I have to admit that I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales, and the following book certainly did not disappoint! In the first book of the Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, Princess of the Midnight Ball (Lexile: 830; Interest Level: Grades 5-9), Jessica Day George poses the story of the twelve dancing princesses in a new light. The princesses don't sneak away to enjoy dancing all night; they are forced by a curse, or more accurately, by a promise their mother made years ago. So every third night, whether they like it or not, they must descend to the land of King Under Stone to dance until dawn, wearing out both their dancing slippers and their feet. If only they could tell someone and ask for help!
When the king is at his wit's end, he offers a daughter's hand in marriage to any prince who can discover where the girls go at night and why their shoes are tattered in the morning. This turns out to be a very dangerous undertaking. So, when a lowly commoner comes asking to be allowed to uncover the secret, the king has no choice but to let him try. Can Galen, the strange knitting gardener's assistant, do what noble princes could not? Read this great story to find out! Oh, and if you are a crafty person who likes to knit, you can find some patterns at the end of the story! (304 p.)
The second book of the Magisterium Series (the sequel to The Iron Trial), The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (Lexile: 750; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) begins during the summer between Cal's first and second year at the Magisterium. Cal's father had never wanted him to go to the Magisterium, and now their relationship is strained at best. It has also not helped that Cal brought home a chaos-ridden wolf pup he found and raised at the magisterium--his father does not like Cal having this type of pet. When Cal finds out that his father believes he is evil and has developed a plan to destroy both him and his wolf, Cal runs away to spend the rest of the summer with his friends and return to magic school in the fall.
Back at the Magisterium, things are hardly better. It turns out that someone has stolen the Alkahest, a magical gauntlet that can remove chaos magic from magicians. The Maker is now in serious danger, and Cal is afraid to share his secret, even if it may help his best friend! This story pulls the reader along on another fantastic adventure into the world of magic, fear, mistrust, and free-will. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series! (272 p.)
Redeemed by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Lexile: 730; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is the remarkable conclusion to The Missing series! I couldn't wait to start reading this last book, but then it took awhile to read it because I didn't really want the adventure to end.
Jordan Skidmore comes downstairs one morning to find that there is a boy in his house who looks just like him. And his sister seems to know this other guy! Then his parents turn back into teenagers! What a weird day! And it was about to get even weirder as people enter his kitchen and start talking about time travel with the look-alike kid, whose name turns out to be Jonah, and is apparently Jordan's twin brother.
In an effort to try to make sense out of the crazy that is going on in his kitchen, and perhaps a little out of jealousy over Jonah's confidence and authority, Jordan steals an elucidator and takes himself, Jonah, and Katherine on a trip through time before he even knows what he is doing. Can Jordan now learn enough about time travel and his family's multi-dimensional history to save his parents and his siblings as well as Time itself? Tune into this great story (after reading the rest of the series) to find out! (406 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.