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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Dive into fairyland with September, a 12 year old girl with a longing for adventure, and the Green Wind. Meet well-educated Wyverns (Dragon like creatures) and leaders with panthers for pets. It has an awesome setting, like no book before it. There is a wonderful switch between September’s rational and rationed lifestyle, full of routine and old memories; to the extravagant characters of Fairyland and the new adventures presented at every twist and turn.

We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Stewart is a thirteen-year-old prodigy, academically brilliant but socially inept, and grieving over the death of his mother. Ashley is a fourteen-year-old queen bee, ruling the school but struggling with her work – and hiding the secret that her dad split from her mother as he’d fallen for another man. When Stewart’s father and Ashley’s mother fall in love, the four of them move in together – but can these unlikely new siblings learn to tolerate each other? I’ve been gushing about this on social media and at events a LOT since first reading it one Wednesday last November, then rereading it just two days later as I loved it so much. So of course, I’ve never actually got around to reviewing.

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becki Albertalli

Simon Spier is sixteen, gay, and not out yet. But he IS enjoying a rather wonderful e-mail flirtation with Blue, another student at his school – it’s just that neither of them know the other’s identity offline. Simon is hoping that the secretive Blue will eventually let him in – and then things take a turn for the worst, as fellow student Martin gets his hands on an e-mail, decides he can use this knowledge to pressure Simon into hooking him up with Simon’s friend Abby. Can Simon manage to come out on his own terms and win the boy of his dreams? And how will his friends and family react? I have read a lot of amazing books with LGBT characters over the last few years, and would have immense d

The Sword of Kuromori by Jason Rohan

Greek legends seems to have been done to death in YA and MG recently, there’s been a fair amount influenced by Norse mythology over the years, and Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles are probably the most popular of several books and series which have brought us stories based on that of Egypt. Japanese culture doesn’t seem to have played as big a part (although we’re huge fans of Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and Kinslayer at The Bookbag) so it’s refreshing to see an adventure here featuring kappas, nure-onnas, and oni, amongst other fearsome creatures. While the Japanese setting and monsters from that culture are likely to be relatively new to most readers, the central story is more familiar. As i

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Sophie is shipwrecked in the English Channel on her 1st birthday, with her mother presumed dead, but she’s lucky enough to be found by scholar Charles. He raises her as his ward and they have a happy, if seriously unconventional, existence until the authorities intervene on her 12th birthday. With the orphanage beckoning, Sophie and Charles run away to France in the hope that her mother may be alive after all. Rundell’s characterisation – which I thought was the weak point of her debut The Girl Savage – is much stronger here. Sophie and Charles are both excellent, and the relationship between them is very touching – Charles has to be right up there with Atticus Finch as one of my very favour

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