by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Younger fans of Harry Potter will love The Iron Trial, an electrifying first collaboration by New York Times bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Twelve year-old Callum Hunt is magical like his parents, but his father warns him away from using his abilities because of a haunting message left by his perished wife years ago. To his father’s dismay, Call is selected to begin an apprenticeship at the Magestirium, a school that trains sorcerers who have power over the elements. There, Call is embroiled in a year long stalemate between the Magestirium and a chaos mage known as the Enemy of Death. How can Call protect his friends against such a powerful foe?
Story by Kiersten White
Art by Jim Di Bartolo
In the Shadows is a story told experimentally by intersecting the stylistic lines between novels and comic books. At times, this book is a little tricky to follow because the text follows a different timeline than the comic, but once you can set them apart, it’s an incredible read!
A dark conspiracy surrounds Cora, Minnie, Thomas and Charles. The mysterious protagonist, Arthur, knows that they’re in mortal danger, but he doesn’t know if they can escape it.
Arthur flees to the boarding house which Cora and Minnie’s mother owns in order to keep an eye on them. Thomas and Charles, two brothers from New York, come to the boarding house for a summer to remedy Charles’s poor health. One thing is absolutely certain – Arthur’s fate is intrinsically connected to Cora, Minnie, Thomas and Charles’s.
All is seemingly lost until one of the boys decides that he wants to save the world from the evil forces that surround them.
Story by Cherie Priest
Art by Kali Ciesemier
May and Libby are oddballs that have been friends since 5th grade. Together, they crafted the adventures of Princess X one day out of boredom on the school playground. One day, Libby and her mother are allegedly killed in a car crash, leaving May in distraught disbelief.
Three years later, pictures of Princess X start popping up around town, and it immediately spurs hope in May’s heart. Could Libby be alive? She did have a close casket funeral after all, and she hadn’t seen her body after the police pulled it out of the river.
Along with the wily computer hacker, Trick, May goes on a quest outlined by the popular, but mysterious Princess X webcomic to find four keys – and perhaps, Libby along with them.
In a beautiful combination of novella and comic book, Cherie Priest creates a haunting yet riveting tale of friendship, which has the power to overcome even the most terrifying of villains.
by Sharon Cameron
The Dark Unwinding begins with Katherine traveling to pick up her uncle to take him to the asylum. Katherine agreed to her aunt’s orders solely because she knew it was the only way to protect her future inheritance. When Katherine arrives at her uncle’s house, she discovers that he is actually a great inventor. She begins to understand that her uncle really isn’t insane, but he actually plays a significant role in the community by providing jobs to people from the village. She now has to decide whether to protect her uncle or to be selfish and obey her aunt’s orders. To make the story more interesting, she meets her uncle’s attractive apprentice adding romance to this mysterious story. Read this book to decide what you would do if you were in Katherine’s place, and enjoy the intrigue of creative inventions.
by Ann Hood
Madeline Vandermeer decides to become a saint after she performs a miracle or two when she is 11. Her significant miracle (the other one involved moving a glass of water across a table by brain power alone) happens when her journalist father travels to Idaho by himself. One night during his trip, Madeline is awakened by a man’s voice repeating her name. She falls asleep again to dream of snow in Idaho, and wakes up convinced that her father is in danger of being killed by an avalanche.
Madeline dresses and slips out to hurry to a Catholic church, where she prays for God to save her father. When she finally arrives home, she is greeted by the news that her father has survived a horrendous avalanche. From that moment on, Madeline is convinced that she is on an inevitable path to sainthood. Madeline soon learns her parents are getting divorced, she’s then convinced that she has ruined her life, but thinks one more miracle will save it.
This is a fun read, and one is compelled to find out how it ends, however it is more on a middle school level than high school.