Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exhibits Hall ALA: Chapter Books Edition

Moving on from picture books, here's some middle-grade and young adult fiction that caught my eye at ALA Annual.

Gigged
by Heath Gibson
Flux
2010

Lately, I've got my eye out for fiction that will appeal to guys. I think this might fill the bill. J.T. is struggling with his parents death, ROTC training and his violent new foster father.

The Wager
by Donna Jo Napoli
Henry Holt & Co.
2010

I was drawn to this mesmerizing cover. Closing in, I noticed Napoli's name. I love her creative retellings of fairy tales. The book is set in the Middle Ages, and I wondered if this would have Faustian theme. Turns out it's a retelling of the story of the man who makes a deal with the devil to not bathe for three years in exchange for a huge fortune. Hmm... may be a little too much of a gross-out factor for me. Still, I was intrigued.

Dillweed's Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic
by Florence Perry Heide, illustrated by Carson Ellis
Harcourt
September 2010

I only had the chance to flip through a few pages of this one, but I was reminded very, very strongly of Edward Gorey. The highest possible praise for this book comes from The Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket who says, "The story is unnerving, the characters are unpleasant, and the artwork is unsettling. I am going to read this book again and again."

A Wizard of Mars
by Diane Duane
Harcourt
2010

Hurrah! The newest installment in Duane's Wizard series is available at last. The title alone sounds completely over the top. We're talking about wizards, here people. Wizards on Mars.

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