Teen readers love the chance to escape the ordinary by picking up a great fantasy read. Whether the world is a familiar yet reimagined fairy tale or a realistic setting where magic seeps in, these young adult titles are sure to captivate.
by Laura Ruby
Winner of the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult fiction, “Bone Gap” is the story of two brothers and their search for a missing person. Finn, quiet and dreamy, discovers Roza in the barn behind his house; she is obviously traumatized and so invited to stay in the house to recover.
Ryan, responsible and careful, falls hard for the mysterious stranger. When Roza disappears, the people of Bone Gap, Illinois, aren’t surprised — there have been gaps in space and time in the town for as long as anyone can remember. Finn is determined to find Roza, aware that she is in very dangerous hands. With the help of the beekeeper’s daughter and other locals, Finn continues his search. Ruby uses mythological allegories, rich language and a touch of magic to tell a hauntingly beautiful story.
This book is a great pick for high schoolers.
“The Forbidden Wish”
by Jessica Khoury
Khoury takes the fairy tale of Aladdin and the lamp and gives it a new spin. Aladdin, as always a clever thief, discovers a bronze lamp in the ruins of an ancient city. He releases Zahra, a teenage genie who’s been trapped in the lamp for the past 500 years, since the time when she helped bring about the destruction of that very city.
Newly awakened, Zahra discovers the new world is a place where magic is forbidden. Aladdin plans to use Zahra to help him exact revenge on the rulers who executed his rebel parents and the plotting begins. Disguised as a prince from far off lands, Aladdin works his way into the royal court, all the while deepening his relationship with Zahra. Khoury’s excellent plotting, dry humor and layered characters make this book hard to put down.
Both middle and high school-aged teens will enjoy this excellent read.
— April Witteveen,
Community and Teen Services Librarian Deschutes Public Library