This tells the story of how Peter Pan came to Neverland. But it isn’t just a story for Disney fans – it’s a swashbuckling, pirate adventure, with myst...moreThis tells the story of how Peter Pan came to Neverland. But it isn’t just a story for Disney fans – it’s a swashbuckling, pirate adventure, with mysteries and battles on pirate ships. It was fast-paced and fun, with strong characters. Molly is a Starcatcher’s daughter – who’s determined to protect a special trunk of stardust from capture by the evil forces. It’s this dust that ends up giving Peter his magical qualities of being able to fly.(less)
Mibs Beaumont's family is unusual - they each possess a savvy, a special knowing, that they discover on their 13th birthday. And yet, they are complet...moreMibs Beaumont's family is unusual - they each possess a savvy, a special knowing, that they discover on their 13th birthday. And yet, they are completely normal as well. I loved this story, in how it's a fantasy (Mibs ends up hearing tatoos speak to her in her mind, her brother's emotions unleash storms and hurricanes) and yet it seems so real as Mibs struggles with real pain. At the beginning of the book, Mib's father is hit by a car and ends up in a coma. Her mother and eldest brother quickly leave for the hospital, leaving Mibs at home with her grandpa and 3 siblings. Mibs is determined to be with her father - she's sure that she can wake him up from his coma - so she sneaks aboard a bus driven by a travelling Bible salesman. Two of her brothers and two friends join her, and the book follows their journey. Along the way, Mibs discovers her savvy, develops a friendship with a boy, and realizes that bad decisions can have unintended good consequences. The audio production was mesmerizing. I'd highly recommend it.(less)
As our nation struggled for its freedom in the Revolutionary War, thousands of African American slaves wondered about theirs. If a nation could be fre...moreAs our nation struggled for its freedom in the Revolutionary War, thousands of African American slaves wondered about theirs. If a nation could be free, what about them? In 1776, thirteen-year-old Isabel fought for her own freedom in the midst of war-torn New York. This gripping historical novel is well worth reading - for its dramatic story, the struggles of a young slave, and its depiction of war-torn New York.
Chains: Seeds of America by Laurie Halse Anderson Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2008. Brilliance Audio, c2008 ages 12 and up
Isabel and her sister were promised freedom upon the death of their owner, but no records were found of a will. Through a cruel sequence of events, Isabel and Ruth were sold by her owner's nephew to the Lockton family in New York. The Locktons were Loyalists and cruel slave owners. They cared little of the sisters' relationship, and ended up sending young Ruth far away.
Isabel's heart was broken - she lost her freedom, her home, and now her little sister. When a young slave, Curzon, asked her to spy on the Locktons, she did so - thinking that this might be the way she could claim her freedom. But the Revolutionary Army did not protect her, and she ended up being accused of insolence by Madam Lockton. Isabel was cruelly punished with the branding of an I on her face.
The audiobook for Chains is amazing. Madisun Leigh, the narrator, brings alive the thoughts and feelings of young Isabel. I think audiobooks work especially well for first-person stories; Chains pulls the reader and listener into Isabel's plight, and shows the mental and physical horrors of slavery.
This would definitely be a great choice for family listening - it would provide lots to talk about, and would engage adults and teenagers. One caution: Isabel's branding and Curzon's time in jail are intense - I would not recommend this for children under 10.(less)
Cara falls into the magical land of Luster, after she and her grandmother were chased by a threatening stranger. Cara had nothing except the Special,...moreCara falls into the magical land of Luster, after she and her grandmother were chased by a threatening stranger. Cara had nothing except the Special, an amulet necklace her grandmother gave her. Her grandmother's parting instructions were to keep the amulet safe, and to tell the Old One that "the wanderer was weary." In Luster, Cara meets a group of new friends who help her on her search: Lightfoot the unicorn, the Squijim (a little talking squirrel/hampster), and the huge bear-man the Dimblethum. Together, they set off to find the queen of this land and avoid being captured. I thought it was a fun adventure - I was really pulled into Cara's quest to find the queen and keep the amulet safe from her attackers. The full cast audio version was engaging.(less)
Maya has lived isolated in her grandmother’s house for most of her life. All she remembers of her mother is her love of a set of small plastic horses....moreMaya has lived isolated in her grandmother’s house for most of her life. All she remembers of her mother is her love of a set of small plastic horses. But suddenly one day, Grandmother dies leaving Maya with no one … except her other grandfather, her mother’s father – who lives on a horse ranch in Wyoming. Maya spends the summer with her great aunt, great uncle and grandfather camping in Wyoming, following the wild horses. At the same time, you learn the story of one of these wild horses, Artemesia, and her foal. A great earthquake brings Maya and Artemesia together. Full of adventure. Strong character. Great book!(less)