Must Read Monday (66): Titles from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sara Crowe, Caroline Carlson & more!

Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!

This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!

This week: children’s fiction! The titles featured this week are incredible-sounding and looking titles with a wide-range of genre- everything from magical realism, mystery, fantasy and more. Some favourite authors are here, including forthcoming titles from Laurel Snyder and Julie Berry. The other three authors featured here are new-to-me, and all with very well-received titles. There is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s award-winning and fascinatingly described The Girl of Ink and Stars; Sara Crowe‘s dark and magical Bone Jack; and Caroline Carlson‘s delightfully described mystery, The World’s Greatest Detective.


The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Publication: May 5, 2016 by Chicken House
Book Description:

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.

But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.


Bone Jack by Sara Crowe
Publication: February 7, 2017 by Philomel Books
Book Description:

Times have been tough for Ash lately, and all he wants is for everything to go back to the way it used to be. Back before drought ruined the land and disease killed off the livestock. Before Ash’s father went off to war and returned carrying psychological scars. Before his best friend, Mark, started acting strangely. As Ash trains for his town’s annual Stag Chase–a race rooted in violent, ancient lore–he’s certain that if he can win and make his father proud, life will return to normal. But the line between reality and illusion is rapidly blurring, and the past has a way of threatening the present.

When a run in the mountains brings Ash face-to-face with Bone Jack–a figure that guards the boundary between the living world and the dead–everything changes once more. As dark energies take root and the world as he knows it is upended, it’s up to Ash to restore things to their proper order and literally run for his life.


The World’s Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson
Expected publication: May 16, 2017 by HarperCollins
Book Description:

Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s detective agency, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. Toby’s friend Ivy is the best sleuth around—or at least she thinks so. They both see their chance to prove themselves when the famed Hugh Abernathy announces a contest to choose the World’s Greatest Detective. But when what was supposed to be a game turns into a real-life murder mystery, can Toby and Ivy crack the case?


Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Expected publication: May 30, 2017 by Walden Pond Press
Book Description:

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?


The Emperor’s Ostrich by Julie Berry
Expected publication: July 18, 2017 by Roaring Brook Press
Book Description:

Young dairymaid Begonia has lost her cow, Alfalfa. So she has set off on a search across the countryside even though she has nothing but a magical map to guide her. Along the way she meets a mother and baby, a woodcutter, a very dirty young man, and an eight-foot ostrich.

Meanwhile, the Emperor has gone missing from the royal palace in a most mysterious manner. Was it murder? Was it magic? It will take all of Begonia’s wits to save the empire and get Alfalfa home safely.



Must Read Monday (31): The Passion of Dolssa & Once Was a Time

Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!

This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!

This week: Julie Berry‘s The Passion of Dolssa and Leila Sales‘s Once Was a Time. I was absolutely enthralled by Julie Berry’s gripping young adult title All the Truth That’s In Me– the year I read it, it was a top YA read of year for me- so I am very much looking forward to read her latest, an historical fiction title. Tagged as medieval, dark and thrilling, with a number of terrific reviews already out there, I can’t wait to dive in. Popular YA author Leila Sales (a must-read author for me!) moves into the middle-grade/children’s genre with the upcoming Once Was a Time. Described as a time-traveling historical title, I am very curious to read what Sales does with this new genre foray! As I mentioned in my review of Janet B. Taylor’s Into the Dim, I have had a pretty wobbly relationship with time travel fiction. But! I really enjoyed Into the Dim, and given the fact that I am a fan of Sales’ writing, I think Once Was a Time holds great promise!

PASSIONOFDOLSSA25902198The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Expected publication: April 12, 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.

From the author of the award-winning All the Truth That’s in Me comes a spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page and make you wonder if miracles really are possible.


ONCEWASATIME25777460Once Was a Time by Leila Sales
Expected publication: April 5, 2016 by Chronicle Books

In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place?

Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

Best of 2014, Part 2: Children’s Fiction and Young Adult











My picks for top 5 children’s and top 5 YA fiction I read this year:

Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong #1) by Robin Stevens

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl #3) by Ben Hatke

Now Look What You’ve Done (Timmy Failure #2) by Stephen Pastis

We Meet Again (Timmy Failure #3) by Stephan Pastis

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda #6) by Tom Angleberger

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. Kelly Martin

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller


*Note: These are titles I have read in 2014; titles may have been published in previous years. Rereads are not included on this list.

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berryallthetruth

Source: Hardcover, Published September 26, 2013 by Viking Juvenile

Verdict: Very Good/Excellent

Book Description:

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Oh, this was a good one.

All the Truth That’s in Me took me by surprise, and I LOVE it when a YA title does that! I’ve been trying to find a way to describe Julie Berry’s novel, and here’s what I’ve got: cross Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the YA skills of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ruta Sepetys. Without ever really pinpointing exact time, place, or even genre, Berry- through Judith’s incisive narration- takes us on a fascinating (and gorgeously written) trip.

In crisp, yet precise bursts, Judith recounts her past- her childhood, her disappearance- and her present, all the while talking to her one true love, her childhood friend Lucas.  As we learn from the book description, after two years of missing from her village (and presumed dead), Judith suddenly returns. Due to her silence regarding her disappearance, her captor, and her scars, Judith is ostracized by most in her village- including by her widowed mother who forces silence, makes Judith work night and day, and only refers to her daughter as ‘You-‘. Judith has harrowing (and shocking) secrets hidden deep from her time away; some disturbing ones that start to creep to the surface when she makes a decision that changes the fate of her village and its inhabitants. When a tentative friendship begins between Judith and a young village woman, Judith is encouraged to speak again, to try and find her voice. And when a nefarious and ill-thought hunt threatens the lives of both Lucas and Judith, she knows that she cannot remain quiet any longer. She must tell everyone- including Lucas- the truth about her friends death, and what really happened while she was away. But who will trust or listen when Judith finally speaks? And will they want to hear what she has to say?

Note: This review, written by me, originally appeared on Fabbity Fab Book Reviews.