Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

What The Thirteen-Year-Old has been reading while we #stayathome

We’ve been tucked away in our house for about a month now, and reading has broken out with a vengeance. Here’s a sampling of the books The Thirteen-Year-Old has been reading to pass the time.

Rogue Princess by B. R. Myers

Book cover for Rogue Princess shows a young black woman with long curly hair standing on a hill overlooking a forest. A mountain looms in the background.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Year Published: 2020
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

Book Summary: Rogue Princess

A princess fleeing an arranged marriage teams up with a snarky commoner to foil a rebel plot in B. R. Myers’ Rogue Princess, a gender-swapped sci-fi YA retelling of Cinderella.”

From the book description on Goodreads

What The Thirteen-Year-Old thinks of Rogue Princess (so far)

Although The Thirteen-Year-Old likes the book well enough to have me include it on this list for Caterpickles, she wants me to start the mini-review with a caveat. She hasn’t finished it yet.

So far she says, she likes the setting and the fact that politics is central to the story. “It’s set in a very interesting world with politics, which is not the kind of thing you usually find in sci-fi for kids. Most sci-fi I’ve read before focuses on criminals and space bandits and politics doesn’t really come into it.”

Randoms by David Liss

The book cover for Randoms shows a teenage boy leaping off the face of the moon in the company of what looks like a crocodile, a chihuahua, and an angry fish.
Genre: Middle Grade Sci-Fi
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2015
Format: ebook
Source: Own Copy

Book Summary: Randoms

A science fiction superfan finds himself on his very own space adventure when he’s randomly selected to join an alien confederacy in this hilarious middle grade debut novel.”

From the book description on Goodreads

What The Thirteen-Year-Old thinks of Randoms

Like many of us, The Thirteen-Year-Old is rereading old favorites as a way to deal with anxiety in this uncertain time. Randoms is a book she finds herself returning to time and again when she needs something to take her mind off things.

When I asked her why she chose it to read again, she said, “Randoms is another one that sort of has politics, but it’s also set in a very interesting world. It’s one of the few novels I’ve read that can successfully pull off a romance. Also, I just learned there are two more books in the series to read over quarantine, so I picked it up again so I could read the next two.”

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Andersen and Eugene Yelchin

The book cover for The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge shows an elf dressed head to toe in red running from what looks like a collection of very pointy and lethal spears.
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year Published: 2018
Format: Print
Source: Library

Book Summary: The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Subverting convention, award-winning creators M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin pair up for an anarchic, outlandish, and deeply political saga of warring elf and goblin kingdoms.”

From the book description on Goodreads

What The Thirteen-Year-Old thinks of The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Before we get to that, The Thirteen-Year-Old wants me to tell you a little bit about how the book is structured. Part of it is told in really detailed pictures shown from the point of view of Brangwain Spurge, an elfin emissary and historian sent to spy on the goblin kingdom in Bonecruel Mountains. The text is written from the point of view of Werfel, the goblin ambassador and archivist tasked with both ensuring Spurge has a wonderful time on his visit to the goblin kingdom and informing on Spurge’s movements to the goblin secret police.

When I asked her what she liked about it, she said, “Everything Werfel does to make Spurge feel at home backfires horribly. For example, Werfel takes Spurge to a dinner party with fancy goblins. The goblins try to accommodate Spurge by making food that imitates elfin food. But what Spurge takes from this is that goblin high fashion is simply whatever they can copy from the elves. Meanwhile, Werfel cannot understand what his elf guest is getting up to or why he was so completely horrified by the dinner.”

Meteor Men by Jeff Parker, Sandy Jarrell, and Kevin Volo

Cover for Meteor Men shows a child under a tree looking up at a star-filled night sky.
Genre: Middle Grade Sci-Fi
Publisher: Oni Press
Year Published: 2014
Format: Graphic Novel
Source: Library

Book Summary: Meteor Men

On a summer night, Alden Baylor sits in a field watching the largest meteor shower in human history. What begins as teenage adventure becomes something more – the celestial event brings travelers who will change the world completely, and Alden discovers a connection to one of them. How does a young man who had to grow up fast handle the invasion of his planet? Can Alden keep humanity from oblivion? From writer Jeff Parker (Aquaman, Hulk) and artist Sandy Jarrell (Batman ’66) comes this story of adolescence, friendship, and hard decisions.”

From the book description on Goodreads

What The Thirteen-Year-Old thinks of Meteor Men

When I asked her whether she’d recommend it, she paused and said, “Maybe? It’s a good book, but it’s very sad, and that makes it a tough read for quarantine.”

Number of books remaining on my own Currently Reading list: 40, down from 45

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