Guardian Longlist

The Guardian children’s fiction longlist has been announced.  Dark-themed books are the bulk of the list with a distinct lack of vampires.  Who would ever have thought that dark and deep novels would be a refreshing change of pace!

Here is the list:

Genesis by Bernard Beckett (available in the US)

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd (coming to the US in October 2009)

The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner (coming to the US in September 2009)

Then by Morris Gleitzman (Don’t think this is available yet in the US.  Not clear.)

Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn (not in the US yet)

Exposure by Mal Peet (not in the US yet)

Nation by Terry Pratchett (like this cover much better than the US one!)

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (coming July 2009)

Booklist’s Top 10 Science Fiction/Fantasy

Booklist has listed its top picks for science fiction and fantasy in 2009.  There are two lists.  The first is for youth and the second for adults, but as we know teens love to read adult science fiction/fantasy titles.

The youth list is a great one!  Books I had yet to read mixed with my favorites of the year. 

Top 10 Science Fiction/Fantasy for Youth


Attica by Garry Kilworth

The Carbon Diaries.2015. by Saci Lloyd

Graceling by Kristin Cashore


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin


Top SF/Fantasy

All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

The Ant King and Other Stories by Benjamin Rosenbaum

The Best of Lucius Shepard by Lucius Shepard

The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

Crazy Love by Leslie What

Crusade by Taylor Anderson

Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey

The Man with the Iron Heart by Harry Turtledove

We Never Talk about My Brother by Peter S. Beagle

Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy returns us to the world of Katniss who is now enjoying her winnings.  Things are good.  Her family now lives comfortably in the Victor’s Village, and she hunts outside the gates for fun rather than survival.  Her only trouble is the continuing confusing relationship with her and Peeta.  Then you throw Gale into the mix too and Katniss really doesn’t know where her heart lies or if it lies anywhere!  Katniss has had time to enjoy her winnings and now must head out with Peeta to tour the Districts as a loving couple.  And with that tour, everything changes.

Collins has once again created a book that is gripping, tense and a riveting read.  Her world is even more completely evolved in this second novel, drawing readers deeply into the story and its setting.  Katniss and the other beloved characters continue to be strongly written and are obviously deeply understood by the author who puts them into impossible situations which they react to with their own unique personality but still grow and change realistically.

Collins excels at writing books with twists and turns.  Some of which are so shocking that I had to re-read the page to make sure I had read it correctly the first time.   Though one never knows what is going to happen next, readers can be sure they are in great hands.  This is like a roller coaster ride in book form!

An amazing second novel, this book will be worth the wait!  I promise!