“My shining dishonesty will be the salvation of me.”
Sometimes things that seem like good ideas in theory, in practice turn out to be the worst kinds of boneheaded blunders.
—Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Life would be awfully grim and glum if I couldn’t laugh at myself.
-Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
“Kiddo—here’s a problem. We’ve got witches, we’ve got Evil, we’ve got an orphan, and we’ve got a kidnapping. What’s the deal?”
–The Bag of Bones by Vivian French
Cat Chant admired his elder sister Gwendolen. She was a witch. He admired and clung to her. Great changes came about in their lives and left him no one else to cling to.
-Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
Step follows step,
Hope follows Courage,
Set your face towards danger,
Set your heart on victory.
—The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
I may not have completed my Goodreads goal of 50 titles this year, but I did a decent job with just under 35 books, mostly from the Middle Grade shelf. I won’t bore you with copy/pasted summaries of every book I read (you can hit up my Reading Challenge page for that if you like, though) but I will share some of my highlights.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
“For a Hero cannot triumph all the time. Sometimes he will be defeated, and how he faces that defeat is a test of his character.”
I finally completed the How to Train Your Dragon series this year. What starts out as a short and silly lower Middle Grade series quickly becomes a fast-paced adventure with a hero who can’t seem to do anything right, a naughty little dragon, and a tribe of Hooligans that will keep even the most reluctant reader turning pages eagerly. My favorite detail is the abundance of illustrations that decorate nearly every page. They’re informal, sketchy, and perfect for setting off a child’s imagination. Just be prepared for a little dragon dung humor in the first couple of books.
We all know the story. Girl meets frog. That frog is a prince. They kiss. What happens after that? There’s a little bit more to the story before a Happily Ever After, that’s for sure!
The cover screams Halloween, don’t you think? This lovely story has rich vocabulary, monsters, chatty bats, magic stew, and a sorceress who has an obsession with clothes. For me, The Robe of Skulls is made of win!
I loved fairytales as a kid. I ate up classics, I found books of folktales from different countries, I enjoyed Just So Stories and Greek legends. Some were gruesome and sad. Some were pretty and romantic. Many were better as audiobooks! Nowadays, there are so many retellings and reimagined versions, it’s easier than ever to find more stories with princess, thieves, curses, dragons, keys, and quests.
What’s your favorite fairytale or fairytale-inspired book?