The Book Bag, Books for ages 8 to 12 July/August 2007

Among this collection you will find some great fantasies that, now that you are finished with Harry Potter, will satisfy that “great fantasy book” craving you have.

The Azura Stones by Helen Bailie. Hayley, Alex, and Spence – who are best friends – decide to spend their first summer weekend hiking and camping at Silvertop Mountain, high in the Cascades. With a treasure map left by her archaeologist grandfather, Hayley and friends are determined to find the mysterious and powerful Azura Stones. They don’t know it, but they’re situation is truly ominous. They are being followed by criminals who intend to do whatever it takes to find and steal the stones. “The author has written an engaging story that will get rave reviews from its intended audience. Adolescent readers will find it difficult to put it down and certainly read it more than once or twice.” (American Book Publishing, 2007)

Heir of the Forgotten Realm by Michael J. Svigel. Lukas is afraid of fire. A fire-eating dragon destroyed the Kingdom of Stanton and hilled his parents, the King and Queen. Orphaned, he took residence in Trallia, a neighboring kingdom, where he met princess Lilia to whom he is engaged. However, tragedy struck again. The dragon, Haarlok, attacked Trallia and kidnapped Lilia. Lukas was overcome with fear and couldn’t react. Somehow he has to get the princess back. This is a fantasy adventure with opportunities to discover one’s own human character. (Baker Tritten Press, 2006)

Monsters and Water Beasts by Karen Hokanson Miller. The Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Mermaids, the Big Bird of Texas, and others. We’ve heard about them all. Every so often a sighting of an indescribable being sets off a rash of stories about the existence of monstors and water beasts. This book provides a brief description of nine monsters/water beasts and shares facts and fables about their existence. This is a non-fiction collection that offers the stories of mythical creatures and monsters. (Henry Holt and Company, 2007)

Spectacular Journey by Donaki. Three life-long friends – all animals – live in a beautiful mountain forest. When they decide to take a journey off the mountain, together they must handle the challenges, dangers, and surprises of their adventures. “From its well crafted story and engaging characters, to its superb illustrations, this is a literary work not simply a children’s book.” (Ithaca Press, 2006)

Tales of the Tokoloshe by Pieter Scholtz. The Irish have their leprechauns, Arabs have their Jinn, and South Africans have their Tokoloshe. This book is filled with stories that recount the adventures, and exploits of one particular Tokoloshe. This collection of short stories is drawn from southern African folklore. “This is fun to read. Although the book’s audience is preteen and its locale is South Africa, readers of any age and culture will enjoy the adventures of the Tokoloshe.” (Struik Publishers, 2004)

Through the Rug
by Jill Vanderwood Alyssa is spending the weekend with grandmother. She is is nervous because Grandma is, to say the least, eccentric. Upon arriving at Grandma’s house, Alyssa discovers that her grandmother has just earned a degree in magical cooking and she plans to spend the weekend trying out recipes. Alyssa thought this might be fun until she saw what Grandma’s magic had done to her dog Domino. This looks like it is going to be an unforgettable experience. This is a magical fantasy adventure enjoyed by a grandmother and granddaughter. (AuthorHouse, 2006)