Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Feature: Middle Grade Fiction

I really enjoy reading books, probably more than the average. I think, in some ways, I enjoy it more than I enjoy makeup and fashion. Books provide for me what nothing else can; an escape from reality and an imagination filled with worlds and characters unlike those I meet in real life. It is for this reason that I have begun to accumulate a rather large collection of books varying from classics to modern fiction to history and science and even children's books. (Yes, even picture books.)

Today I am going to feature three books that I am very excited about reading; three books that fall under the "middle grade" category of the, I guess, children's or teen section at your local bookstore. I really adore Middle Grade books. I think, unlike teen books, they emulate the very essence of the childhood imagination. It's the perfect age where an author can conquer a whole landscape of worlds and characters without feeling ridiculous because a child's imagination can handle that all. Its before the age when kids start thinking about sex, drugs and teen angst and after the age where life becomes more than just counting bricks and naming animals. It is that quintessential "middle"; when children still remain quite innocent.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls 
Claire Legrand
Is a new release book that I was very much looking forward to because it is supposed to be similar to one of my favourite books, Coraline.
Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.) 
But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t’ come out at all. If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.

The Mysterious Benedict Society 
Trenton Lee Stewart 
It is a book series that critics claim to be the next "Harry Potter". Obviously, that is a far stretch because, well, nothing can ever compare to the epicness that is Harry Potter but I was still going to give the series a shot.
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place - The Mysterious Howling
Mary Rose Wood
I really like books about trouble children or orphaned children, especially if they are a little creepy or mysterious. I think this series fits that description quite well.
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
I hope you guys enjoy this rather different post of books. I know I keep saying this is a beauty and book blog but fail to post anything on the latter but I hope this more than just makes up for it. I hope to continue doing book features and hope that you, too, will enjoy them!