Thursday, April 26, 2007

Light Fantasy

Recently purchased a copy of Avi's Bright Shadow (1985) at the request of a student, since it is a core novel for a class. 95% of Avi's work is great stuff (A Place Called Ugly doesn't go out much.), so I purchased without reading it. Nice, fast-paced, quasi-medievalish fantasy that students who aren't thrilled with fantasy will like. I don't know how much students will think about whether or not having five wishes would be a good thing or not, but there was enough action that this will circulate very well. It pays to listen to what the students request.

Other titles that work well when students are assigned fantasy:

Bauer. Twonk. Be careful what you wish for. The pinkest of the fantasies.

Brock. No Flying in the House. One of my very favorites. For slightly younger students. The small dog Gloria is so cute in the Wallace Tripp pictures. This one makes me sigh with pleasure as much as Edwards' Mandy.

Banks. The Farthest-Away Mountain, The Fairy Rebel. The first is a classic quest that is easier to follow than a lot of fantasy, and the second is a lot of fun. Both are popular.

Coddel. Diary of a Fairy Godmother. The sparkly cover sells this one, but I liked the idea that no one can live up to all expectations, and it's okay. (Young witch prefers not to be evil.)

Levine. Two Princesses of Bamarre. The story of the sisters appeals to girls who might not care otherwise about the fantasy.

4/27-- Pullman. Clockwork. Just a nice, vaguely creepy short book about some mechanical figures gone wrong. Reads like a long picture book.

Schanback. Princess From Another Planet. Does her mother have mental health issues, or is she really a Princess? Another fun and fairly pink entry.

Wrede. Dealing with Dragons. More traditional fantasy, but the story of a princess who is tired of staying in the palace and apprentices herself to a dragon has great appeal.

There are more, but it's early morning!

4/27-- Many thanks to Ronni for the comment. I had a student loan me his copy of Leven Thumps, but I couldn't get into it. The over-the-top nastiness at the start, and then the evil teacher, just did me in. When I thought about rereading it, I has too much of a nose wrinkle factor going on. (If I ask students if they might like something and I see a nose wrinkle, it's a no-go.) I reread a review, and it compared it to Michael Chabon's Summerland, which goes out once a year here. I WILL recommend this to my hard core fantasy reader, most of whom have cards for our local public library, which graciously delivers items. There is an audience for this, but too small of a one for inclusion in my library, I'm afraid.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo, Thwonk is SUCH a cute book!!

    I'd like to recommend a fantasy to you. It's actually a series:

    Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo.

    The 2nd is called:

    Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret.

    I'm not a huge fantasy reader, but these both captured my attention. The imagery is unique and fantastic and vivid. Your students might dig 'em!