Fantasy

Endling: The Last

The Queen, Katherine Applegate, has done it again.

Endling: The Last is the first book in a fantasy-adventure trilogy. Applegate does a brilliant job of introducing us intimately to a lovable cast of characters, including the series' heroine Byx, believed to be the last dairne (a race of sentient anthropomorphic dog) in the land of Nedarra. Byx is joined by a motley crew of companions in her quest to find the legendary ancient home of the dairnes and survive the pursuit of the land's power-mad ruler.

The characters' plights and small-scale drama are expertly woven into the backdrop of a fully realized fantasy world, with tantalizing hints toward mysteries to be unraveled and secrets to be revealed. In classic Applegate fashion, the book is full of truly heart-pounding action sequences coupled with thought-provoking parallels between this fantasy setting and our own world.

   
Adventure    Family    Fantasy    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

When You Trap a Tiger

Lily’s grandmother, Halmoni, would tell Lily and her sister Sam fantastic stories filled with stars, tigers, and magic whenever they’d visit. But when Halmoni gets sick and Lily and her family move in, the stories have a way of becoming real! Lily soon starts to see a mysterious tiger around their town which prompts her to make a desperate plan to trap the tiger to save Halmoni! 

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller is a beautiful story that left me daydreaming about the origin of stories, the meaning of family, and the importance of heritage.

There are so many things to love about this book––the connection to Korean culture, the love of storytelling prevalent throughout the novel, the gentle coming-of-age themes, and the beautiful messages about family and coping with the imminent death of a loved one––it is no surprise that it won the 2021 John Newbery Medal! 

Recommended for readers ages 10–14. 

––Reviewed by Kim B., Children’s Librarian

   
Diversity    Family    Fantasy    Fiction    Folklore    Inclusiveness    Read    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

A Wolf for a Spell

Young wolf, Zima, has always been told by her pack-mates that humans and witches are evil, dangerous beings that should be attacked at first sight. Yet, when a young girl ventures into the woods with the aim of running away from the orphanage in town, Zima can't bring herself to attack the girl. A legendary witch, Baba Yaga, witnesses Zima's hesitance and decides that Zima is exactly the wolf she needs to help her. But are Baba Yaga's intentions really as evil as Zima's pack has always told her?

This spin on the classic Russian folktales of Baba Yaga will have you guessing what twist and turn will take place next as storylines entangle and long-held secrets unfold. This tale is perfect for readers who love fairy tales and folktales and themes of family and friendship. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Ginny H.

   
Animals    Family    Fantasy    Fiction    Folklore    Friendship    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Free RPG Day: October 16

Trial of the Wolf Girls: a mini adventure gamebook

Saturday, October 16 is Free RPG Day! During this nationwide event, gamers and publishers come together to celebrate adventure role-playing games by giving away free stuff. Here’s what we have to celebrate!

Tween Book Giveaway

Visit the Tween Space at the Downtown Library on October 16 to pick up a free copy of Trial of the Wolf Girls, a choose-your-own-adventure-style fantasy gamebook written by a local author. These will be available until supplies are gone!

   
Tween   
Think Library    Adults    Teens    Kids   

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

The small town of Fry in Logan County is a weird place. Strange, unexplainable, dangerous stuff happens all the time, threatening the townsfolk. Thankfully, the town is also home to cousins Otto and Sheed - the Legendary Alston Boys. They've solved mysteries and saved the day countless times, but when they encounter an unusual man with a magical camera on the last day of summer, they embark on what may be their toughest challenge yet... The setting is reminiscent of Gravity Falls or Stranger Things (but more kid-friendly of course) - Logan County is full of supernatural surprises. Otto and Sheed are extremely likable characters, and the story is filled with humor, action, imagination, and delivers a heartwarming and inspiring message on top. Recommended for ages 9-12, but could be enjoyed by younger kids as well.

Reviewed by Paul D.

   
Adventure    Diversity    Fantasy    Fiction    Friendship    Mystery    Read    Suspense   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Scritch Scratch

This spooky novel follows Claire, an interested-in-science-doesn’t-believe-in-the-paranormal-thank-you-very-much middle schooler who has a pretty typical life. She doesn’t always get along with her brother and her friend group is having some growing pains since her best friend is now hanging out with a new girl. Her parents would be normal if it wasn’t for her dad’s job which is a tour guide for a Chicago Ghost bus touring company. Claire can usually ignore that, but one night she gets pulled into helping her dad on the tour and a ghost follows her home, haunting her. Claire has to figure out what the ghost wants, and quickly, before it gets angrier.

   
Fantasy    Fiction    Friendship    History    Horror    Read    Siblings   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Snapdragon

Snapdragon, who goes by Snap, is kind of a loner who doesn't believe in witches and magic like other kids in town. But even she's slightly nervous when she visits the Town Witch to rescue her dog. It turns out that the grumpy Town Witch, whose name is actually Jacks, isn't so bad at all and has actually fixed up Snap's dog. Snap is instantly taken with Jacks' mysterious and strange ways and decides to enter into a deal with her. She'll help Jacks in her "work" if Jacks will help Snap care for some baby possums she found. As they spend time together, Snap starts rethinking the possibility of witches and learns that she and Jacks have more in common than she ever could have imagined.

   
Snapdragon   
Fantasy    Fiction    Graphic Novels & Manga    Magic    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Doodleville

There’s something special about the doodles Drew and her art club pals create - they come to life! The art club crew usually draft friendly characters, though Drew’s doodles are known to get into trouble, like the time they stole a hat out of a painting in the museum. But that was nothing compared to real trouble her newest doodle, Levi, created in Doodleville! With her monster on the loose destroying all of her friends’ creations, Drew feels hopeless. How will Drew ever be able to stop Levi from destroying everything in sight and hold onto her friendships!

With such an imaginative story and a wonderfully racially diverse group whose members display a variety of gender presentations, there's a lot to love about this book. It is the perfect read for fans of Chad Sell’s The Cardboard Kingdom, or Kirsten Gudsnuk’s Making Friends. Recommended ages 8+

Reviewed by Kim B., Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Extraordinary: A Story of an Ordinary Princess

We can usually see the benefit of fairy godmothers’ gifts - after all, who wouldn’t like to be graced with the gift of wisdom, beauty, or humor? But what would happen if a fairy godmother gave the gift of being ordinary?

That’s exactly what happens to Princess Basil of Florim. While her five sisters were given perfectly standard fairy godmother gifts, Basil was given the gift of being ordinary. It seemed like no matter what the King and Queen tried, nothing could make Princess Basil anything more than ordinary. Worried that her ordinary daughter would never find a fiance, the Queen carried out a scheme to have Basil captured by a dragon! After all, brave knights are always looking for a Princess to rescue and wed, right?

How will Princess Basil escape capture and prove that she's extraordinary? Read this fun and fast paced graphic novel to find out! 

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

D&D Library Talk: An MCPL Podcast

D&D Library Talk MCPL

D&D Library Talk is our podcast on the ins and outs of RPG systems, like Dungeons and Dragons! We talk about how to make sure everyone enjoys the game, whether as a player or game master.

The podcast features Teen Librarian Sam Ott, Senior Information Assistant Laura Wise, and library volunteer and game designer Scott Murray. It is edited and with music by Andrew Slater. 

 

   
Adventure    eLibrary    Fantasy    Gaming    Magic   
Think Library    Adults    Teens   

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