Juvenile

 

 A

 

LE GUIN, Ursula K.    

A Wizard of Earthsea  (Earthsea, Book 1)       1968     Fantasy

Real sense of magic, depth, legend

 

LEWIS, C.S.   

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (Book 2 of the Narnia series)     1950

Fabulous Christian allegory

 

VOIGT, Cynthia    

A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Series #3)    1983     Juvenile (Novel)

Poignant and powerful without shouting. Moreso because it *doesn’t* shout

   

 

 A-

 

HARRISON, Harry

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born 1985

Excellent prequel to the consistent humorous series

 

KIPLING, Rudyard     

The Jungle Book   1894

Entertaining, skilful, moving. Profound underlying myth

 

The Second Jungle Book 1895

Sequel atypically as good as original – ‘Undertakers’ brilliant

 

LEWIS, C.S.   

Prince Caspian (Book 4 of the Narnia series)  1951

‘The Return to Narnia’

 

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Book 5 of the Narnia series)    1952

Narnia’s Odyssey

                

The Silver Chair (Book 6 of the Narnia series) 1953

Slightly darker tale of rescue

 

The Magician’s Nephew (Book 1 of the Narnia series) 1955

Lion, Witch & Wardrobe prequel

 

The Last Battle (Book 7 of the Narnia series)   1956

Antichrist, eschatology and Armageddon for kids! Courageous undertaking

 

MACDONALD, George

The Princess and Curdie 1882     Juvenile/Fantasy

Enchanting

 

RODDA, Emily     

The Forests of Silence (Deltora Quest 1)  2000     Fantasy/Juvenile

Enjoyable straight-ahead swords and sorcery for kids

 

 B+

 

EDDINGS, David  

Pawn of Prophecy (Book One of the Belgariad)    1982

Oversimplified, definitively juvenile, pitch perfect for bookish young teens

 

Queen of Sorcery (Book Two of the Belgariad)     1982

Enjoyable adolescent fluff

 

FEIST, Raymond E.   

Magician   1982

Enjoyable ride and D&D characters, some originality in mixing European and Japanese medieval cultures

 

FORESTER, C.S.  

Poo Poo and the Dragons      1942

Enjoyed by parent and child simultaneously

 

HARRISON, Harry

The Stainless Steel Rat     1961

Enjoyable James Bond/Pimpernel farce in space ships

 

The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge     1970

Enjoyable James Bond/Pimpernel farce in space ships

 

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World 1972

Enjoyable James Bond/Pimpernel farce in space ships

 

MACDONALD, George

The Princess and the Goblin 1872     Juvenile/Fantasy

Inspiring or elitist? Higher rating for originality rather than ride

 

MARSDEN, John

Tomorrow, When the War Began       1993     Novel/Action/Teen

Surprisingly workable war and teen romance hybrid; recognisable Oz kids

 

ROWLING, J.K.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone     1997     Fantasy/Juvenile

Enjoyable

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets       1998     Fantasy/Juvenile

Still enjoyable

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban      1999     Fantasy/Juvenile

OK ride. Morally dubious. Good series structure

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire    2000     Fantasy/Juvenile

Fine. Dumb twist. Enticing hints of future developments

 

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix    2003     Fantasy/Juvenile

Strengths just about outweigh the weaknesses

 

SILVEY, Craig

Jasper Jones        2009     Novel

Engaging coming of age story, rural 70s Australians amped up to Shakespearian proportions

 

VOIGT, Cynthia    

Dicey’s Song   1982     Juvenile (Novel)

Capable young teen sequel to Homecoming

 

ZELAZNY, Roger       

A Night in the Lonesome October      1993     SF/Juvenile (and adult)

Charming, able – ‘light’ horror?

 

ZUSAC, Markus    

The Messenger     2006     Novel/Juvenile ((teen) and adult)

Good heart, engaging Australian expression and humour, oversimple

 

 B

 

 

CROGGON, Alison     

The Gift (The First Book of Pellinor – The Treesong Trilogy)    2002     Fantasy/Juvenile

Competent enough cliché, teen girl daydream, two-dimensional

 

EDDINGS, David  

Magician’s Gambit (Book Three of the Belgariad) 1983?

Some of the tricks are wearing a bit thin

 

Castle of Wizardry (Book Four of the Belgariad)   1984

Series starting to irritate a bit now – very lazy writing (no editing), repetitive dialogue

                      

The Diamond Throne (Book One of the Elenium)  1989

Satisfactory fare, no surprises

 

The Ruby Knight (Book Two of the Elenium)   1990

OK, but I don’t recall ever bothering to finish the series

 

GALLICO, Paul    

The Boy Who Invented the Bubble Gun   1974     Novel (Adolescent)

Dated but OK. Troubled teen overcomes angst amidst silly spy shenanigans

 

KIPLING, Rudyard     

Captains Courageous 1897

Ripping yarn of a teen in an ocean fishing vessel

 

Puck of Pook’s Hill     1906

Glimpses of English historical figures

 

Rewards and Fairies   1910

Sequel to ‘Puck of Pook’s Hill

 

LIVELY, Penelope

The Voyage of QV66   1978

Odd post-apocalyptic setting for talking animals’ adventures

 

MACDONALD, George

At the back of the North Wind      1870     Juvenile/Fantasy

Too long since I read it – I’m not sure I finished

 

PAOLINI, Christopher

Eragon       2002     Fantasy/Juvenile

OK if you haven’t read much fantasy before, derivative, some weaknesses

 

RODDA, Emily     

Finders Keepers    1990     Juvenile/SF

OK theme, ideas, execution

 

WILLIAMS, Tad    

Tailchaser's Song       1992     Fantasy / Juvenile (Adolescent)

Pleasant enough fare with poor resolution

 

 

 B-

 

EDDINGS, David  

Enchanters’ End Game (Book Five of the Belgariad)  1984

The (yawn) climax. No suspense – every second goodie casually granted godlike powers

 

MUCHAMORE, Robert

The Recruit (Cherub #1)    2004     Action

Effective YA spy fare: not so much for older (or younger) readers who want texture in characters and settings

 

 

 

 

 C+

 

TAYLER, K. J.            

The Dark Griffin    2009     Fantasy

Slightest variation on a massively over-travelled route. Juvenile. 2D.