As promised, here are the rest of my favorite fiction books from 2022. I wrote about my other favorite books on my previous review. These books have a variety that include mysteries, fantasy, and realistic fiction and are great for ages eight and above. They are perfect to read aloud for all ages.
A Dragon Used to Live Here, by Annette LeBlanc Cafe, is a perfect book to read aloud to your entire family. This delightfully written story is rich in character and setting. It’s also unique in that it has a fairytale within a fairytale. The story takes place in a castle where two siblings discover an elderly Meg who lives in the basement and tells the children that a dragon used to live in this castle. And so begins this enchanting tale within the tale. There are wonderful etchings, made with ink, sprinkled throughout the book which adds nicely to this richly woven story. And there is a resolution at the end that will be most endearing!
The Lost Wonderland Diaries: Secrets of the Looking Glass, by J. Scott Savage, is the second book in this series. Even though it’s not necessary to read the first book to enjoy this one, it does help give the big picture. The story is centered around Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stories. The two protagonists end up falling into the Looking Glass world and now they must use their problem-solving skills to escape. This book is full of highly imaginative adventure and mystery. There is a very clever ending to each chapter where the last sentence is left unfinished. The missing word is found in the title of the following chapter.
Seekers of the Fox (A Thief’s of Shadow Novel), by Kevin Sands, is the second book in this fantastic series. This second book is as good as the first: The Children of the Fox. However, you will want to read the first book before reading this one as this one continues in this magical adventure. This group of ragtag kids must pay a heavy price of misfortune after stealing a valuable treasure. There is so much action and mystique involved, there is no doubt you’ll be engaged to the end.
Outside Nowhere, by Adam Borba, is realistic fiction but there is a surprising element that sneaks up on you in the middle of the story. Parker makes a big mistake when he pulls a bad prank at his job at the local swimming pool. Now his father has decided to send him across the country to work on a farm. The story is already very interesting, but this is when he comes upon some big surprises. Without spoiling the story, I will just say there is even some magic in this book which makes the story so fun and exciting. This is one book even the most reluctant reader will not put down!
The Pear Affair, by Judith Eagle, is a masterful mystery set in Paris. When young Nell finds that her parents are going to France, she jumps at the chance to go along. Her favorite nanny, Pear, seems to have vanished. Her endearing letters from Paris, after leaving her in charge, have suddenly stopped for an unknown reason. Nell imagines something bad has happened to her. There are twists and turns throughout along with clues dropped along the way. This is a great mystery for mystery lovers.
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good, by Louie Stowell, is a sort of doodle book and written in the form of a diary. Loki is a Norse mythological god who is trapped on earth as an eleven-year-old. He has one month to prove that he can be good and then he can return to Asgard. The purpose of this diary is to write down what he learns thereby becoming better with the ultimate goal of getting off of Earth. But Loki has much to learn, and his writings and doodles are hilarious! Here’s betting all who read this will not just chuckle but laugh out loud. This is the perfect book for reluctant readers and beyond.
Hither & Nigh, by Ellen Potter, is rich with magic and mystery. Nell has gotten in trouble in school and must meet with a teacher, Mr. Boot, who completely surprises her and the other three students, (who become fast friends). Mr. Boot opens a world of magic and adventure when he not only teaches these kids how to use chopsticks for magic but also allows them to make a witch for something they have lost. The descriptive language along with building to the climax is a thrill that all ages will enjoy.
A Taste of Magic, by J. Elle, twelve-year-old Kyana has just found out that she is a witch. But now, instead of helping her family now that she has this magical charm, it seems to be hindering her life. She has to keep this from her friends and deal with school difficulties, such as math. Everything changes when she finds that her magical school is losing finding and might close. If that happens, she’ll lose her magic. What she comes up with to make money is clever and mouthwatering as she decides to try to win money by entering a baking contest. The story is full of ingenious ways that magic is portrayed and rich in love and devotion to family and community.
A Million Views, by Aaron Starmer, has twelve-year-old Brewster desiring to make a short video. But as time goes on, and more and more kids become involved, his video turns into a full-fledged movie with crew, producer and more. He begins with just a phone, a tripod, and an idea. However it slowly progresses to bigger and bigger as more kids become involved. He may even get a million views. This creative storyline has heart and a witty dialogue that keeps the reader engaged all the way to the end.