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Let’s play ball! Summerland by Michael Chabon June 5, 2010

Posted by taryn in best books ever, fantasy, good covers, young adult.
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Cover of Michael Chabon's SummerlandThis is on my list as a must-read for young and adult readers.

Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon creates an incredible fantasy world where an unlikely hero has to save the world … with baseball

In Summerland, Chabon sets his literary sights on creating an American fairytale, it’s like a modern American version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe featuring the greatest of all American sports, baseball.

Summerland is a place where the sun always shines and it never rains, not in the entire history of Clam Island. It’s where everybody plays baseball. The people of Clam Island are obsessed with baseball, as is Ethan’s dad. But Ethan is hopeless at baseball. He is so bad, he often just stands at the plate and lets the balls go by, much to the despair of his teammates.

But one day it rains in Summerland and everything changes. Ethan is recruited by a bunch of baseball-mad ferishers (American fairies) who want him to save the four worlds … with a baseball team.

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The stuff of nightmares – Malorie Blackman June 5, 2010

Posted by taryn in horror.
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Book cover for The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie BlackmanNightmares are horrific and terrifying, but at least you always wake up. What if the only way to escape Death was by experiencing nightmare after nightmare?

This is a great book for both old and young readers.

Kyle is fourteen and loves to run. He runs miles and miles every morning. Is he running away from his parents’ divorce? What happened to his dad? One day, on a school trip into town, something terrible happens.

The train he and his classmates are riding suddenly and catastrophically derails and is hanging, precariously off the tracks.

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Well worth it – The Knife of Never Letting go by Patrick Ness September 25, 2008

Posted by taryn in space opera, young adult.
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Recently I read The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. It has one of the best first lines ever:

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.

“Need a poo, Todd.”

Love it. Todd is the only boy in a village of men. He lives in a world where you can hear everything that everyone thinks. And all the animals too. Todd is fast approaching the day when he becomes a man, it’s significant because he is the last one in his village to do so. What are the men holding back?

I heartily recommend this book, especially for young adults. It’ll make you laugh out loud.

There is a great review up on the Guardian today, where it just won the Guardian’s children’s fiction prize. The judges call it challenging but not bleak.

Ness said

“This story felt like something that’s got to be really gone for, really shouted out from the rafters, and teenage fiction is where you can do that and still not be shoved into genre. In its most basic form it’s about information overload, the sense that the world is so very, very loud. Then I took the next logical step of what if you couldn’t get away.”

cover image of the knife of never letting go