Sequels, Winners, and Scary Fun: New Books for Older Readers

paperboyPaperboy by Vince Vawter
During the summer of 1959, a young baseball player takes over his friend’s paper route for a month. He loves biking through the neighborhoods and pitching the papers right on to the porches, but dreads the end of the week when he’ll have to collect the subscription charges — he has a debilitating stutter. He has surprising and touching interactions with people on his route, including an abusive junk man, a drunk housewife, and a kind and patient retiree of the merchant marines. Author Vawter, a stutterer himself, won a Newbery Honor for Paperboy, his debut novel. (ages 11-15)

jinxmagicJinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood
In this sequel to last year’s terrific Jinx, our hero is a wizard’s apprentice who can see people’s emotions and hear the thoughts of the trees in the Urwald — the forest source of all magic. But the Urwald is being cut down, the evil Bonemaster is attacking villages, and Jinx has been sent to a desert land to learn the ancient magic it may take to save everything. Jinx’s Magic is a strong follow-up to the first book, and will leave you eagerly awaiting the final work in the trilogy. (ages 9-12)

How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinksbogle
Birdie McAdam is a ten-year-old orphan who has found a home with Alfred the Bogler, and a calling, as monster bait. Bogles eat children, and with a magic circle and Birdie’s singing voice, the team can catch these mysterious creatures. When a Victorian lady takes an interest in the beasts, Birdie has to convince her that yes, there are fates worse than luring bogles out of their lairs. A wonderful and scary fantasy that also shows just how bad things could be for those on the streets of Victorian London, and how kids find happiness in unlikely situations. (ages 9-12)

nateFive, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
In this sequel to one of my favorite books of 2013, Nate moves to New York City to be the understudy to the understudy in his first ever play – the Broadway production of E.T. The Musical. Sure, he’s left his terrible middle school behind, but what he’s gotten himself into when everyone else around him is a seasoned professional. Last year’s Better Nate Than Ever was an absolute delight, and Federle follows up with a strong second act here. (ages 10-14)

-Lauren