Random (but not really)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Kids’ Books: Older Kids

What is all this about books for kids?

Some YA books are perfectly fine gifts for kids, wthers might have subjects you might want to check with parents prior to gifting. So there will be overlap between this post and the YA post. And that’s fine.

Why am I posting books in both places? Because if a kid is a reader, they are probably reading above their age group, and might want more challenging books. But you might not want to introduce some subjects unknowingly. (By that I mean the existence of boinking, and the existence of abuse and assault.) You probably know what your small person can handle, but if you aren’t sure, stick to this list and wait a year or two on the YA list.

See also this list got older Kids and this YA list.

Isabel Allende: Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004) (Fantasy)

Alexander Cold asks his grandmother, Kate, if he can accompany her on her latest expedition for International Geographic, this time to a remote country in the Himalayas. A country nicknamed The Forbidden Kingdom, because of its far location and the fact that very few are allowed to visit each year.

Elsewhere in the Himalayas, Dil Bahadur, disciple to the Buddhist monk Tensing, travel and see unexpected wonders, as Dil Bahadur trains and prepares for his future.

Kendare Blake:
Anna Dressed in Blood (2011), Girl of Nightmares (2012) (Fantasy)

The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway— no pun intended.

So is the loose and faded leather coat, though not as much that as the sideburns. And the way he keeps nodding and flicking his Zippo open and closed in rhythm with his head. He belongs in a chorus line of dancing Jets and Sharks.

Then again, I have an eye for these things. I know what to look for, because I’ve seen just about every variety of spook and specter you can imagine.

Gail Carriger : Etiquette & Espionage (Female) (Fantasy)

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course.

Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling:
A Wolf at the Door (2000) (Fantasy)

Conder Elephant – Jane Yolen
The Months of Manhattan – Delia Sherman
Instructions – Neil Gaiman
Mrs Big: “Jack and the Beanstalk” Retold – Michael Cadnum
Falada: The Goose Girls Horse – Nancy Farmer
A Wolf at the Door – Tanith Lee
Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens – Janeen Webb
Swans – Kelly Link
The Kingdom of the Melting Glances – Katherine Vaz
Hansel’s Eyes – Garth Nix
Becoming Charise – Kathe Koja
The Seven Stage and Comeback – Gergory Maguire
The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Patricia A. McKillip

Swan Sister (2003) (Fantasy)

Greenkid – Jane Yolen
Golden Fur – Midori Snyder
Chambers of the Hear – Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Little Red and the Big Bad – Will Shetterly
The Fish’s Story – Pat York
The Children of Tilford Fortune – Christopher Rowe
The Girl in the Attic – Lois Metzger
The Harm that Sang – Gregory Frost
A Life in Minature – Bruce Coville
Lupe – Kathe Koja
Awake – Tanith Lee
Inventing Aladdin – Neil Gaiman
My Swan SIster – Katherine Vaz

Phil & Kaja Foglio:
Agatha H and the Airship City (2011), Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess (2012), Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle (2014) (Female) (Fantasy)

Novelizations of the Girl Genius comic!

Girl Genius:
Agatha Heterodyne and the Bettleburg Clank (2002), Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City (2004), Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine (2004), Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams (2006), Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess (), Agatha Heterodyne and the Golden Trilobite (2007), Agatha Heterodyne and the The Voice of the Castlee (2008), Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones (2009), Agatha Heterodyne and The Heirs of the Storm (2010), Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse (2011), Agatha Heterodyne and the Hammerless Bell (2012) Siege of Mechanicsburg (2013) (Female) (Fantasy)

William Goldman: The Princess Bride (1973)

Heavens Net is Wide

Lian Hearn:
Tales of the Otori: Heaven’s Net is Wide (2007), Across the Nightingale Floor (2002), Grass for His Pillow (2003), Brilliance of the Moon (2004) (Non-WASP)

My mother used to threaten to tear me into eight pieces if I knocked over the water bucket, or pretended not to hear her calling me to come home as the dusk thickened and the cicadas’ shrilling increased. I would hear her voice, rough and fierce, echoing through the lonely valley. “Where’s that wretched boy? I’ll tear him apart when he gets back.”

But when I did get back, muddy from sliding down the hillside, bruised from fighting, once bleeding great spouts of blood from a stone wound to the head (I still have the scar, like a silvered thumbnail), there would be the fire, and the smell of soup, and my mother’s arms not tearing me apart but trying to hold me, clean my face, or straighten my hair, while I twisted like a lizard to get away from her.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman:
Stir of Bones (2003)
Spirits that Walk in Shadow (2006)
Ghost Hedgehog (2011)
A Fistful of Sky (Fantasy)

“Ultimate Fashion Sense? What kind of curse is that?”

“You can’t possibly wear that skirt with that blouse. Those socks!”

She glanced down at herself. “What’s wrong with my socks?”

“Ribbed socks? With plaid? Not midcalf height! Please! Either anklets or knee-highs. And your hair? How can you live with it?”

“What’s wrong with my hair?”

“You can’t go out in public with that hair. Come on.” I grabbed her arm and dragged her upstairs.

“Gyp, what are you doing?”

“I have to cut your hair. It’s imperative. No one should have to live with looking at that any longer.”

Dorothy Hoobler : The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (Female)

Samurai fear nothing, not even death. They are loyal and brave. Fourteen-year-old Seikei has studied the way of the samurai, and would like nothing more than to be one. But a samurai is born, not made; Seikei was born the son of a tea merchant, so a merchant he must be. But when a priceless ruby intended for the shogun-the military governor of Japan-is stolen by a ghost, Seikei finds himself having to display all the courage of a samurai. Seikei is the only person to have seen the thief, and now the famous magistrate, Judge Ooka, needs the boy’s help to solve this mystery. Can the son of a merchant prove himself worthy to the shogun himself?

Madeleine L’Engle:
A Wrinkle in Time (1962), A Wind In the Door (1973), A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978) (Math & Science) (Fantasy)

Ursula K. Le Guin:
A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), The Tombs of Atuan (1970), The Farthest Shore (1972) (Fantasy)

Charles de Lint:
Waifs and Strays (2002)
Dingo (2008)
Little (Grrl) Lost (2007)
The Blue Girl (2004) (Fantasy)

Imogene’s family has moved to Newford, and she decides to take advantage of the move to a place where no one knows her, to change herself, and to stay out of trouble. On the first day of school she makes friends with Maxine, a girl outcast from her peers for being smart, and that friendship immediately puts her on the outs with the popular kids.

And she meets Ghost. A boy who died at school under mysterious circumstances–was it murder or suicide or accident.

Nelson Mandela: Favorite African Folktales (2002)

Robin McKinley: The Hero and the Crown (Female) (Fantasy)

Although she is the daughter of Damar’s king, Aerin has never been accepted as full royalty. Both in and out of the royal court, people whisper the story of her mother, the witchwoman, who was said to have enspelled the king into marrying her to get an heir to rule Damar-then died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son. But none of them, not even Aerin herself, can predict her future-for she is to be the true hero who will wield the power of the Blue Sword.

Garth Nix:
Sabriel: Sabriel (1997), Lirael (2002), Abhorsen (2003), Across the Wall (2005) (Fantasy)
Mister Monday (2003)

Sabriel is the daughter of Abhorsen–the Charter necromancer who puts the restless dead beyond the ninth gate. She has been sent outside of the walls of the Old Kingdom for her education, seeing her father in person only a few times a year, but seeing him in death more frequently, as Abhorsen trains her in their arts.

Mrs. Umbrade certainly didn’t want to know how Sabriel saw her father. Sabriel, on the other hand, always looked forward to his unofficial visits and watched the moon, tracing its movements from the leather-bound almanac which listed the phases of the moon in both Kingdoms and gave valuable insights into the seasons, tides and other ephemerae that were never the same at any one time on both sides of the Wall. Abhorsen’s sending of himself always appeared at the dark of the moon.

ShadowshaperDaniel José Older:
Shadowshaper (2015), Ghost Girl in the Corner (2016), Shadowhouse Fall (2017) (Female) (Non-WASP) (Fantasy)

No matter what she did, that little voice came creeping back, persistent and unsatisfied.

Not enough.

Today she looked menacingly into the mirror and said: “I’m Sierra María Santiago. I am what I am. Enough.”

Pat O’Shea: The Hounds of the Mórrigan (1985) (Fantasy)

Philip Pullman:
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (1996), The Subtle Knife (1997), The Amber Spyglass (2000) (Fantasy)

Ransom Riggs: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011) (Fantasy)

Pride & Joy (2003), Teenage Wasteland (2003), The Good Die Young (2004), True Believers (2005). Escape to New York (2006), Parental Guidance (2006), Live Fast (2007), Civil War: Runaways & New Avengers (2007) (Fantasy)

Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede:
Sorcery & Cecelia -OR- The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (1988), The Grand Tour (2004), The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After (2006) (Female) (Fantasy)

Aunt Elizabeth and I called at the vicarage yesterday and spent a stimulating afternoon listening to the Reverend Fitzwilliam discoursing on the Vanities of Society and the Emptiness of Worldly Pleasures. Aunt Elizabeth hung on every word, and we are to return and take tea on Thursday. I am determined to have the headache Thursday, if I have to hit myself with a rock to do it.

Raven BoysMaggie Stiefvater :
Raven Boys: The Raven Boys (2012), The Dream Thieves (2013), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (2014) (Fantasy)
The Scorpio Races (Female) (Fantasy)

Fuel was leeching slowly into Gansey’s expensive chinos, the second pair he’d ruined in a month. It wasn’t that he meant to be careless — as Adam told him again and again, “Things cost money, Gansey” — it was just that he never seemed to realize the consequences of his actions until too late.

Jonathan Strahan: Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron (2012) (Fantasy)

Jonathan Stroud:
The Amulet of Samarkand (2003), The Golem’s Eye (2004), Ptolemy’s Gate (2006)

The temperature of the room dropped fast. Ice formed on the curtains and crusted thickly around the lights in the ceiling. The glowing filaments in each bulb shrank and dimmed, while the candles that sprang from every available surface like a colony of toadstools had their wicks snuffed out. The darkened room filled with a yellow, choking cloud of brimstone, in which indistinct black shadows writhed and roiled. From far away came the sound of many voices screaming. Pressure was suddenly applied to the door that led to the landing. It bulged inward, the timbers groaning. Footsteps from invisible feet came pattering across the floorboards and invisible mouths whispered wicked things from behind the bed and under the desk.

Mariko Tamaki (Fantasy): This One Summer (Female)

J.R.R. Tolkein: The Hobbit (1937) (Fantasy)

Megan Whalen Turner:
The Thief (1996), The Queen of Attolia (2000), The King of Attolia (2006), A Conspiracy of Kings (2010)
Instead of Three Wishes (2006) (Fantasy)

I am a master of foolhardy plans, I thought. I have so much practice I consider them professional risks.

msmarvelnonormalG. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel:
Vol. 1 No Normal (2014), Vol. 2: Generation Why (2015), Vol. 3: Crushed (2015), Vol. 4: Last Days (2015) (Female) (Non-WASP) (Fantasy)

A-Matter-of-MagicPatricia C. Wrede: A Matter of Magic  (Female) (Fantasy)
Frontier Magic: Thirteenth Child (2009), Across the Great Barrier (2011), The Far West (2012) (Female) (Fantasy)

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT A SEVENTH SON IS LUCKY. THINGS COME A little easier to him, all his life long: love and money and fine weather and the unexpected turn that brings good fortune from bad circumstances. A lot of seventh sons go for magicians, because if there’s one sort of work where luck is more useful than any other, it’s making magic.

Nobody seems to think much about all the other sons, or the daughters. There’s nearly always daughters, because hardly anybody has seven sons right in a row, boom, like that.

Laurence Yep: Dragon’s Gate  (Non-WASP) (Fantasy)

In 1867, Otter travels from Three Willows Village in China to California — the Land of the Golden Mountain. There he will join his father and uncle.

In spite of the presence of family, Otter is a stranger among the other Chinese in this new land. And where he expected to see a land of goldfields, he sees only vast, cold whiteness. But Otter’s dream is to learn all he can, take the technology back to the Middle Kingdom, and free China from the Manchu invaders.

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