needs more demons?

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Entries Tagged as 'children's'

E. Nesbit: Five Children and It

06 May 2014 · No Comments

I learned about E. Nesbit and Five Children and It from Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze, which predisposed me to wonder if the reason I didn’t know Nesbit’s name while I did know the names Baum, Barrie, Lofting, Grahame, etc. was rooted in sexism. (Then again, I did know the names Travers and Norton.) [...]

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Tags: children's · f-title · fantasy · n-author

S. S. Taylor: The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man’s Canyon

10 Nov 2013 · No Comments

I wanted to love this book, and perhaps I didn’t because my expectations were too high. It’s published by an arm of McSweeney’s, and it features steampunk trappings, secret societies, cloak and dagger intrigue, a wide subversive streak, strong female characters, and subtle, but deliberate, I think, allusions to Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Becky, and [...]

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Tags: children's · e-title · fantasy · t-author

Willo Davis Roberts : The View from the Cherry Tree

01 Jun 2013 · No Comments

For better or worse, I found myself thinking of The View from the Cherry Tree as sort of what-if-Ralphie-of-A-Christmas-Story-witnessed-a-murder? story. (The novel substantially predates the film, of course, but post-dates the Jean Shepherd novel from which the film drew, so maybe the association isn’t entirely spurious. (Then again, it could as easily be what-if-Dennis-the-Menace-witnessed-a-murder?) The [...]

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Tags: children's · mystery · r-author · v-title

Michael Bond: Paddington Here and Now

26 Aug 2012 · No Comments

Bond’s Paddington reminds me a smidge of Wodehouse’s Wooster in that after reading a few stories, the template is so nakedly obvious that you might almost think you could produce one yourself: Paddington, well intentioned but unpossessed of sound judgement, mishears and/or misconstrues something and acts foolishly. Dark looks are exchanged, cocoa is drunk, things [...]

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Tags: b-author · children's · p-title

Walter R. Brooks: Freddy Goes Camping

26 Jul 2012 · No Comments

I was compelled to read Freddy Goes Camping by Mari Ness’s appreciation Pigs! With! Ghosts! at, which covers pretty much everything that struck me about this book — the who-knows-where-it-will-veer-nextness of the plot, the slight accidental (I think) creepiness (Pig! Eating! Bacon! / Very! Ill-advised! DDT protocols!), the odd mix of mild instruction (both [...]

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Tags: b-author · children's · f-title · fantasy

Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief

24 Jan 2012 · No Comments

It took a while for The Lightning Thief to win me over. For much of its length, it felt too nakedly calculated to appeal to Harry Potter fans (with the interesting, but hardly unique, added dimension of a basis in Greek mythology). The character dynamic between Percy Jackson and his pals seemed a bit too [...]

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Tags: children's · fantasy · l-title · r-author

Eva Ibbotson: The Secret of Platform 13

19 Jan 2012 · No Comments

This past Christmas afforded me the happy opportunity of researching what-next-after-Potter? books for a young relation, and of course I’m reading a bunch myself. This book shares the plot detail of a mysterious train platform leading to another world*, but what it reminded me of most was Roald Dahl, perhaps because cute, quirky, and creepy [...]

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Tags: children's · fantasy · i-author · s-title

Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black: The Field Guide

29 Dec 2011 · No Comments

I’ve enjoyed Black’s fiction for adult and young adult readers, and The Field Guide, the first volume of “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” demonstrates a similar playful attitude toward well-established tropes. At the outset the Graces are moving into a spooky new house, but in contrast to more traditional fare, the Graces have recently become a single-parent [...]

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Tags: b-author · children's · d-author · f-title · fantasy