Thursday, July 2, 2009

Extraordinarily Fantastical Staff Picks

It seems that a fair amount of our staff has been reading fantasy novels of late (perhaps to escape this monsoon-like weather?), so let's make the most of it with a sampling platter of our latest and favorite fantasy picks! Of course, you can always backtrack to larger round-ups such as Katie's revisioned fairy-tales, vampires and zombies galore, or even the YA crossover appeal for more "fantastical" choices.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
Bookseller: Rachel
Genre: science fiction/fantasy, school story
Suggested reading level: ages 11 up

When Haruhi announces that she's looking for aliens, time-travelers, and espers, Kyon thinks she's crazy. Little does he know that his life is about to get complicated - and it will be up to him to save the world from destruction if Haruhi gets bored. The first of a hit series in Japan, now in English for the first time!

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Bookseller: Katie
Genre: dystopian/sci-fi
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

Matt learns he is a clone, created to provide replacement body parts for 140 year old drug lord El Patrón. Unlike most clones (called "eejits"), Matt still has his intelligence - and he'll definitely need it to escape from El Patrón's estate into the equally dangerous world outside.

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: high fantasy; for fans of Graceling
Suggested reading level: ages 13 up

Aerin is a princess of Damar, but she is feared by the court because of her foreign mother and her own suspicious lack of the royal Gift. With the help of a mysterious, handsome wizard she must survive poison and evil dragons to claim her destiny and the legendary Blue Sword. Newbery Medal prequel to The Blue Sword.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Bookseller: Katie
Genre: mythology-based fantasy
Suggested reading level: ages 15 up

When immigrants relocate to America, they bring their myths with them - along with their deities. Now new powers challenge near-forgotten gods for America's devotion and their very survival. Gaiman blends obscure lore, absurd humor, and perfectly nuanced characters to create one legendary road trip.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
Bookseller: Rachel
Genre: fantasy, coming of age
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

The Beaumonts are an unusual family - on their 13th birthdays, they each discover a unique savvy, a special know-how. When Poppa is hospitalized in a distant town the day before Mibs turns 13, she is convinced that her hidden savvy can save him - if she could only get there in time.

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Bookseller: Katie
Genre: fantasy, supernatural romance, fans of the Twilight saga
Suggested reading level: ages 14 up

When Clary meets Shadowhunters Jace, Isabelle, and Alex, she's astonished to discover a world of fallen angels, demons, and demon-hunters. Full of mystical tattoos, arcane weapons, thwarted romance, prophecies, and plot twists.

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