The first book in the Septimus Heap series, Magyk (Lexile: 640L; Interest Level: Grades 3-5) was an interesting story full of twists and turns. The point in which I was extremely hooked into this book was when Septimus Heap, seventh son of a seventh son (and the character the whole series is named after) dies on page 2. What in the world can this mean? And his dad discovers a baby girl lying next to the road and takes her home, before knowing that his baby son had died? Sounds crazy, I know.
Jenna (the baby girl) often wishes she were magykal like the rest of her family, even if it isn't popular to use magyk. But when she turns 10, she find out that not being magykal has some problems of her own, especially for her. This story follows Jenna and her family through a strange adventure in which they (and the reader) discover that not everyone is as they seem, not all that appears evil is bad, and not all that seems right is good.
Have you ever read a book that was really good, but had some things in it that made you feel like you didn't want to like it? That's sort of how I feel about Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur (Lexile: 570; Interest Level: Grades 3-6). At the beginning of the book, Aubrey is living by herself in her house with her new pet fish, and it takes a while to learn what happened to her family, but you know it must be bad because why else would an eleven-year-old be living by herself? Told in Aubrey's voice, this story is full of heartache, honest feelings, brilliant phrases, and remarkable characters, all of which tell a fabulous story about a devastating topic. No child should ever have to face what happens to Aubrey in this book, which is why it is hard to say I liked it, but the story is so well-written that I couldn't help but get sucked into Aubrey's complicated life. Through every new event and memory, the reader will hurt with Aubrey and rejoice with her.
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.