Meeting this longhorn steer at the Autry National Center got me thinking it was time I shared my latest MG book faves in a reading roundup.
First up is Greg van Eekhout’s THE BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD. This book is so new, it isn’t even OUT yet. (I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy.) It’s the story of a boy named Fisher who awakes in the distant future to discover that he is the only survivor of a space-age Ark. Joining Fisher on a dangerous mission across what was once the United States to find and awake possible survivors of a mysterious Western Ark are Click, the robot caretaker from HIS Ark, and a friendly pygmy mammoth named Protein that they met along the way.
The story is serious, funny, scary, and suspenseful. Fisher learns a lot from his surprising experiences. When he comes across some old human writing in his journey, he realizes that “to read the thoughts of long-dead people seemed as crucial a part of being human as building a fire.”
How right he was about that! If I had to choose between this book and a cozy fire, I would have to think long and hard about it. Have you ever wondered what super-intelligent prairie dogs would think of a custodial robot and a cloned pygmy mammoth? Read THE BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD to find out.
My next new fave is Paul Feig’s IGNATIUS MACFARLAND: FREQUENCY FREAK-OUT! In this funny, suspenseful adventure, the universe is like a radio, and there are as many different worlds as there are channels. All you have to do to travel from one “frequency” to another is twist the dial of a certain kind of transporter. This is exactly what Iggy and his friend Karen do, and it lands them on a planet where walking, talking trees lord it over walking, talking plants, and they all make war on creeping, crawling weeds.
Shocking but true: Another human visitor has stolen the trees’ gold, and the ferocious forest wants to KILL Iggy and Karen for it!
Tree-huggers might think twice before cozying up to a botanical buddy after reading this book. There is only one word to describe the action in IGNATIUS MACFARLAND: FREQUENCY FREAK-OUT! And that is “nonstop.”
Last up is another action/adventure, with emphasis on ACTION. Dee Garretson’s WILDFIRE RUN is about a boy named Luke, whose dad just happens to be President of the United States. Luke is on vacation at woodsy Camp David, the historic presidential retreat, along with his friend Theo and not-quite-friend Callie when all heck breaks loose in the form of a devastating earthquake and subsequent wildfire.
The three kids have got to put their differences aside and work together when it turns out that the adults have been pushed out of the picture and escape is up to them. Their very lives are at stake on nearly every page in this suspenseful survival tale. Luckily, Luke, Theo, and Callie are smart and resourceful and up to the task.
Those are my three latest MG faves. I’m still reading, so there will be another roundup soon. I can’t put it off for too long, or I’m sure Mr. Longhorn Steer will be on my case about it. His horns are pointed my way.
As far back as Callum can really remember, he's been living in the Wild as the furless mascot of a wolf pack. But when his pack sends him back to live with his own kind—humans—fitting in is quite a challenge. He doesn't remember English very well, so he accidentally says his name is "Clam." He's spent most of his life eating fresh-killed elk, so dining with vegetarians is tricky. And when he tries to impress the Alpha student in the school cafeteria by stealing food, people seem offended!
"A positively giddy comedy."—Kirkus
"This debut is comical but also poignant."—Booklist
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—Teachers & students—
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