Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Top Chapter Book Series Part 1

 I intended to have my top lists completed this week, but it just hasn't happened. Last week was crazy at work, so I've decided to spread these posts out a little longer. I'm hoping to have them completed by the end of next week after which I will be going a three book giveaway. So stay tuned.

There were so many series that I loved that I decided to divide it into two parts. Here is part one. These are in no particular order (except for Fablehaven which is my favorite series of all time).

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull 

"Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most."

I love the creative vision that Mull creates for this series.  Magical creatures living in wildlife preserves.  Plenty of plot twists, characters that are easy to relate to, and fabulous writing make for a fantastic reading experience. I also appreciate the way each book builds on the one before with the last book providing a great climax and ending.


Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron

There has never been a magic like Merlin's, and T. A. Barron reveals how the legend was born in his adventure-loving five-book epic featuring the heroic young wizard and his unforgettable band.

This series is not only well-written, but the imagery is fabulous.  The descriptions make the world feel so real.  The characters feel so real, flaws and all, that when I was finished with the series I felt like they were friends.  Note: The series has been recovered and renamed as Merlin.  Aren't the new covers gorgeous.

Young Samurai by Chris Bradford

 Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by a legendary master swordsman and brought under his wing, Jack begins the grueling physical and psychological training needed to become a samurai.


This is probably the best historical fiction that I have ever read.  Not only is it jam packed with detail, but the action keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace.  Even students who don't like historical fiction will like this series.
 
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

What do I need to say? This series is not only delightful in terms of character, but a great introduction to Prince Edward Island.

The Queen's Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

 "I can steal anything."
After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task - to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.


Megan Whalen Turner is one of the best writers I've ever had a chance to read.  Not only is the writing good in this series, but the characterizations are incredible and plotting stunning.  Just when you think you know where the story is going, she throws a doozy of a plot twist at you that most likely you don't see coming.

Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli--all of whom have become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain.


Another series that is well-known, Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain set the stage for the many fantasy series that have come since, including Harry Potter.  But I have yet to read a series as unique and fascinating as this one, I mean, a pig that sees the future?!

Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she's inherited her mother's magical talents, and despite Stepmama's stern objections, she's determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa's intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat's magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, even Kat's reckless heroism will be tested to the upmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true love?

Kat is one of my all time favorite characters full of spice and intelligence, she is determined to help her sisters as well as find out more about her mother.  The twists and turns of this new series are a delight and hard to put down.  I'm looking forward to reading the second and third books.


Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart. . . .
And bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon . . . and finds the family and excitement she's been looking for.

And this is just the beginning.  Things get more complicated when the King of the Enchanted Forest comes to visit.  Delightful world building and plenty of humor as well as fun plotting and characterization. I read this series when I need a fantasy that is not quite so intense.  The audio books are especially fun to listen to.

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver

Six thousand years ago. Evil stalks the land. Only twelve-year-old Torak and his wolf-cub companion can defeat it. Their journey together takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined.

In this page-turning, original, and spectacularly told adventure story, Torak and Wolf are joined by an incredible cast of characters as they battle to save their world, in this first book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.

Powerful storytelling combined with an interesting setting and unique circumstances create a series worth reading over and over.

Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer

A new series featuring Sherlock Holmes' much-younger sister Enola begins. When her mother disappears, Enola is determined to find her and sets out to the heart of London. There Enola becomes involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess.

A great historical mystery series with a plucky heroine and a believable setting.  I enjoy reading about the way Enola outsmarts and outmaneuvers her famous brother Sherlock.  Springer also does a great job of creating a believable picture of Victorian London.

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