Are All the Giants Dead? by Mary Norton

It really is a simple tale but one where you enjoy the journey as much as the destination. The allusions to fairy tales, the way the characters interact, the descriptions of the magical world and the language its inhabitants use, and of course the great illustrations all make this short story enjoyable.

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The Narnia Code by Michael Ward

In the end, I think The Narnia Code is a well intentioned attempt to take a detailed academic literary thesis and bring it down to a popular level. For a variety of reasons I am not sure I am best able to judge its success. But it is an interesting subject and will be of great interest to Lewis and Narnia fans.

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The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen

I recently took my kids to the public library and, as usual, came home with a couple of YA titles – three to be exact. They make up the The Young Merlin Trilogy: Passager, Hobby, and Merlin by Jane Yolen. The books I read were actually three separate books (as pictured throughout) but I figured I would review them all under this one combined volume: This is the legendary story of Merlin–from his abandonment by his parents at the age of eight to the discovery of his powers at...

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The Wyrm King (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Block and Tony DiTerlizzi

This has turned into YA fiction week here at CM.  So we might as well keep things going with another illustrated chapter book.  The Wyrm King is the final book in the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles which appropriately enough followed The Spiderwick Chronicles. Here is a video trailer to pique your interest: For those of you more literal and less visual here is the blurb: In the final installment of Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, Nick and Laurie had thought they solved their giant...

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil by Wiley Miller

As regular readers know, I have long had an interest in both well written and/or beautifully illustrated children’s books and chapter books/young adult fiction.  Lately I have been checking out some books that fit in between picture type books you read to your kids and full fledged fiction they read themselves. One such example, I picked up at a local library sale was Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil written by the creator of the Non Sequitor comic strip Wiley Miller.  Allow...

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Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers

When I am stressed out, or just looking for some light reading, I often turn to young adult fiction or chapter books.  They can be quite entertaining and often have quality illustrations.  I enjoy seeing how different authors approach the genre.  Having young kids, I also figure it is good practice. My most recent read along these lines was Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I) which caught my attention at the local library.  The story starts off with a pretty common...

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