Today’s guest post is written by my ever-enthusiastic 13-year-old daughter, Dora (who was born and named approximately six months before Dora the
Usurper Explorer made her irritating debut).
Standard disclaimer: I have read some, but not all of these books, neglectful mother, ideas have consequences, corrupting the youth, blah blah blah. I have read Shooting Kabul and it was fine, and I loved The Star of Kazan — thought it was really sweet and imaginative, and just altogether much more pleasant, well-written and entertaining than 99% of literature for this age group. I have a bit of a prejudice against books that come out as an instant series, and haven’t read the other ones.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
This has three really funny, really awesome books. The series follows the story of a demonic daemon (djinn) named Bartimaeus. He is constantly being summoned by a snotty brat of a magician, Nathaniel. In the second one, I was laughing over a buffalo. When I first saw the books, I only checked the first two out, and was very angry at myself for weeks before I finally got back to the library, and got the last book. I recommend this to anyone over ten who is a good reader and has a sense of humor.
Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai
This is an amazingly good book. I got it from my schools “free book day,” or something. It’s about a family that’s trying to escape from Afghanistan to the United States right before 9/11. On the way, the youngest child gets left behind, and throughout the whole book, her older brother, Fadi, is trying to find her. It is unsure, though, if there is a happy ending. [I think she means the reader is not sure whether it will end happily. Spoiler for my more nervous readers, since this is a pretty good book, and worth reading: The little girl does get found! -- Admin] Emotional people, beware, this book will probably make you cry.
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
A super-dee-duper awesome book about an orphaned girl living in a wonderful home in Vienna. One day a woman shows up at her doorstep, claiming to be her mother. This great story is filled with twists, and when I read it, sometimes it gets so good I want to throw it down and stalk away. [I read this sentence several times, uncertain of its meaning, and finally concluded that my daughter is a weirdo. --Admin] Everything is tied up at the end, and one of my favorite parts is the epilogue. All in all an awesome book.
The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
This is the start of a captivating, but maddening, series. It is called the Secret Series. There are five books in all, and you need a lot of patience to read them all. It follows the story of someone who might be named Cass, as she tries to find out the Secret of Life. It gets a little wearisome after a while, what with all the “Oh, I guess I’ll tell you the Secret. Oh, wait! Never mind!” from the narrator, but once you get past that, it is pretty good.