Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

The Vine Witch
Luanne G. Smith
47North
Published October 1, 2019

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About The Vine Witch

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by … Continue reading

Review: The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

The Dark Lord Clementine
Sarah Jean Horwitz
Algonquin Young Readers
Published October 1, 2019

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About The Dark Lord Clementine

The new face of big evil is a little . . . small.

Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best … Continue reading

Mini Reviews: Tales of the Frog Princess by E. D. Baker 1-3

I started reading an e-book version Tales of the Frog Princess by E. D. Baker, and for some reason thought it was a short story collection. Only after I finished did I realize it was actually the first three books in the series packaged together as one e-book. Which actually made me feel better, because it took me a lot longer to read than I anticipated! Here’s a quick take on each of the first three books in the series.

Tales of the Frog Princess 1 by E. D. BakerThe Frog Princess (Tales of the Frog Princess #1)

Probably the most significant departure from the familiar fairy tale which inspired this story is that Princess Emeralda (Emma) is also a witch. Her aunt and mentor, also the … Continue reading

Review: Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's SongGrayling’s Song
Karen Cushman
Clarion Books

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When a dark force transforms Grayling’s mother into a tree, she must track the evil and free her mother’s stolen spell book. Grayling has never been far from home, and she has no skills with which to battle a sorcerer, so along her journey, she gathers a team of companions with various magical inclination, including a shapeshifting mouse and a witch who can control the weather. Together they follow the call of Grayling’s mother’s book to the source of the evil that’s taken it, and there, Grayling will have to fight to free the grimoire.

It might be impossible not to enjoy a book with a shapeshifting mouse. … Continue reading

My Thoughts on Twilight and The Graveyard Book

Poll Question: Should Christian teens read books about characters of spritually questionable origin?

  • Maybe. Mature kids can discern the truth without being spiritually compromised. Other kids aren’t ready. (4 votes)
  • Yes. Reading about a vampire doesn’t do any harm. It’s just fantasy! (2 votes)
  • No way. The origin of vampires isn’t “questionable.” It’s evil. Don’t even go there. (2 votes)

My Vote
I’ll be honest– this is a tricky one for me. When I began this blog and posted my first poll, a friend left several comments on my facebook account about teen fiction and what it should and should not contain and she said two very key words: age-appropriate. (maybe that’s technically one word, hyphenated…)

I think there’s something to that. Absolutely. In the case of Neil Gaiman’s book, we’re talking about a story set in a graveyard with a small child as a character. (I’m … Continue reading

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins
Published September 30, 2008

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They say it takes a town to raise a child. Or in this case, a graveyard.

After his family are murdered by a stranger named Jack, a toddler escapes to a graveyard where he is adopted by a pair of ghosts who name him Nobody. A vampire speaks up as Bod’s guardian, eventually sharing this responsibility with a werewolf.  Bod befriends other ghost children and even a witch buried on unconsecrated ground near the graveyard. But the mysterious man who murdered his family still seeks him and intends to finish the task he … Continue reading

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