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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Magical Realism, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 101
1. Cybils Speculative Reader: REBEL OF THE SANDS by ALWYN HAMILTON

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! Synopsis: Amani Al'Hiza is sixteen, and... Read the rest of this post

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2. Turning Pages Reads: LABYRINTH LOST by ZORAIDA CORDOVA

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Last November, I went to the grocery store and saw a display of Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - stuff on display - imported from a non-Latin American country overseas, in plastic. I was... Read the rest of this post

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3. Reading In Tandem: THE SEVENTH WISH, by KATE MESSNER

This has been the summer of the monkeybrain - too much going on, too much we wanted to do and we're not going to get it done, because it's nearing the end of August. ::sigh:: One thing we didn't want to miss was talking about Kate Messner's latest... Read the rest of this post

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4. Surveying Stories: Unpacking "Unlikeable" in Lindsay Ribar's ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES

Remember the whole discussion about "likeable" characters? As I recall, it sprang from a PW author interview on the unlikable female character in a book. That the author was even asked about the "likability" of her protagonist generated a furor of... Read the rest of this post

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5. Classic MG discussion: Mary Poppins

Welcome to our Mary Poppins chat–the final classics discussion for the year! At the end of the post, you’ll find info on how to tally up your reviews if you participated in 2015, as well as what we think we’ll be doing going forward. Wendy: I’ve literally seen the movie Mary Poppins over a hundred times. (What can I say, as a child, when I loved things, I loved them intensely.) I can’t remember how far into those viewings that I decided to read the books, but I was surprised to find how much I loved them–just as a much, but in a very different way.  Layla: While I’ve definitely seen this movie several times, I don’t think I’ve ever read this book! So thanks for finally bringing this one to the front of my queue, Wendy. It was really different from what I was expecting, I’ve got to say –... Read more »

The post Classic MG discussion: Mary Poppins appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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6. Wonders of the Invisible World: Review

I seem to have an affinity for those books which are magical and strange and not entirely definable. Sitting down to the write this review, it occurs to me how difficult it is to describe this book. I can tell you what it’s about, but to describe the experience of reading it almost makes me feel like I’ve had a spell cast on me myself. There is a palpable sense of unreality throughout as Aidan journeys to unravel the mysteries of himself and his family. Aidan can’t remember entire swaths of his life and he doesn’t even realize it. He drifts along as in a fog, feeling barely there at all. Until the day an old friend comes back into his life and lost memories begin to shake themselves loose from their bindings. But who bound Aidan’s memories, and why? You have to tell your story true, and not everyone... Read more »

The post Wonders of the Invisible World: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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7. Wandering Wild Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Today I am thrilled that we are sharing the cover for Wandering WildI always get excited for cover reveals, but this one feels particularly special. Wandering Wild was originally supposed to be published by Egmont in October of 2015, but after the U.S division of Egmont closed last year, Wandering Wild lost it’s first home. Thankfully it’s found a new home with Sky Pony Press, and it will be coming out May 3, 2016.

And here is Jessica’s GORGEOUS cover!!

Wandering Wild Cover

The Story

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

 When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? I had an opportunity to read an early version of Wandering Wild, and I can promise it’s just as good as it sounds.

And because Jessica is such a lovely person, she’s also written up an extremely helpful post for us today:

Labeling Magical Realism in the Current Market by Jessica Taylor

Jessica TaylorWhenever I speak to a writing group, I always finish up with some light Q&A. As the author of Wandering Wild, a magical realism story, I’m often asked if I can give a definition of magical realism. I usually give my favorite definition: A story that is not decidedly supernatural but can possibly encompass the supernatural.

Once, as I was moving on the next question, I overheard an audience member stage whisper to his friend, “She’s wrong.” I wasn’t offended because, if I was honest, my definition was oversimplified. The next time a man approached me at a conference with this question, I decided to delve into my English major definition, starting with the Latin American origins and the fact that we call magical realism a “genre” in the children’s literature world while it’s truly a literary mode. An author friend standing nearby said she could see the man’s eyes glazing over. Recently I’ve realized that magical realism isn’t something I can sum up in a few words because, in the current market, many stories are considered magical realism that don’t fit the classic mold.

Many agents ask for magical realism submissions, but agents also complain that writers often call their stories magical realism when they aren’t. Correctly identifying your genre in your query letter is important because it shows agents you’re professional and you’ve done your research. If you’re trying to figure out if your story can be classified as magical realism, my favorite definition is a good place to start. If you’re in a position to query agents with a complete manuscript, it’s important to dig a little deeper. Here’s a test to help you do that.

If you’re unsure if you’ve written a magical realism story, the key is examining your story’s otherworldly elements. Ask yourself this question: What is the explanation for the otherworldly events in your manuscript?

  • If the reason is werewolves, vampires, fairies, or an ancient curse, your manuscript is likely paranormal.
  • If it’s a type of science that hasn’t been discovered (time travel or cloning), you might have a science fiction story on your hands or a story with science fiction elements.
  • If you’ve built a fictional world where otherworldly things are possible, your story could be fantasy.
  • If your character’s mental illness is the reason—and everything is truly in your character’s head, you’ve probably written a psychological thriller.
  • If you can’t or don’t explain the otherworldly elements, your story is possibly magical realism.

OR

  • If there isn’t necessarily anything otherworldly in your story, but you leave it ambiguous as to whether or not something magical occurred, your genre might be magical realism.

If you’re interested in adding a few magical realism reads to your to-be-read list, here are some excellent titles that are arguably (and some not-so-arguably) classified as magical realism:

Young Adult:

  • Everybody Sees the Ants, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Middle Grade:

  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lindquist

Adult:

  • Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Now it’s time for our giveaway! Jessica’s publisher has generously donated an ARC of Wandering Wild and if you’d like to win it, all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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8. Vacation


I'm on vacation this week - escaping the cold.

Until I get back, perhaps you'll enjoy my recent reviews for AudioFile Magazine:


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9. Turning Pages Reads: THE RAVEN AND THE REINDEER by T. Kingfisher

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: This book was my Valentine's gift to myself. upon a time in Hans Christian Andersonland, an evil troll creates a mirror which reflects things as they are not. Facing beauty, it regardless shows... Read the rest of this post

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10. No. 1 Athlete Girl Book on Goodreads!

Just in time for track season! Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the No. 1 ranked Athlete Girl Book at Goodreads. This uplifting story for mid-grade to adults is a great gift idea for the young athlete in your life. … Continue reading

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11. Reading In Tandem: A.S. King's I CRAWL THROUGH IT

Welcome to another edition of In Tandem, the read-and-review blog series where both A.F. and I give on-the-spot commentary as we read and blog a book together. (You can feel free to guess which of us is the yellow owl and which of us is purple... Read the rest of this post

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12. A Clatter of Jars - an audiobook review

A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff
Read by Ellen Archer
2016, Listening Library

Quirky magical realism.
Read my full review at AudioFile Magazine.

A Clatter of Jars is Lisa Graff's follow up to 2013's, A Tangle of KnotsI reviewed A Tangle of Knots in 2013, and declared, "If you read no other middle grade fiction book this year, you will have made a good choice." The magic doesn't wear off in A Clatter of Jars, a deftly woven, magical realism story set in the same world as the preceding book, where many people possess Talents - from the mundane (ability to understand frogs) to the powerful (telekinesis).  I particularly enjoyed this story because it features a boy who we may assume has some sort of spectrum disorder, and it has a subtle Lord of the Rings reference.

I often tell kids at the library that it's OK to start with a second book in a series if the first book is unavailable. (I don't like to see them go home empty-handed!)  Most authors do a fine job of catching the reader up on prior events.  However, because of the rich details of the world Lisa Graff has created, A Clatter of Jars is best read after A Tangle of Knots.


An audio excerpt from A Clatter of Jars and my review for AudioFile Magazine may be found here. [http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/114587/a-clatter-of-jars-by-lisa-graff/]

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13. Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour: Interview with Gene Luen Yang

Children's Book Week was just last week, and thanks to First Second we're still celebrating--throughout April and May, MacTeenBooks has organized a massive multi-blog tour featuring Five Questions with a wide range of amazing cartoonists for kids... Read the rest of this post

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14. TURNING PAGES: A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS, by KATHLEEN BALDWIN

Reader, after you finished Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assasains series and powered through Julie Berry's The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place and frothed through the lighter Finishing School novels by Gail Carringer and plowed through... Read the rest of this post

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15. TURNING PAGES: KUNG FU KITTY, LAYING DOWN THE LAW, by LAURI BORTZ

Honestly? I did not see this one coming.Some of us in the kidlitosphere who have grown up in a faith have frequently bemoaned the scarcity of accurately, positively and creatively depicted faith in children's fiction. (Please note I said "faith" and... Read the rest of this post

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16. Nightbird by Alice Hoffman, 197 pp, RL 4

Alice Hoffman is the author of many books for adults, a few of which have been made into movies, and a handful of books for young readers. Her newest book, Nightbird, brings magical realism, a genre mastered by Gabriel García Márquez, to middle grade readers in a way that is compelling and appropriate. Magical realism, which presents magical or unreal elements in an otherwise mundane setting

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17. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

2015, Balzer + Bray

Bone Gap is a small town where everyone knows each other on a first name basis.  It's also a small enough town where your personal life can become community property.  No one knows this better than Sean and Finn.  Living alone without any parents to help (and everyone knows how that happened), Sean works full time and looks after his younger brother who is still in high school.  Dreams were given up as well as the cameraderie brothers had.  Finn knows this only too well, but can do nothing about it.  He misses his older brother even though they're in the same room and when Roza left, the gap became larger in the brothers' relationship.

Roza came to Bone Gap quite unexpectedly.  Born and raised in Poland, she left her home country for the opportunity to be in America, but what she saw and experienced were darker and bleaker than she imagined.  Sean found Roza and gave her time to find herself again.  While others were struck by her beauty, Sean gazed at her beyond the beauty and began to fall in love with the woman.  No one had ever done that before.  In turn, Roza helps Sean and Finn find the bindings that loosened between them and she also became part of the family...until the day she disappeared.  Finn saw it happen, but there are gaps to what he saw.  He couldn't tell you what the man who took her looked like and wouldn't even be able to recognize him in a line-up because Finn is unable to recognize faces.

Petey likes to live in the solitary gaps she finds.  People talk about her, know her story, but do they really?  She's the pretty girl with an ugly face and the honeybees she helps tend with her mother allows her to take cover from what everyone says about her...until one night when Finn arrives at her house on a dark horse.  They go on the most magical ride, falling into the gaps between the world they live in and the other world that exists between.  The more Petey and Finn spend time together, the more their gaps are filled with much-needed love and acceptance.

The man took Roza because she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.  He told her he would never hurt her until she came to love him.  He offers her the finest things in beautiful places, but whatever the facade may be, it is still a prison.  He also knows Finn is searching for Roza and is working to create a gap large enough where Roza will never be found.  Little does he know how resourceful, strong and patient his beautiful prize can be.

Told in alternating stories between Finn (for the most part) and Roza, the reader is immersed into a  beautiful story of reality and fantasy.  Roza's world is fantastical and horrible at the same time while Finn lives in the real world that is becoming more beautiful every day.  Ruby's writing flows with emotion and beauty, taking the reader beyond the pages to the heart of the book - one about the importance of relationships.  It's been awhile since I last cried while reading a book, and this one I couldn't help myself.  It wasn't out of sadness, but out of the beauty and deep strong characters Laura Ruby crafts in this novel.  Magical realism at it's best in this book.  Highly recommended.


Other magical realism book pairs:





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18. TURNING PAGES: THE MEMORY CHAIR by SUSAN WHITE

After I sighed enviously through Susan White's Ten Thousand Truths and longed to live on a magical farm like that (despite the fact that there's nothing magical about having to dig and drudge and deal with small, mad chickens who don't want you to... Read the rest of this post

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19. Monday Review: GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by A.S. King

Summary: I don't know why I put off reading this one for so long. I really love A.S. King's writing, and every time I read one of her books I'm pretty much blown away. This one's no exception. Trying to summarize it is only going to make it sound... Read the rest of this post

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20. TURNING PAGES: THE JUMBIES by TRACEY BAPTISTE

This book is one off-the-beaten-track for me. It's definitely a MG chapter book, and skews quite a bit younger than the books we usually review here -- but I'm reviewing it anyway, because I'm excited that I'll have the opportunity to meet the... Read the rest of this post

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21. TURNING PAGES: TRAIL OF THE DEAD, by JOSEPH BRUCHAC

I have a tiny addiction to Joseph Bruchac's KILLER OF ENEMIES books, as you'll note from my original review, the review of the ROSE EAGLE novella, and the fact that I do cover reveals for the KILLERS series - which I don't often even notice are... Read the rest of this post

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22. TURNING PAGES: THE TOYMAKER'S APPRENTICE, by SHERRI L. SMITH

Full disclosure: I consider the author a friend of mine, though we've never yet managed to meet in person. (Darn it.) I read this book out of affection, but am raving about it, because I found it to be flat out astounding.One of the weird things... Read the rest of this post

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23. TURNING PAGES: ASH & BRAMBLE, by SARAH PRINEAS

Some people decide to read more books written by women and underrepresented writers. Others decide to try and read fewer YA novels featuring rail thin girls wearing big, foofy dresses on the cover... but, yeah. YA. Foofy dresses. It's a Thing. Less... Read the rest of this post

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24. TURNING PAGES: A WAKE OF VULTURES by LILA BOWEN

To begin with, this isn't a YA novel. It's a crossover adult novel, recommended for older YA readers due to some violence and disturbing interactions and attitudes. Lila Bowen is a pseudonym for Delilah Dawson, a familiar YA author. If you like... Read the rest of this post

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25. TURNING PAGES: SILVER ON THE ROAD by LAURA ANNE GILMAN

Another Western with a youthful protagonist, Laura Anne Gilman's novel is the first in a sweeping new series. I read it -- passed it along to Tech Boy who also read it and said, "Wow, it just... worked." What's harder to say is... why. And we aren't... Read the rest of this post

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