Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Gnome Summer reading recommendations part 4

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee. Young girl Ophelia finds a strange boy trapped in a room in the Museum her father just accepted a job at. With Ophelia’s help the young boy hopes to right a wrong made long ago. Reminiscent of a young Pan’s Labyrinth mixed with Narnia, I loved this book. There were terrifying moments with monsters both seen and imagined but still, humans are the most terrifying. More on her worlds at

Magyk, by Angie Sage. This series is like Harry Potter but focusing on a family much like the Weasleys. A family with many sons loses their seventh son on the night of his birth when the midwife claims he is dead and disappears before a young girl is given to the family in his stead by a stranger. The children grow up and the young girl is unable to do the magic that everyone else in her family is capable doing.  She and a young guard, with only a number for a name, are thrown together on the run from assassins and monsters. It is a massive seven book series that now has a few side stories as well. Great fantasy adventure tropes and an oddly quick read for such a large first book. If your readers have already read the Potter books this is a good next series for them. More information on the author on her website

Keep tuned in for some adult recommendations coming soon!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Gnome Summer reading recommendations part 3

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier. After a sidewalk disaster, young girl Raina must deal with oppressive headgear and braces to fix her missing front teeth. With family tensions at home and attempting to navigate school, things get out of hand. Her other book, Sisters, takes place during the events of the first book and focuses on a family trip, touching on even more family drama and the relationship between siblings when parents are not getting along. Her other two books, Drama and Ghosts, are also amazing. Drama features a young middle schooler getting involved with theater  and tackling drama on and off the stage along with some adult issues. It is an important book and deserves attention. Ghosts features two sisters moving with their family into a new town with a history of paranormal activity and deals with the fear of losing a loved one too soon. Raina also has illustrated four Babysitters Club graphic novels bringing a whole new generation of readers into that series. More about her works at

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins. Gregor and his sister, nicknamed Boots, end up trapped underground and must help a society of strange bat riding Underland humans fulfill a series of prophecies to save their world. They must work alongside strange human sized cockroaches, spiders, and other creatures to save the land from evil rats bent on dominating the entire Underland. This was the debut series for Suzanne Collins. There are five books in this series and I can’t wait to read more, having only tackled book one so far. Here is her website

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Gnome Summer reading recommendations part 2

Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull. Two children go to their grandparents’ house and find out the estate they live on is a wildlife preserve for magical monsters. These books are amazing and once you meet the monsters it is nonstop adventure and danger. There are five books in the first series and a new book starting the long-awaited sequel series. Both Kendra and Seth narrate as our gateway into the world of magic and monsters. The author also has two other series about children and monsters featured next.

A World Without Heroes, by Brandon Mull. In the Beyonders series, Jason, a normal, sporty child ends up in a strange magical world after an incident with a hippo. He and his new friend Rachel are tasked with finding a word of unmaking and killing the evil sorcerer king that has overthrown the world and enveloped it in darkness. Things are never easy and many friends are lost along the way. There are three books in the series. I love that in this trilogy he made up his own monsters, some of which are terrifying. Many of the magical creatures were made or bred by the bad guy so we are unsure of who to trust.

Sky Raiders, by Brandon Mull. On Halloween, Cole and his friends go to a haunted house and are kidnapped by slavers from another world. Cole ends up with the Sky Raiders and his friends are all taken elsewhere.  He makes it his goal to find and free everyone, feeling responsible because of the haunted house. I loved that the Sky Raiders delve into floating towers and steal magical items from the inhabitants before the towers fall into an abyss. This series combines everything Brandon Mull has proven he excels at, more monsters from both his own worlds and ours as well as great characters. The world of the Five Kingdoms has different magic for each kingdom, one might have strong magical enchantments with items and in another illusion magic reigns supreme. For more information on the works of Brandon Mull check out his website

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Gnome Summer reading recommendations:

Most libraries and book stores have some sort of summer reading program starting up now that school is or soon will be out. Here are a few of my favorite kid’s books to help fill out those reading journals.
Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. Young boy Percy finds he is related to the Greek gods and must get back Zeus’s master bolt or war will break out among the gods. Part Harry Potter mixed with Greek mythology. There are five books in his main series focusing on Percy and friends, three books about the Egyptian mythology, a book of cross over short stories between the two, a second series of five books with new and old characters on another epic quest, two books so far about a fallen god trying to get his groove back, and two books about the Norse myths. Rick Riordan is also starting a publishing imprint with three other authors writing their own mythic children’s stories from other world cultures. More info on Rick Riordan can be found here

Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder, by Jo Nesbo. I am ashamed with myself for not writing about this sooner. Young boy Nilly and his friend Lisa meet a strange Doctor that makes odd experiments, one of which is a powder that lets children fart as much as they want but there is never a smell. His super strong batch causes the farter to fly for short distances at times and they somehow use this to solve mysteries in Norway. We have four books so far, the self-titled Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder, Bubble in the Bathtub, Who cut the Cheese, and The Magical Fruit. I am also excited we are getting a new book in October of 2017, Silent (But Deadly) Night. This series is great for fans of the Wimpy Kid books but need more reading than pictures. There is action and mystery, as well as time travel, a super powered frog man and aliens. Jo Nesbo also writes cripplingly adult murder mystery books featuring a dark and grizzled Inspector Harry Hole. More information on the worlds of Jo Nesbo can be found here

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Looking for a new take on Sherlock Holmes? Ever read any Cyberpunk? Check of the R. X. Problem by Katie Magnusson. In an age of cybernetic enhancements and high tech weaponry, one detective solves crimes the old fashion way. Named after the famous book character he now fashions his own life after, Sherlock must face cyborg assassins, corrupt pharmaceutical companies, and a new flat mate.  Katie has short bonus chapters on her website focusing on the Irregulars as well as other character’s point of view in certain important scenes. Currently she is working on book Four.