Kids

Ella enchanted book cover

Ella enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Levine, Gail Carson
Kids, Fantasy, Classics

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Casey's picture

This is the book that made me a reader at the age of nine. I recently shared this one on a road trip with my family and loved it just as much as I did in 1997. The first fairytale retelling I ever read, and a fantastic story to boot, if you've never met Ella, it might be time to do so. -Casey

Blended book cover

Blended

Sharon M. (Sharon Mills) Draper

jFICTION Draper Sharon
Kids

Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Betty Before X book cover

Betty Before X

Ilyasah Shabazz

jFICTION/Shabazz Ilyasah
Kids

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Lalani of the distant sea book cover

Lalani of the distant sea

Erin Entrada Kelly

jFICTION Kelly Erin
Kids, Fantasy

"Twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest--how can a timid young girl in a tiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?"--

Becky's picture

What an amazing story inspired by Filipino folklore! “Lalani of the Distant Sea” is an engrossing story that weaves in superstition, gender roles, friendship and choice in a way that is thought-provoking and inspiring. I loved this story and would highly recommend it! -Becky

Breadcrumbs book cover

Breadcrumbs

Anne Ursu

jFICTION Ursu, Anne
Kids, Fantasy

"Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen find Hazel on her own, entering an enchanted wood in the hopes of saving Jack's life " -- Provided by publisher.

Becky's picture

I think that this story offers many themes that upper-elementary kids would relate to: friendship, family, change, and belonging. Hazel and Jack are best friends and neighbors, but their friendship changes drastically when a piece of glass from a magical mirror gets caught in Jack’s eye. From that moment, we enter into the story of the Snow Queen and Hazel’s quest to get Jack back. -Becky

Ella enchanted book cover

Ella enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Levine, Gail Carson
Kids, Fantasy, Young Adult

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Becky's picture

This is such a wonderful adaptation of the story of Cinderella. What I especially love about “Ella Enchanted” is that Ella is such a positive role model for girls. She is strong, bright, funny and self-aware. As a baby, Ella was given the ‘gift’ of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda, but we quickly see that the gift is truly a curse and could have many implications on the life of Ella and those connected with her. Beautifully written! -Becky

The girl who drank the moon book cover

The girl who drank the moon

Kelly Regan Barnhill

jFICTION Barnhill Kelly
Kids, Fantasy

"An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known. The acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic"--

Becky's picture

Kelly Barnhill is one of my favorite children’s fantasy authors. “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is an adventurous and magical story with an intriguing plot and well-developed characters throughout. It has magic, dragons, enchantment, evil, and twists—what’s not to love!? -Becky

Snow & Rose book cover

Snow & Rose

Emily Winfield Martin

jFICTION Martin, Emily
Kids, Fantasy

Snow and Rose search the forest for their missing father and discover there is a sinister magic at work in the woods. A reimagining of the classic but little-known fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red.

Becky's picture

This is a descriptive and lyrical retelling of Snow and Rose that features beautiful artwork from the author. Snow and Rose are sisters who are navigating the mysterious loss of their father and subsequent move from a large estate to a small cottage in the woods. While the plot may be a bit choppy at points, I did enjoy the fully distinct personalities between the two sisters and the magic of the woods. -Becky

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin book cover

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin

Liesl Shurtliff

jFICTION Shurtlif Liesl
Kids, Fantasy

Retells the tale of Rumpelstiltskin's childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a first-born child is his reward for helping the miller's daughter-turned-queen.

Becky's picture

Liesl Shurtlif does a great job developing a backstory for Rumpelstiltskin. Typically the antihero in fairy tales, Rump is shown here as a misunderstood and thoughtful hero. His power develops during a time of hunger and loss, and we watch as he learns more about himself, his powers, and the consequences of magic. Plot driven, surprising, and a fun read! -Becky

Beauty : a retelling of the story of Beauty & the beast book cover

Beauty : a retelling of the story of Beauty & the beast

Robin McKinley

YOUNG ADULT FICTION McKinley, Robin
Kids, Fantasy, Young Adult

Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.

Becky's picture

A very detailed and descriptive adaptation of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast! The pace of the story moves more slowly, allowing the reader to really understand the character development, relationships, and the magical setting of the tale. Beautifully written! -Becky