T5W – “A Happy Child is a Child Reading a Good Book”

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Children’s Books! Now, I love me a good children’s novel, so I’m going to do a bit extra in this post. Instead of just 5 books, I’m going to give you 5 more recent novels and 5 older novels. 🙂 — To keep things a bit shorter, I’ll just give you the descriptions from Goodreads by themselves instead of adding a personal review, but I have read each of these books and would recommend them all highly!

Recent Novels

Circus Mirandus (Cassie Beasley)

circusmirandusMicah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle.

The Island of Dr. Libris (Chris Grabenstein)

islandofdrlibrisBilly’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of swords. The twang of arrows. Sometimes he can even feel the ground shaking. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life!

The Book of Storms (Ruth Hatfield)

bookofstormsEleven-year-old Danny’s parents are storm chasers – which sounds fun and exciting, and it is, so long as you aren’t the son who has to wait behind at home. And one night, after a particularly fierce storm, Danny’s parents don’t come back. Stranger still, the old sycamore tree in Danny’s yard seems to have been struck by lightning, and when he picks up a fragment of wood from the tree’s heart, he finds he can hear voices … including that of next door’s rather uppity cat, Mitzy. The stick is a taro, a shard of lightning that bestows upon its bearer unnerving powers, including the ability to talk with plants and animals – and it is very valuable.

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse (Chris Riddell)

gothgirlMeet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with. Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for.

The Wishing Spell (Chris Colfer)

wishingspellThrough the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, Alex & Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Older Novels

The Children of Green Knowe (L.M. Boston)

greenknowe“Tolly” Toseland 7 is rowed up to great-gran Linnet Oldknow by servant Boggis – there has always been a Boggis at Green Knowe. The real “castle” is over 900 years old. Gran tells old family stories, and songs. Over the generations there have been many who can see, hear, and feel the ghosts, evoked by white-on-black illustrations. Toby 14, Alexander, and Linnet 6 linger after the Plague, as does the cursed topiary Green Noah.

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

wrinkleintimeMeg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Circle of Magic (Tamora Pierce)

(From 1st novel) With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic – and to trust one another. But then disaster strikes their new home.

circle

Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Jacques)

7997A boy and dog trapped aboard the legendary ship, the Flying Dutchman, are sent off on an eternal journey by an avenging angel, roaming the earth throughout the centuries in search of those in need.  Their travels lead them to Chapelvale, a sleepy nineteenth century village whose very existence is at stake.  Only by discovering the buried secrets and solving the dust-laden riddles of the ancient village can it be saved.  This will take the will and wile of all the people-and a very special boy and dog!

Canyons (Gary Paulsen)

canyonsCoyote Runs, an Apache boy, takes part in his first raid — the one that will usher him into manhood. He is to be a man for but a short time….More than a hundred years later, while camping near Dog Canyon, fifteen-year-old Brennan Cole becomes obsessed with a skull that he finds, pierced by a bullet. He learns that it was the skull of an Apache boy executed by soldiers in 1864. A mystical link joins Brennan and Coyote Runs, and Brennan knows that neither boy will find any peace until Coyote Runs’ skull is returned to an ancient sacred place.


What are some of YOUR favorite children’s books?

T5W – Gaming Books

Hi all! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Books that would make good video games! I’m going to cheat a bit here and do 5 gaming categories rather than just 5 books…I couldn’t narrow it down, there’s so many good ones!

Fighting Games

10137823The Rithmatist (Brandon Sanderson)
In this game, you fight with your drawing power! The book focuses on warriors who fight each other by drawing intricate chalk figures, which sounds kind of lame on the surface, but when you get into the tactics & strategies needed to bring down your opponent, it could be a really cool game.

Weird West Tales series (Mike Resnick)
What could be more fun than a game set in the Old West, where8253037 you can pick to be real ‘heroes’ but with crazy powers. Fight as Doc Holliday with a lightning gun, make alliances with other gunslingers like Wyatt Earp, protect notable figures like Teddy Roosevelt, and fight magic-wielding Shamans like Geronimo.

Zombie Games

15096164.jpgWayward Pines series (Blake Crouch)
One day, you get into a car accident and wake up in a perfect little town. The only problem…nothing is what it seems. This series would make an awesome mystery/zombie game. You have to find out exactly what happened to you, where you are, what’s up with this weird town, and what are those creatures outside the fence? Keep yourself and as many innocent townspeople alive as you can, while fighting off creatures and crazy doctors alike!

The End Games (T. Michael Martin)
Set in rural West Virginia (USA), you would have to travel difficult13228537 terrain and protect yourself (and your little brother) from the wilds of nature…and zombies…and other survivors. Finding your family won’t be easy, especially when the ‘safe havens’ turn out not to be so safe. On the plus side, if you survive long enough, you might be able to steal a hot air balloon. 😉

Survival Games

18007564The Martian (Andy Weir)
Trying to survive on Mars? Hella difficult. In this game you need to find water, grow food, and keep yourself from going crazy all while trapped inside a temporary shelter ON MARS. All the odds are against your survival. Can you keep yourself alive long enough for rescue?

Bedlam Stories series (Christine King)
As an investigative reporter, Bedlam seems an ideal story on which to25864970 make your name. Unfortunately, this asylum is filled with evil doctors, hidden secrets, and two enraged little girls who can bring to life the creatures from their hallucinations. Can you survive the crazed staff and the warped versions of creatures from the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland long enough to figure out the mystery?

Quest Games

21416690The Invisible Library (Genevieve Cogman)
You work for the largest library in all the worlds. Your job is to go into alternate universes and save their greatest literary treasures for posterity. Not all worlds are benign. Magic and evil await you on your journey. Go undercover, find the books, and get back to the library alive. (I REALLY want this video game!!!)

NPCs (Drew Hayes)
In a role-playing game turned on it’s head, you play as the NPCs. 22088245Four heroes suddenly die in the local pub. In order to save their town, four locals have to take their place and journey into the depths of a ferocious world. Play on your own or with your friends! Stop the evil king, save the world, and become the hero.

Kids Games

953260The Kingdom Keepers series (Ridley Pearson)
Kids would love fighting alongside their favorite Disney heroes in order to protect the world from their favorite Disney villains! Find the clues and solve the riddles in order to stop Maleficent and her crew from taking over the Magic Kingdom!

The Land of Stories series (Chris Colfer)
You magically find yourself falling into your Grandmother’s 11607446favorite book of fairytales. In order to get home, you need to find the most well-known items from your favorite stories: Cinderella’s glass slipper, a lock of Rapunzel’s fair, Snow White’s apple, and more.

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What books would you love to see turned into video games? 🙂