Category: Middle Grade

Cover Reveal: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

fairylandheaderThis morning, USA Today revealed the cover to the fourth book in Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series from Feiwel & Friends! I love these covers so much for their deep ties to classic fantasy and fairy tales. They remind me so much of the old Tolkien or CS Lewis covers which you just don’t see much of any more. To read an exclusive post with Catherynne, click here to see the original post on USA Today.

fairylandWhen a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy — in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution–until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.

Time magazine has praised Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland books as “one of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.” In this fourth installment of her saga, Valente’s wisdom and wit will charm readers of all ages.

Are you excited for the fourth book in this series to come out?

Cover Reveal: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

honest truth headerAbout a year ago, when my brother and I first started working for Scholastic, one of the most exciting things we started doing was working on submissions. We read vigorously to find a diamond in the rough through hundreds on manuscripts sent to the editors we were working for. Along came Dan Gemeinhart’s book and nothing was the same after that.

I am so proud of this book, not only because it is the first book that we helped acquire for Scholastic but also because I have never read a more hopeful, heartbreaking middle grade novel as I have since reading this for the first time. And that’s the honest truth.

I know that this book is going to soar, not only for the words within in, but for the amazing author behind it and the amazing cover adorning it. Check out the cover below and follow the link to the Fearless Fifteeners blog to hear the story behind Dan and his journey to The Honest Truth.

To learn more about the story behind The Honest Truth and Dan Gemeinhart, CLICK HERE!

About the author:

Dan Gemeinhart is an author and teacher-librarian who lives smack dab in the middle of Washington State with his wife and three daughters. What passes for his website can be found at, and he can more frequently be found on Twitter. His contemporary adventure MG novel, THE HONEST TRUTH, will be out from Scholastic Press in January 2015.

Review: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck that left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive—but “almost impossible” means “still possible.” And you should never ignore a possible.

So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has— the address of the cello maker.

Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers—urchins who live in the hidden spaces above the city. Together they scour the city in a search for Sophie’s mother—but can they find her before Sophie is caught and sent back to London? Or, more importantly, before she loses hope?

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. I didn’t even need to know what it was about, I just knew from the title and cover that it was a thing I was going to like and I needed it. Once I read the summary, I NEEDED IT MORE. Oh, man, was I ever right.

I completely loved this book. I was entranced with the set up story, all the characters and especially the writing style. The writing style is so simple and clean that just it focuses This book reminded me of Claire Legrand’s The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and Ellen Potter’s Kneebone Boy. If you like books, that are a little quirky, a little dark and completely magical in their own way, this is so your book.

In search for her long lost mother, Sophie makes some new friends. Orphans living on the streets (or above them) of Paris. Rooftopper Matteo, Sky-treaders Anastasia and Safi and Notre Dame dweller, Gerard. I picture these four kind of like being the real world version of Neverland’s Lost Boys. I’m talking kids, but I can’t neglect Charles. One of the coolest adults I’ve read in Middle Grade fiction. So easily adults can be either seen as strict, evil overlords or totally clueless parents (yes, it happens before the teen years), but Charles is neither. He is Sophie’s guardian and just plain cool. He only wants the best for her, no matter her method of getting it.

I know there’s another book expected from Katherine Rundell coming this year and I absolutely cannot wait for it.

Review: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel


All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy.

The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life!

When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.

In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?

I saw that this book was written by Kenneth Oppel and after reading and loving his This Dark Endeavor series (excuse me, Mr. Oppel, when are we getting more books about Victor? I need them.) I knew I needed this book. Not to mention this book is basically like Titanic mixed with The Great Train Robbery. Taking place on a train. But such a huge train that you can’t just stop it easily or get off. Kind of like a ship. But on land. Awesome.

The entire book is simply a journey from the caboose to the engine. It might sound basic, but on a huge train, filled with danger and unknown enemies, all while being pursued by ruffians and murders. Utterly perilous. Every car holds new challenges as Will has to get to the front of car to save his father and the train. And blend this with the fantastic magic and steampunk themes and it just keeps getting better and better.

But Will isn’t alone. He makes allies with circus performers he’s not always sure he can trust, Maren, a contortionist with many other talent and Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster. Both of which seem helpful, but might just have their own motives. Dun dun dun. I love me a little dubious characters. Make them steampunk-y and performers. Oh man. SO INTRIGUED.

I have to mention how much I love Oppel’s writing style, it’s a little different in this book, but still has the same absorbing quality that his Young Adult novels have. I started this book and I just didn’t want to stop. Didn’t want the subway to have reached my stop, didn’t want my break at work to end or you know, have to sleep. I just wanted to be kept in this rich, beautiful world of the Canadian wilderness.

Cover Reveal: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

One of the biggest series that I’ve been keeping my eye out for this year is Holly Black, co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Cassandra Clare’s, author of The Mortal Instruments trilogy, co-written middle grade series, Magisterium. It seems like everything the two of these authors touch turns immediately to gold. Here’s a little bit about book one, The Iron Trial.

From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

And finally after months of waiting, there is finally a cover for book one.


Thanks to USA Today for the reveal!

The five-book series, aimed at readers 8-12, features students at the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. Clare says she had “a certain trepidation that I wouldn’t be able to capture a middle-grade voice, since I’ve only written for older teens. Working with Holly helped iron that out because she’s a middle-grade expert.”

Although it doesn’t come out until September 9th from Scholastic, you can head over to USA Today to read an exclusive excerpt The Iron Trial: Book One of the Magisterium.

What are your thoughts on the cover? I love it!



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