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Dear Rick Riordan, ... Now What??

Tuesday was release day for the latest in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, the Mark of Athena. After witnessing the wonder on the faces of the kids (and their parents!) as they took the new long-awaited hardcover in hand for the first time, I couldn't help but feel sorry about the inevitable dismay they will feel as they close their finished book and realize that they have at least a year to wait before the next installment is available. If you or your child is suffering from Percy Jackson withdrawals, have no fear! I have assembled a list of books below to help fill the emotional void left by Mr. Riordan's pen!

Please feel free to leave questions comments below!


The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423140603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 2nd, 2012

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

Gods and Warriors Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780803738775
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dial - September 4th, 2012

In Michelle Paver's new series, a young goatherd, Hylas, goes in search of his missing sister and along the way encounters a High Priestess and her daughter, a strange man who has offended the gods, and even an actual goddess. Paver's worlds are thoroughly researched and richly imagined. Be sure to check out her first series: The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness - one of my all time favorites! Ages 10+

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The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls Trilogy) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780689867460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 1st, 2006

We recently read this book for our Nordic themed meeting of the Young Readers' Society (our book club for kids 8-12). Nordic mythology moves the characters and plot forward in this first book in Nancy Farmer's trilogy. When Jack and his sister Lucy are kidnapped by Vikings, Jack is forced to rely on his quick wit and undeveloped magical ability to get them back home again. Ages 10+

The Athena the Brain: Martial Arts and the Spiritual Path (Goddess Girls #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416982715
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - April 6th, 2010

A fun modern spin on the Greek myths! Kids who were drawn to the mythology in the Riordan books will love this series by Joan Holub about your favorite goddesses in their pre-teen years. Ages 8-12

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142421949
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - September 4th, 2012

John Flanagan's new series is set in the same world of his previous fantasy series, The Ranger's Apprentice. Skandian warriors enter into a contest of strength, which some take very seriously. Will Hal and Stig be able to hold their own? Ages 10+

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos Cover Image
By R. L. LaFevers, Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780618999767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 1st, 2008

Set in 1906 London and Cairo, this series brings together history and mystery in an Indiana Jones like adventure that kids will love. If this first is a hit, check out the other three in the series, or R.L. La Fevers' other series for slightly younger readers, Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist.

Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd #1) Cover Image
By R. L. Lafevers, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547408453
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 13th, 2010

Nathaniel Fludd's life has taken a turn for the worst. With his parents lost at sea, he lands on the doorstep of a distant cousin--the world's last remaining beastologist. Soon Nate is whisked off on his first expedition, to Arabia, where the world's only phoenix prepares to lay its new egg. When disaster strikes, Nate quickly finds himself all alone.

The Ruins of Gorlan: Book 1 (Ranger's Apprentice #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142406632
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - June 8th, 2006

The international bestselling series with over 5 million copies sold in the U.S. alone

Great YA Fantasy Crossovers for Adults

More and more often these days I'm seeing adults - men and women - asking for recommendations from our kids' fantasy section, only, not for their kids. If you are one of these people, there is no need to be embarrassed! You are not alone! It seems that now more than ever there are high quality, well written fantasy books for teens. Here are a few of my favorites.  

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763652920
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 9th, 2011

Melina Marchetta's fantasy series is well-crafted and brilliantly executed. With heroes reminiscent of Tolkien, she tells a tale full of whispered rumors of saviors, dark spells, and unfulfilled prophesies.

Bitterblue Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780803734739
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Dial Books - May 1st, 2012

Cashore ties together her previous two novels dramatically in the latest installment. With a more intimate look at one of the most sinister villains I've encountered in YA literature, this is her darkest and most complex book yet.

The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062026514
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 18th, 2012

Brand new in September, the sequel to Rae Carson's the Girl of Fire and Thorns absolutely surpasses the first in the series - which won several awards itself. If you haven't read the first, I've listed it below.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062026507
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - August 21st, 2012

The first book in the acclaimed and award-winning New York Times bestselling trilogy. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a remarkable novel full of adventure, sorcery, heartbreak, and power.

"I stayed up until two a.m. reading this last night. Intense, unique. . . . Definitely recommended."—Veronica Roth, author of the best-selling Divergent series

The Crimson Crown Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781423144335
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 23rd, 2012

Pre-order your copy of the fourth installment in Chima's masterful Seven Realms series, out October 23rd! A cunning, constantly surprising plot, with subversive characters that you are will be shocked to find yourself rooting for in the end, this is one of my all time favorite fantasy series.

In Defense of Books


Last night, the Stranger and Fred Wildlife Refuge hosted a reading with Michael Chabon for book and music lovers alike. Chabon was reading from his latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, in which Archie Stallings and Nat Jaffe, co-owners of Brokeland Records, are forced to confront the uncertain future of their shop when a chain store opens down the street. Naturally, the age-old question was put forward by a member of the audience: Will books suffer the same fate as records, cassette tapes, and CDs and become a relic of the past? A rare comfort for individuals plagued by nostalgia to keep along side their record players and type writers? Will they fall prey, as so many have predicted, to our increasingly clutterless, convenience obsessed society with their collections of multi-purpose devices that all essentially do the same thing?

This is a question that I'm faced with myself on a semi-regular basis here at the bookshop. The other day a man came in and told me that he would not be buying a book from us because he had just downloaded an e-book onto his Kindle. "How does it feel to work in a dying industry?" he asked me. Others are more positive, saying that they think that books will stick around because there is nothing quite like a book. But everyone says it with a degree of hesitation. I hope it doesn't happen... but let's be honest, the outlook is a little grim.

When I heard Mr. Chabon's answer to the question of the future of books, I felt like I had been waiting for someone to explain it in exactly those terms. He first pointed out that records have had a longer life than both cassettes and CD's. Though they are large, easily scratched, and difficult to take jogging, they are still to this day being made and sold. This suggests, he said, something inherently valuable - that smell, the rich sound, the art on the jacket, the dust. Human beings love to have multiple senses engaged at once. The same argument, obviously, can be made for books. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies the sound of your hand sliding over paper as you turn the page, the yellowing sides of dust-covered pages welcoming you as you pick up your favorite book, the raised letters and faded colors of the cover art that gives a face and identity to each old friend - these are the qualities that make me such a fierce defender of the physical book.

Maybe this won't be as profound to you as it was to me, and when I heard him give name to that "thing" that keeps us coming back to books, I was almost embarrassed that I had never thought of it that way myself. Telegraph Avenue will forever be a placeholder of the night I heard Michael Chabon offer hope for the future of my industry. Here's to embracing the new obnoxious habit of repeating this story to anyone who questions the future of books: "I once heard Michael Chabon say..." 

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061493348
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 11th, 2012

“An immensely gifted writer and magical prose stylist.”
—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

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