Archives for posts with tag: middle grade series

9780316204965Loki’s Wolves by K. L. Armstrong and M. A Marr (Little, Brown, $16.99, out today) is the Nordic answer to any kid clamoring for more books about mortals who find themselves in ancient-god-type situations. Set in North Dakota, which is unusual, but kind of refreshing, Matt Thorson has grown up hearing the Norse myths and sagas as if they were family history, which it turns out they are. Matt is a direct descendent of Thor and his classmates, cousins Fen and Laurie, are the descendants of Loki. The three are somewhat begrudgingly thrown together to prepare for an event called Ragnarök, otherwise known as the apocalypse. In Matt, Fen, and Laurie’s adventures through North Dakota, they encounter Valkyries, trolls, other mortal/god descendants, and the local police. It’s up to them to decide whom to trust and how best to prepare themselves to save the world from the end of the world. The first book in a series, Loki’s Wolves isn’t quite as well-paced as Riordan’s books, or as funny, and there were occasional confusing narrative shifts, but the series has a lot of potential and it’s fun to read about cultural myths that aren’t as well known as the Greeks’. Besides, I don’t think Riordan fans will complain too much. Loki’s Wolves is the perfect book for any reader who thoroughly enjoyed the Kane Chronicles (me).

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Admittedly, horses are not my area of expertise, but books about them are a popular request and there is enough variety in this sub-genre to meet a range of reading levels.

For chapter books, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry is of course a classic. First published in 1947, the book won a Newbery Honor Medal and remains in print (Aladdin Paperbacks, $5.99). This interesting website is hosted by the Misty of Chincoteague Foundation and has lots of information about horses, Chicoteague Island and the real-life inspiration behind the book, as well as biographies on the author and illustrator, videos, and teacher resources.

Henry has written numerous other books about horses, including King of the Wind (Aladdin, $5.99), which won the Newbery Medal in 1949. It is well worth reading and a fascinating story not just for horse-lovers.

Early readers will enjoy Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, by Erika Silverman (Harcourt, $5.95). Titles in this series are appropriate for 1st-3rd graders and are excellently illustrated by Betsy Lewin, who illustrated Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type. Also available for early readers are Pal the Pony, by R. A. Herman (Penguin, $3.99, K-2nd grade), assorted non-fiction books (Ponies, Ponies and Horses both by DK, $3.99, K-2nd grade) and the Pony Mysteries by Jeanne Betancourt (Scholastic, $3.99), author of the Pony Pals series (both 2nd-4th grade). Series for older readers include Horse Diaries (Random House, $6.99), Canterwood Crest (Simon & Schuster, $6.99) (both 4th-6th grade), The Horses of Half Moon Ranch by Jenny Oldfield (Sourcebooks, $5.99) and two series by Lauren Brooke: Heartland and Chestnut Hill (Scholastic, $4.99-$5.99) (all 6th grade+).

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