on Amazon
This is a very detailed fantasy story about a man who is more capable than the rest of us, so if such a premise isn't your cup of tea, keep alookin' for your next great read .
Description: Kvothe was brought up as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters. When they are murdered by mystical creatures he ends up as a feral child on the streets of a port. That doesn't keep him though from gaining entry into THE University where he soon excels over even his best instructors. It's unclear in the first book entirely what motivates Kvothe. He is certainly driven to acquire knowledge for his own sake. But in back of the reader's mind is that this must somehow relate to solving the riddle of why his family was massacred.
Somewhere in the X-burbs