Dragon Rider

by Cornelia Funke

Conditional Recommendation: A dragon, a brownie, and a boy set off on a quest to find the Rim of Heaven, a safe place for dragons to live, before humans invade their home or an ancient villain catches them.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: It was a standalone until 2018 when Funke published the companion novel, Dragon Rider: The Griffin’s Feather
Pages: 523
Published: 2005 (English), 1997 (German)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

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The Tower of Geburah (The Archives of Anthropos #1)

by John White

Conditional Recommendation: Three Canadian children fall through television sets to land in a world where they have to escape captivity, help free a king, and defeat the powers of evil.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: The Archives of Anthropos, Book One
Pages: 402
Published: 1978

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Allegory

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Ella Enchanted

by Gail Carson Levine

Unconditional Recommendation: In this fairytale retelling, Ella, cursed by a fairy to obey every command, sets out to break her curse and protect those she loves.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 232
Published: 1997
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy

Awards: Newbery Honor (1998), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (1999), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (1999), Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award for Grade 6-9 (2000), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (1999)

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The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger’s Apprentice #8)

by John Flanagan

Conditional Recommendation: Will, Horace and Halt travel to neighboring Clonmel to disrupt a religious cult threatening the kingdom.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Ranger’s Apprentice, Book Eight
Pages: 320-400 pages, depending on edition
Published: 2010

Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

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Pollyanna

by Eleanor H. Porter

Unconditional Recommendation: Eleven-year-old orphan Pollyanna, full of happiness and love, goes to live with her cold, strict Aunt Polly and turns the household and the town upside down in the best way.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand-Alone
Pages:  224-333, depending on edition
Published: 1913

Genre: Classic Continue reading

The Oddling Prince

by Nancy Springer

Conditional Recommendation: A tale of a ring of power, a good king corrupted,  a strong bond of two brothers and lives changed by redemptive love set in a world of fantasy and honor.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 288
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (May 15, 2018)

Genre: Fantasy Continue reading

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

Unconditional Recommendation: Despite differing social classes, misunderstandings, ridiculous family members, prejudice and pride, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 344
Published: 1813

Genre: Romance, Classic Continue reading

Starclimber (Matt Cruse #3)

by Kenneth Oppel

Conditional Recommendation: Matt, Kate, Captain Walken and a new crew embark on the first expedition to space and on the way discover new celestial life forms and face dangerous odds of making it back to earth.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Matt Cruse, Book Three
Hardcover: 390 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (2009)
Genre: Adventure

Award: CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (2009) Continue reading

The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire #2)

by Tui T. Sutherland

Conditional Recommendation: Told from the perspective of Tsunami the SeaWing, the five dragonets of the prophecy travel to the kingdom of the sea in search of Tsunami’s parents and discover mystery and intrigue.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Wings of Fire, Book Two
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2013)

Genre: Fantasy Continue reading