Hi Kid Lit Friends!
With so much buzz about the book adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time in the box offices, I thought I’d build a book list for those who love the book and/or the movie. Some of the books below are high fantasy, some incorporate science fiction elements, and one is a biography about Madeleine L’Engle’s. All are sure to be enjoyable if you’re looking for more of that Wrinkle magic.
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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is heavily influenced by A Wrinkle in Time. The main character, Miranda, is always carrying the book around and is constantly comparing situations in her own life to the situations in the book. In an interview with Amazon.com, Stead says, “What I love about L’Engle’s book now is how it deals with so much fragile inner-human stuff at the same time that it takes on life’s big questions. There’s something fearless about this book.”
Some books that I think have that similar high fantasy and science fiction element in the stories include Dragonwings by Laurence Yep, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar, and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. All of these books do a marvelous job at creating alternate worlds that are rich and characters that are nuanced and interesting.
Books that have similar sense of wonder and mysticism to A Wrinkle in Time include The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi and Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley. The Dam Keeper is set in Sunrise Valley, a quiet and sheltered place that is protected from a dangerous black fog that looms outside the village by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again. Now Pig is the dam keeper, and a new threat is on the horizon―a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley.
Tumble and Blue is about a legend: When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him. But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night’s fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both . . . and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones.
If you or a reader you know loves graphic novels, A Wrinkle in Time was adapted into a graphic novel, illustrated by Hope Larson. In the graphic novel, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters, like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for delighting old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.
And finally, for those who want to know more about Madeleine L’Engle’s life, her granddaughters recently wrote a book about her using many of her journals as sources. In Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy Use never-before-seen archival materials that include photographs, poems, letters, and journal entries from when Madeleine was a child until just after the publication of her classic, A Wrinkle in Time. It is a story of overcoming obstacles―a lonely childhood, financial insecurity, and countless rejections of her writing―and eventual triumph.
All of these books release this Tuesday. The book descriptions are from Goodreads, but I’ll add a if I particularly loved a title.
Picture Book New Releases
Cycle City by Alison Farrell (Chronicle)
When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen’s house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta—the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable. Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike—whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.
Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel (Chronicle)
Hello, Hello! Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world—and ultimately paints a story of connection.
Captain Starfish by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Chronicle)
Alfie wants to participate in the best parts of being a kid, from his friend Antoinette’s birthday party to the relay races at school. But his shyness keeps him from engaging. When Alfie wakes up with That Feeling on the morning of yet another big event—the underwater costume parade—his mom takes him to the aquarium. There, Alfie meets a starfish who shines so boldly Alfie feels small. But suddenly, a tiny clownfish swims up to Alfie for a quick hello and retreats again. Alfie begins to understand that there’s a happy medium between hiding away and being the star, and that he needs to come out of hiding every once and awhile to make meaningful connections.
Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by Jacky Davis and David Soman
Lulu is excited to meet all the rescue dogs when the pet-adoption fair comes to her local farmers’ market. She wants to take all of them home–but she already has Bingo, and Mama says one dog is enough for their family. That doesn’t mean Lulu can’t help, though. It’s time for Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad–her friends Grasshopper Girl and Bumblebee Boy–to step in! The Bug Squad can do all kinds of little but important things, like brush the dogs, play with them, and bring them water and food. And then Lulu comes up with the perfect plan to help the dogs find their forever homes. Her idea is such a success that the Bug Squad knows they’ll be back again next week. Together, they can help every dog get adopted.
Twilight Chant by Holly Thompson, illustrated by Jen Betton (HMH Books for Young Readers)
As day slips softly into night, sharp eyes catch glimpses of the special creatures who are active at dusk. Lyrical text and lush art capture the richness and life of this magical time in a sumptuous picture book that will inspire budding naturalists and anyone who has ever chased a lightning bug at twilight.
Middle Grade New Releases
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin, illustrated by Lucy Knisely (Amulet Books)
Penny is excited to welcome her new sibling, so throughout her mom’s pregnancy she writes letters to it (not it, YOU!). She introduces herself (Penelope, but she prefers “Penny”) and their moms (Sammy and Becky). She brags about their home city, Oakland, California (the weather, the Bay, and the Golden State Warriors) and shares the trials and tribulations of being a fifth-grader (which, luckily, YOU won’t have to worry about for a long time). Penny asks little questions about her sibling’s development and starts to ask big questions about the world around her (like if and when her moms are ever going to get married “for real”).
The Second World War was the most devastating war in history. Up to eighty million people died, and the map of the world was redrawn. More than seventy years after peace was declared, children interviewed family and community members to learn about the war from people who were there, to record their memories before they were lost forever. Now, in a unique collection, RAF pilots, evacuees, resistance fighters, Land Girls, U.S. Navy sailors, and survivors of the Holocaust and the Hiroshima bombing all tell their stories, passing on the lessons learned to a new generation. Featuring many vintage photographs, this moving volume also offers an index of contributors and a glossary.
Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island by Liz Kessler (Candlewick)
Emily is headed to a tropical island for a relaxing vacation with friends and family. And this time, Emily promises her best friend, Shona, there will be absolutely no adventure — just plenty of fun. But somehow excitement always seems to find Emily, and before she knows it, she ends up on the other side of a powerful waterfall on a forgotten island no one else can get to. Well, no one that isn’t a half-mer like Emily and her boyfriend, Aaron. The people who live on the island believe in a prophecy that foretells how they can be saved from an imminent, devastating earthquake — and this prophecy seems to revolve around Emily and Aaron, as well as a mysterious, mythic giant. Will they be able to find the giant — and fulfill the prophecy — before it’s too late?
Princess Before Dawn by E.D. Baker (Bloomsbury)
In the seventh tale of the Wide-Awake Princess series, Princess Annie’s beloved home Treecrest has become a favorite destination for all sorts of magical beings. One new set of guests are particularly strange, and they are ready to take over a new hunting ground. Annie and Liam turn to their only friends who can help, Francis and Zoe. But when Francis and Zoe arrive in Treecrest, the new hunting group is having too much fun to pack up and go home and nothing Francis or Zoe say seems to help. Can Annie, Liam and their new friends figure out a way to reclaim Treecrest before it’s overrun with hunters? Or will Annie lose her one true home?
Strange Star by Emma Carroll (Random House Children’s Books)
One stormy June evening, five friends meet at Villa Diodati, the summer home of Lord Byron. After dinner is served, they challenge each other to tell ghost stories that will freeze the blood. But one of the guests–Mary Shelley–is stuck for a story to share. Then there’s an unexpected knock at the front door. Collapsed on the doorstep is a girl with strange scars on her face. She has traveled a long way with her own tale to tell, and now they all must listen. Hers is no ordinary ghost story, though. What starts as a simple tale of village life soon turns to tragedy and the darkest, most dangerous of secrets. Sometimes the truth is far more terrifying than fiction . . . and the consequences are even more devastating.
So many great books are crossing my path this past week. I finished The Right Hook of Devin Velma by Jake Burt (Feiwel and Friends, 10/2/18), a story about friendship, miscommunication, and a viral sensation gone wrong.
The Creativity Project, edited by Colby Sharp, just came out last Tuesday and includes wonderful prompts and stories by kid’s lit authors and educators.
And my Mildred D. Taylor kick continues as I finished The Land, a prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The Land is the story of Paul-Edward Logan and his single minded determination to purchase 200 acres of land that eventually becomes the land that Cassie Logan from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry grows up on. Next up in the Logan Family series: Let The Circle Be Unbroken.
Until next week!
I caught Izzy nibbling on my new release pile for this week. Grr.
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