Media Reviews: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books for Kids
Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare
A class of young astronauts takes a field trip to the moon. One student, armed with crayons and a sketchbook, breaks away from the group to draw and ends up taking an accidental nap. The student wakes up to discover that the class has left them behind. The young artist decides to pass the time by drawing, and their vibrant crayons attract the attention of some unusual new friends. Hare’s wordless picture book encourages young readers to tell the story in their own words. FOR AGES 3-7
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Jaclyn Hydeby Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White
When eighth-grader Jacklyn Hyde finds a batch of perfection potion in an abandoned laboratory, she thinks her days of stressing out are finally over. But the potion unleashes Jackie, a monstrous side of Jaclyn who will stop at nothing to be perfect at everything. To defeat her destructive alter-ego, Jaclyn will have to confront her own imperfections and accept that she doesn’t always have to be the best. This story will resonate with anyone who has struggled with the pressure to be perfect. FOR AGES 8-11
The Fowl Twinsby Eoin Colfer
Twins Myles and Beckett, younger brothers of the infamous Artemis Fowl, share their older brother’s talent for trouble. A week after their 11th birthday, the boys come face-to-face with a tiny troll who has clawed its way to Earth’s surface. The troll is being pursued by shadowy forces who would use him for their own gain, and the twins must rely on their unparalleled Fowl ingenuity to keep their new friend safe. This hilarious start to an Artemis Fowl spin-off series is packed with memorable characters, Bond-level gadgetry and a wealth of brotherly banter. FOR AGES 9-12
This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
Legend has it that the lanterns released on the night of the Autumn Equinox Festival float all the way up into the Milky Way. Ben and his friends make a pact to ride their bikes along the river and discover if the legend is true. One by one the boys abandon their quest, until Ben and Nathaniel are the only ones left riding through the wilderness. Together they will adventure through the impossible in search of the truth. Full of beautiful imagery and soft, purposeful colors, “This Was Our Pact” is a fantastical exploration of bravery and friendship. FOR AGES 10-14
Wayward Sonby Rainbow Rowell
In this highly anticipated sequel to “Carry On,” Simon Snow has gone from Chosen One to couch potato and is feeling aimless without his magic. Luckily, Simon’s best friend, Penny, has a plan to pull Simon from his funk. Penny, Simon and Simon’s nemesis-turned-boyfriend Baz embark on a road trip across America to help an old classmate who has gotten herself tangled up in a dangerous vampire conspiracy. A fast-paced adventure with plenty of heart, “Wayward Son” is about what happens when you’re done being the Chosen One and must learn how to simply be. FOR TEENS
Funology.com is “the ultimate parenting toolbox,” offering everything from dazzling magic tricks to delicious, kid-friendly recipes. This website aims to cure boredom with a wide range of offline crafts, activities, and experiments that kids and adults can try together. The “Games” tab also offers several indoor and outdoor games as a fun alternative to the virtual space. Funology.com is a great resource for parents and teachers looking for engaging activities that will cut down on screen time.
Lauren Kraus is a teen information services specialist at the Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.