Fantasy Books by Oliver, DiCamillo and Valente

The first books I read this summer are by author Lauren Oliver. Her book Liesel and Po has been nominated for the Nevada Young Reader Award and will be used in our district competition of the Battle of the Books, so I wanted to read it. Plus the summary of the book mentions a girl locked in an attic, a runaway alchemist apprentice and a ghost! Of course I wanted to read it! This book reminded me of Kate DiCamillo's books. It takes place in an unknown time period, there are trains but I didn't notice electricity or cars, so I was thinking the Victorian age. But there is magic and the sun has disappeared for several years and food is getting scarce. Our main characters are living miserable lives, Liesel's parents have died and she is locked in the attic by her stepmother who wants her fortune. Will is an apprentice to a cruel alchemist and is always cold, tired and hungry. And then Po, a ghost, shows up and he has a ghost pet! The four of them set out to bury Liesel's father's ashes next to his wife in the country and have a series of adventures and meet interesting characters along the way. The story is told in a narrative voice that┬áreminded me of Kate DiCamillo's The Magician's Elephant, which is a ┬ádarker story about a boy who wants to find his long-lost sister and an elephant that just wants to go home. It's a quick read and I recommend it. I enjoyed Liesel and Po, so I looked for more books by Lauren Oliver and I found a trilogy of books for teens that look like they are very popular, but I decided to read The Spindlers next. I think kids would really like this book, which is a wildly creative journey story about a little girl who is trying to save her brother's soul. She travels "below" and finds all kinds of crazy things like talking rats, seeds of hope, giant spiders that eat people's souls, giant tree roots that are actually snakes and much more. She must travel to the where the souls are being kept captive, fighting every step of the way and … [Read more...]