unRequired Reading Blog
Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova, is a graphic novel that delves into the world of middle school and all of the ups and downs that come with it.
For Penelope, who also goes by Peppi, surviving school means following a set of very simple and very straightforward rules. Some of these rules, such as “seek out groups with similar interests and join them,” are not so hard to follow. As an artist, she found her niche within the art club. Some of her rules, particularly “don’t get noticed by the mean kids,” are turning out to be much more difficult to follow—even on the very first day!
Sometimes it’s better to not know what the future holds. King Acrisius asks the oracle serpent how he will die. The answer frightens him: by his grandson’s hand. But he has no grandson. His daughter Danaë isn’t even married…. And now, the king is determined she never will be.
He builds an astonishingly tall tower just for her. Trusting him as she does, she goes to the top to see the view, only to find she is imprisoned. That’s the plan her father had for her. To let her grow old without ever knowing the comfort of a husband or a child. He thought he was being merciful—after all, he didn’t kill her, did he? She could have anything she wanted up there, as long as she stayed up there and away from everyone else.
Take a look at this pocket guide from National Geographic before you go out for a gaze on a cloudless evening. Night Sky of North America is the perfect book to bring along with you anywhere a lack of light pollution permits you to see the stars, the planets, and more.
They call her Mary Quinn now. The judge would have happily have called her hanged. That’s what happens to unrepentant thieves, which is what Mary was. Orphaned and growing up on the streets of Queen Victoria’s London, an eight-year-old gets by as best she can. If that means dressing like a boy and picking pockets or even breaking into houses, that’s what she’ll do. Did. For four years until she was caught.
Mary was resigned to an end to her short and brutal life. She wouldn’t give the judge, or anyone, really, the satisfaction of tears or an apology. Even so, it was a harsh situation. Condemned to execution within days. So why was the lady in the courtroom’s gallery smiling at her—as if it was all going to be fine?
In Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson’s gripping and haunting debut novel, Mary was tried and convicted of murdering the three-month-old she was helping her mother babysit. The catch? She was only nine years old at the time of the alleged, as she often reminds us, incident. The baby was beaten and strangled, and her mother, who was present, was the individual who was actually supposed to be watching the baby. Mary didn’t stand up for herself and her role in the matter afterwards. In fact, she never uttered a sound.
Meet Nimona, the girl who desperately wants to be sidekick to the evil villain Sir Ballister Blackheart.
Meet Sir Ballister Blackheart, who really does not want a kid as a sidekick.
After an awkward beginning, settled when Sir Ballister learns of Nimona’s shapeshifting abilities, a team is born!
In Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, this unlikely duo join forces to take on The Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. The Agency, whose frontman, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, is the archnemesis of Sir Ballister, is an organization of heroes out to rid the world of evil . . . or are they? When Nimona and Sir Ballister uncover an evil plot led by the Institution, they set out to thwart it. But, will anybody believe that an evil villain and his dubious sidekick could be out to do good?
Loki's Wolves (Book 1 of The Blackwell Pages series) by Kelley Armstrong
Matt Thorsen is a direct descendent of the order-keeping god Thor, and his classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke are descendents of the trickster god Loki. When Ragnarok—the apocalypse—threatens, the human descendents of the gods must fight monsters to stop the end of the world. (catalog summary)
If you like Loki's Wolves, you may enjoy these other magical kids/teen titles as well.
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Old Gods never die . . . Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. These days, Cassandra doesn't involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn't even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. (catalog summary)
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Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning Historical Romance author for both adults and teens. She has written the ever-popular Hagenheim, or Fairytale Romance and Thornbeck, Medieval Fairtale Romance for teens; as well as the Regency Spies of London series for adults. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
Twenty-five teen girls get to experience the wonder of a week at Camp So-and-So. The brochure says will be horseback riding, archery, boating, crafts, rock climbing, and performing Shakespeare under the stars. It’s all free, courtesy of a very rich philanthropist.
But this year, things have changed. As the only returning camper, Kadie was a little shocked at how much they seem to have changed. Instead of prime rib for the welcome supper, there are gray, greasy hot dogs. Everything seems rundown and kind of wrong. But, some things never change—such as The All-Camp Sport and Follies, where Camp So-and-So’s charity cases take on the rich kids at the posh camp nearby. If only Kadie can get the other dreamy, unfocused, or sarcastic girls in Cabin 1 psyched up for the competition!