I’m part of the group blog Project Mayhem: The Manic Minds of Middle Grade Writers, and in honor of the holiday shopping season, I wanted to celebrate some of my cohorts’ books – order a copy for your favorite middle grade reader, or for yourself! Here's the fourth (and final) part of the holiday shopping guide – Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Paranormal! Earlier posts covered Books for Fantasy Lovers, Historical Fiction, and Adventure Novels. See also my post on Write Better Next Year, with books on the craft of writing and resources for people who critique.
The links are to the author’s website or blog; if you want to buy, it might be faster to go to your favorite online retailer and paste in the name, or ask your local bookstore to order the book.
Eden Unger Bowditch’s The Young Inventors Guild series
The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black: In 1903, five truly brilliant young inventors, the children of the world’s most important scientists, went about their lives and their work as they always had. But all that changed the day the men in black arrived….
An amazing story about the wonders of science and the still greater wonders of friendship, The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Mysterious Men in Black, the first book of the Young Inventors Guild trilogy, is a truly original novel. Young readers will forever treasure Eden Unger Bowditch’s funny, inventive, poignant, and wonderfully fun fiction debut.
See also: Book 2, The Ravens of Solemano
James Mihaley’s You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please: Thirteen-year-old Giles is the last person anyone would expect to save the planet. He’s not as charming as his little sister, and not as brainy as his goody-goody older brother. But when Giles witnesses an alien realtor showing Earth to possible new tenants, he knows he’d better do something. With the help of an alien “attorney” and the maddest scientist in middle-grade fiction, Giles just might save humans from eviction from Earth. Let’s hope so. The alternatives are . . . not so hospitable.
James Mihaley’s You Can’t Have My Planet is “Imaginative” (Publishers Weekly) and “Action-packed” (BCCB).
Kell Andrews’s Deadwood: Seventh-grader Martin Cruz hates his rotten new town, Lower Brynwood, but with his mom fighting a war in Afghanistan, he has no other choice but to live with his crazy aunt. Then he gets a message from a tree telling him it’s cursed—and so is he…. Now the Spirit Tree is dying, and the other trees in the park are toppling around it like dominoes. The town is plagued with unexplainable accidents and people begin to fade, drained of life. Martin must team up with a know-it-all soccer star, Hannah Vaughan, if he has any chance of breaking the curse. If they fail to save the Spirit Tree, it could mean the destruction of Lower Brynwood and a permanent case of bad luck.
Dianne K. Salerni’s The Eighth Day: When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it’s the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he’s really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who’s been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day. And there’s a reason Evangeline’s hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it.
Chris Eboch’s Haunted Series
The Ghost on the Stairs: Jon doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not even if his mother does, and married a man who researches ghost sightings for his own TV show. Not even when they travel with the show, and visit “haunted” places. But his younger sister Tania claims she can see the ghosts. Deciding to believe her is just the first challenge. Softhearted Tania wants to help the ghosts. First the siblings have to find out what happened to keep each ghost trapped in this world. Then they have to help the ghosts move on—sometimes by letting them take over Tania’s body. All this while dealing with their overprotective mother, a stepfather who’d want to exploit Tania’s gift, and a changing assortment of human troublemakers.
Also in the series:
The Riverboat Phantom
The Knight in the Shadows
The Ghost Miner’s Treasure
Chris Eboch’s novels for ages nine and up include The Genie’s Gift; a middle eastern fantasy, The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; and the Haunted series, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. In The Ghost Miner’s Treasure, a brother and sister help a ghostly miner find his long-lost mine. Her book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots. Learn more at www.chriseboch.com or her Amazon page.