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Adventure/Fantasy upper MG for girls...

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I'd love a recommendation for a current book that's adventure or fantasy that's upper MG. I'd like to buy one for a friend of my daughter's - she just turned 13 and loves adventure stories - she read Hunger Games and did fine with it, but isn't really into romance yet, and her parents are a little conservative, so I don't want to stray too far into YA or issues books. She reads a lot, so I'd like to get her some new hardback that's just come out. Please promote your own books, too! Thanks!

Things that don't work for my friend, I'll probably buy for my daughter, so lots of recommendations are welcome!
#1 - December 08, 2012, 06:01 PM
Robin

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Seraphina was recommended on another thread here, and sounds like it might fit the bill. It's on my nightstand waiting to be read, so I can't say how it is personally, but it's received good reviews.
#2 - December 08, 2012, 06:09 PM

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Well, that's exactly the target for my MG adventure series that starts with ABOVE WORLD (the main character is a 13-year-old girl). I'd also recommend the KAT, INCORRIGIBLE series by Stephanie Burgis and WINTERLING by Sarah Prineas, although the MCs are a little younger. In terms of YA, I agree that SERAPHINA is wonderful.
#3 - December 08, 2012, 06:28 PM
Above World, 2/2012, Candlewick
Mirage (Book 2), 3/2013
Horizon (Book 3), 4/2014

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*cough* MY book has girl appeal, despite its boy-centric cover. I second the motion for Jenn's ABOVE WORLD, as well as Anne Nesbet's THE CABINET OF EARTHS. Kate Milford's THE BROKEN LANDS might be on the edge -it gets a bit intense in places - but her debut, THE BONESHAKER, would fit the bill wonderfully. How about Kat Fall's DARK LIFE books? They skew YA imho, but not overly so.
#4 - December 08, 2012, 07:04 PM

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Janice Hardy's The Healing Wars trilogy, Blueboarder Joni Sensel's Farwalker series, Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Darkness series, Francis Hardinge's The Lost Conspiracy, and Blueboarder Rachel Grinti's Claws.
#5 - December 08, 2012, 07:37 PM
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I second The Boneshaker. Also The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. And how about Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper series?
#6 - December 08, 2012, 07:52 PM
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FREAKLING by Lana Krumwiede
Taemon lives with his parents and power-craving brother Yens in the city of Deliverance where those who have types of pyschic powers live, but after a dangerous incident with Yens, Taemon loses his psi and is banished to the colony where he learns of an impending war where his brother will be a pawn. A good MG novel with sequel potential, a lovable MC, and a look at "disabilities." (Candlewick, 2012)

THE LOST TREASURE OF TUCKERNUCK by Emily Fairlie
Laurie and Doug, sixth-graders at Tuckernuck Hall, are driven to find the Tutweiler Treasure, said to be hidden in the school, for different reasons, but if no one finds it, the school will be torn down. Interspersed with clever notes, emails, and clues, this MG novel is a fun treasure hunt for fans of school stories, mansions, and gerbils. (Katherine Tegen, 2012)

THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPENDID ACADEMY by Nikki Loftin
After her middle school mysteriously burns down, Lorelei and her brother start attending the brand new Splendid Academy where delicious food is prepared and served many times a day, but when a new friend convinces Lorelei there may be underhanded reasons for the schools feedings, she sets out to save her classmates, family, and herself. Some yicky and creepy elements take place in this MG novel, but added to the atmosphere. I liked how Lorelei's motivations and background were clear, and the way she saved the day. (Razorbill, 2012)

ISLAND OF THIEVES by Josh Lacey
After burning down his parents' shed, Tom is sent to live with his Uncle Harvey in NYC for a week while they go on a Caribbean vacation, but Tom ends up on a treasure hunting adventure in Peru where he and Harvey must outrun and outwit a Peruvian gangster and decipher an old explorer's diary. I enjoyed the super fast pace of this upper-MG novel and its international flair. The plot is both implausible and entertaining in an Indiana Jones type of way, which is probably why I enjoyed it. (HMH, 2012)
#7 - December 08, 2012, 08:34 PM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
www.deenalipomi.com

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I second Boneshaker! Loved it.

It's tricky to follow the pace of Hunger Games...
#8 - December 08, 2012, 09:10 PM

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I second both The Ear, The Eye, and the Armi and Geeks, Girls & Secret Identities!

EEandA is almost 20 years old now and I still have a ppb copy (and still think "Mile-High MacIlwaine" whenever I hear about yet another uber-tall skyscraper!

The part in GG&SI that gives it girl appeal was a delightful twist and I'll still have my copy of that, too, for a long time.

And in both books, I always have to look up which of the alliterative words comes first in the title and, ahem, editors: puh-leese take that into consideration when coming up with titles that are a series of three...
#9 - December 09, 2012, 06:10 AM

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Good suggestions. Ruby Red by Kirsten Giers and Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis are two fun series I really enjoyed this year. Oh, and Icefall by Matthew Kirby.
#10 - December 09, 2012, 07:33 AM
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 07:37 AM by Kell »
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SINISTER SWEETNESS by our Nikki is an awesome book - darkly delicious. I second Tamora Pierce - lots of selection there. My (college-age) daughter just finished SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and loved it. I can't wait to get my hands on it when she comes home for Christmas.

Deva Fagan's THE MAGICAL MISADVENTURES OF PRUNELLA BOGTHISTLE was just recommended in the BCCB's Guide Book to Gift Books: http://bccb.lis.illinois.edu/GB2/GBGB2012.pdf

I'm reading PEGASUS by Robin McKinley and think it would be a good choice. (Although I do hear it ends abruptly and the sequel isn't out yet.)

Good books!
#11 - December 09, 2012, 08:28 AM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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And I also loved Deva Fagan's Fortune's Folly!
#12 - December 09, 2012, 12:28 PM
http://www.vonnacarter.com
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I second Icefall. And I really enjoyed Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. The MC might be a little young for her, but it was a fun read.
#13 - December 09, 2012, 01:58 PM

Thank you everyone! Has anyone here read Seraphina? Do you know how "mature" it is?
My intention in mentioning Hunger Games, was that she could handle that, but I think only "just". I wouldn't want to go more "teen" or more heartbreaking or more romance than the first book. Ideally, I'd buy the book first and speed read it, but not sure I have time...
#14 - December 09, 2012, 03:00 PM
Robin

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Thank you everyone! Has anyone here read Seraphina? Do you know how "mature" it is?

Robin, I'll e-mail my daughter and ask her what she thinks.
#15 - December 09, 2012, 03:48 PM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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I loved Seraphina!  My impression is that it's "mature" in the sense of being thoughtful (i.e. brilliantly intelligent!) and being something an adult can read with pleasure, but not in the sense of being shockingly inappropriate.
#16 - December 09, 2012, 03:49 PM
THE CABINET OF EARTHS -- HarperCollins, 2012
A BOX OF GARGOYLES -- HC, 2013
THE WRINKLED CROWN -- HC, 2015
www.annenesbet.com

Thank you, Anne! Jenny, I'd really appreciate it. :)
#17 - December 09, 2012, 05:03 PM
Robin

I also adored Seraphina, and Anne is right that it doesn't contain any mature content in terms of language, sex, or violence. However, that said, I'm not sure I would recommend it for a 13-year-old. Obviously, I don't know her, so I can't say for sure! But my impression is that it's a story that would suit older readers better. It can be slow, poetic, philosophical, descriptive... and it's definitely not paced like the Hunger Games. On the flip side (see, now I'm second guessing myself), it contains a very powerful metaphor about what it means for a girl's body to physical change and mature--so might suit a 13-year-old perfectly!
#18 - December 09, 2012, 05:22 PM
critically-yours.blogspot.com

She's a very intelligent, thoughtful 13 year old girl, so it would probably be well suited! :) Thank you!
#19 - December 09, 2012, 05:26 PM
Robin

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I'm another lover of Seraphina, but it's definitely YA, not upper MG.

But while we're speaking of upper MG books for girls, might I humbly suggest my novel, Peaceweaver, out in hardback? It's got a lot of action, if that's what you're looking for!
#20 - December 09, 2012, 05:41 PM

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Just popping in here with my author's hat on to suggest my upper MG novel NOWHERE GIRL, with a 13 yo main character--no fantasy but quite a bit of adventure!

 :dancer
#21 - December 09, 2012, 06:00 PM

Peaceweaver! That might be perfect! Off to take a look. :) No need to be humble here, rab, shout from the rooftops. ;)
Going to look at Nowhere Girl, too!  Thank you Joan! :)
#22 - December 09, 2012, 07:57 PM
Robin

Oh Joan, just read the Amazon blurb and Nowhere Girl sounds beautiful! I think I need to buy that to "preview" and read myself. ;)
#23 - December 09, 2012, 08:03 PM
Robin

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Aw, thanks, Robin! Hope you enjoy it :)
#24 - December 10, 2012, 01:18 PM

Mike Jung

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NOWHERE GIRL is fantastic. :)
#25 - December 10, 2012, 01:20 PM

i loved The Goose Girl by shannon hale.

and although not YA, i believe she could read
and still enjoy Entwined by dixon (fairytale retelling),
Huntress by lo, and The Faerie Ring by kiki hamilton!
#26 - December 10, 2012, 01:39 PM
Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow: 4/28/09)
Fury of the Phoenix (Greenwillow: 3/30/11)
Serpentine (Month9Books: 9/1/15)

This isn't fantasy, but it fits in nicely with an interest in dystopia/adventure, since it's real world dystopia: "Endangered" by Eliot Shrefer. It's about a 14 yr old girl who rescues a baby bonobo in the Congo, and then a coup happens. It's a survival/thriller/interesting nature book. It's one of the National Book Award honors, and it's really well done. Definitely something I would recommend to young Hunger Games fans, and I think it's a solid upper MG/young YA.
#27 - December 11, 2012, 08:05 AM

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Hey, Robin - I heard from my daughter. She echoes Anne. (She also assures me she has Seraphina packed in her suitcase for me to read.)
#28 - December 11, 2012, 05:04 PM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt is fun and imaginative fantasy, perfect for tween girls. It is sweet and light, and not heavily into romance. I wrote a review of it on my former blog.
http://boreal-owl.livejournal.com/120407.html
#29 - December 11, 2012, 06:17 PM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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