Funke, Cornelia. Reckless.
Nominated for the Cybils by Angela
Jacob has escaped from his dull life to Mirrorworld for years, finding magical objects and selling them. When his younger brother also ventures into the world, he gets injured by the Goyl and starts turning to stone. Not just any stone-- jade, and this fulfills a prophecy that a jade Goyl will help the evil king become invincible. Jacob decides to enlist the help of the Dark Fairy to reverse the curse. Accompanied by Clara, Will's girl friend, and Fox, a young shape shifter girl who prefers her animal form, Jacob must get help from many who have helped him in the past in order to save his brother and get on with the sequel, which seems almost assured.
Strengths: The twists on Grimm tales are well done and fresh, and the suspension of disbelief is complete-- little explanation is given for the existence of Mirrorworld or any of the creatures within it.
Weaknesses: The language is very rich and stilted in some places, and students without a strong knowledge of German folklore may be confused.
Duane, Diane. A Wizard of Mars
Nominated for the Cybils by Liz.
Nita and Kit are back for the ninth time, and this time because of Kit's interest in Mars, they travel back and forth from there. However, Kit gets stuck back in an ancient version of Mars, and things escalate until even Earth is threatened. Since it has been three years since the previous book (Wizards at War) and because many of the characters from these books show up, I found this extremely hard to keep straight in my mind. So much is going on. The first book in the series, So You Want to Be A Wizard (1983) also was hard to follow, but I've liked all the other ones. Will have to admit that, like most of Garth Nix and D.J. MacHale, the details of this one have Tefloned right out of my brain. Almost didn't purchase this, but have had three students this year eager to read it.