San Diego ~ 5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92111 ~ 858-268-4747
Redondo Beach Satellite ~ 2850 Artesia Blvd., Suite #101 Redondo Beach, CA 90278 - 310-542-6000
San Diego ~ 5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92111 ~ 858-268-4747
Redondo Beach Satellite ~ 2850 Artesia Blvd., Suite #101 Redondo Beach, CA 90278 - 310-542-6000
Kelly is the store's Assistant Manager & Childrens Book Specialist. Dark, lush, magical, and folk/ fairy-tale stories are sure to capture her heart. She is a reader of all things fantastic: from children’s fantasy literature (especially Harry Potter) to modern fantasy to medieval literature. As a lover of fairy tales and classic literature, she loves re-tellings (Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland retellings tend to hold a special place in her heart). Some of her favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Susanna Clarke, JK Rowling, Diana Wynne Jones, Patrick Rothuss, and Neil Gaiman. In fact, she loves reading Tolkien so much that she is currently earning her Masters in Tolkien studies and medieval literature! As a graduate student, she has essays published in Critical Insights: The Hobbit, a book exploring The Hobbit in depth, Silver Leaves, a journal devoted to Tolkien studies and Harry Potter for Nerds II, a collection of academic essays on Rowling's wizarding world. She has also contributed to the popular Harry Potter sites MuggleNet.com, The Hog's Head, & the Tolkien and fantasy website Legendarium Media and writes regularly on J.R.R. Tolkien and other fantasy works on her own blog, themiddlepage.net
Bill Nye and Gregory Mone teaming up to write a middle grade book about adventure and science is a dream come true! Jack, Ava, and Matt are three orphans who live on their own; but they are no ordinary orphans—they are geniuses! When they enter a science competition and travel to Antarctica, they not only come across fascinating inventions and science, but uncover a deep mystery of a missing scientist. Told through the perspective of Jack, who is not quite as scientific as his foster siblings, readers of all kinds can enjoy solving the mystery. Nye and Mone have written a story full of adventure, science and heart, complete with scientific facts, explanations, and experiments in the back of the book!
Lazlo Strange: Orphan. Reader. Dreamer. Ever since a book of fairy tales fell off a shelf and broke his nose, Lazlo has read and dreamed of lost cities and extraordinary heroes—especially of the land of Weep, a city once full of magic but now lost to the world. Lost, that is, until now. The plot and action of this book moves slowly—but in its beautiful, enchanting slowness, I fell in love with reading all over again. Laini Taylor is a master wordsmith and throughout her story she pulls on the threads of enchantment, weaving a tale of sorrow and beauty, love and hate, wonder and bewitchment. A story intricately written and intimately read. Undoubtedly one of the best books of 2017.
Leo is a young mouse raised to be a ferocious and valiant knight. When his family gets the news that there is a dragon to be defeated, it is up to Leo to save the kingdom. But there’s one thing his parents just don’t understand: Leo is not a fighter; he’s a reader! Leo sets out armed with sword and shield, but as he meets various magical creatures along the way, it may be that there is only one thing he needs to save the kingdom — a good book! This is a delightful story with full page illustrations sure to capture the imagination and heart of kids of any age. An Indies Next Pick!
Return of the Shadow (an abandoned title for The Lord of the Rings) contains the early drafts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. In it you’ll find early character names (did you know Frodo was once Bingo, Bilbo’s son? That Merry was once called Marmaduke?), threads of forgotten plots (Bilbo getting married! Farmer Maggot as a Tom Bombadil-like being! Elf-wraiths!), all the while witnessing the development of ideas and plots that became a central part of The Lord of the Rings. As a whole, Christopher Tolkien’s History of Middle-earth series is a remarkable feat of scholarship and The Return of the Shadow is no different. Looking into the early drafts of The Lord of the Rings is not only fun and fascinating, but feels incredibly special. What a treat!
An enchanting retelling of Norse mythology that includes all of our favorite Norse stories. Each myth is written traditionally, without any heavy reworking or modernizing, but Neil’s signature dark, compelling, and original style shines through. Gaiman has constructed a lively retelling of mythology with realistic gods and digestible material for any myth or story lover. A rewarding book for the well-seasoned and novice mythology enthusiast alike!
A gripping new novel by Neal Shusterman where there is no sickness, no injury, no war that can kill humans. In this perfect world there is only one way to die: at the hands of those called Scythes, revered killers who keep the population under control. Even though killing is the last thing young and empathetic Citra and Rowan want to do, both are chosen to become apprentices to a Scythe and master the art of taking lives. As the story unfolds, so does a captivating plight of two teenagers trying to both keep and understand their own humanity in a sea of red. A perfect read for dystopian lovers who want something fresh to add to their bookshelf—I couldn’t put this one down once I started!
A perfect read for dark December nights! A new book that explores the roots of the Germanic folkloric figure, the Krampus, detailing its dark and fascinating origins to its eventual popularity in America and most recently, Hollywood. In its exploration of the darker figures of Christmas, we not only meet the Krampus but a slew of creatures that haunt pagan folklore at Yule time. A very accessible read with full color pictures throughout and a book not to be missed if you’re a fan of the dark and the strange
As many know, The Hobbit started as stories a young J.R.R. Tolkien told his children. But Tolkien was full of many tales and every December he wrote letters to his children addressed from Father Christmas. In them, Father Christmas details his adventures at the North Pole: from mix ups with presents, to how the silly North Polar Bear both helps and hinders him, and even his dealings with elves and goblins! This collection offers not only a glimpse into the creative and fantastic mind of a beloved fantasy writer, but is a delightfully charming and creative blend of magic and Christmas in its own right. Readers of all ages will enjoy this collection of letters from a loving and imaginative father to his children, all delicately illustrated, handwritten and utterly, beautifully, Tolkien.
Kay Harper is a circus performer who’s recently moved to the Old City of Quebec with her new husband. Each night she walks home from the circus and stops at the window of an old puppet shop that is never open, falling a little more in love with the puppet in the window every time. One night Kay, fearful a dark figure is following her, tries the handle of the door and as she steps in she is immediately transformed into a puppet herself. From then on, Kay and her fellow puppets come alive only during the darkest hours of the night and in a narrative echoing Orpheus and Eurydice, her only escape is if her husband finds and recognizes her. A spooky novel told lushly and beautifully, with alternating chapters of Kay’s experience in the puppet show and her husband’s desperate search for her. The result is a beautiful, strange novel that explores the constrictions and freedoms of the human body, soul, and spirit.
This is one of the finest fantasy books I've ever read. In fact, with its dark, classical magic, rich history, and elegant writing, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of the best novels I've read hands down. Don't let the length deter you--by the time you get to the last page, you'll be aching for more.
If there were only one book that I could recommend to anyone, it would be this one. Read it and fall into the magical and tumultuous world of King Arthur and Merlyn. Read it and learn what it is to laugh and despair and cry and love. This is a magical and fun and tragic novel, perfect for fantasy readers or those who love the Arthurian legend. But above all it's a novel that celebrates being human and is utterly beautiful for doing so.
A poignant and heartbreaking tale of magic, humanity, and loss. When a unicorn wakes up one day to the realization that she is the very last unicorn, she leaves the safety of the enchanted forest to find out what's happened to the rest of her kind. Teamed up with the inadequate but lovable Schmendrick the magician and the fiery Molly Grue, she embarks on a journey to discover what happened to all the unicorns and face their mysterious enemy, the Red Bull. Fantasy readers will enjoy this book for its magical characters and setting, but ultimately it's the novel's look into loss, mortality, and time that will change you forever.
Read it in its classic book form, read it in its graphic novel form. Just read it.
One of the most lush and lively retellings I’ve read in a long time. Alias Hook tells the story of Captain James Hookbridge, a man who sailed into Neverland one day destined to never leave—and never die. Trapped in Pan’s eternal game, Hook only wishes for escape. He seems hopelessly fated to forever stay in Neverland until one day he finds a woman aboard his ship, about whom Pan knows nothing. In a world where Pan’s will rules all, this woman just might be the key to Hook’s escape from Neverland.
Dark and dangerous faeries, magnificent but terrifying mermaids, and fresh characterization of Pan and Hook all make this an outstanding Peter Pan retelling. Jensen deftly weaves faerie with fairy tale, mortality with hope, children’s games and bitter reality, all the while moving elegantly between the present events of Neverland and Hook’s past. An interesting and thought-provoking novel from start to finish.
What else can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? This very quickly became one of my favorite fantasy books: it's not only fun story but it is also beautifully written. If you like fantasy at all, The Name of the Wind is a no-brainer. Read it.
Enter the 15th century Ottoman Empire, where Lada and her brother Radu are wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia from a young age and cast into Ottoman rule. Together they learn to not only survive, but help Mehmed, the son of the Sultan, claim his title and conquer the lands. Lada, who is a re-imagined Vlad the Impaler, is a brutal, fierce, unfeeling—and compulsively readable character. I loved the dual perspectives of both Lada to Radu, which lets us fully experience the tensions of religion, politics, war, and love in 15th century eastern rule. This is a novel rich in setting and thoughtful in narrative, and ultimately one I loved every minute of.
Kelly's Kid Pick for June!
In this medieval world where magic is everywhere, Grayling and her mother are healers, using magical herbs and potions to help those in their town in need. But someone--or something--is hunting down all those who use magic, stealing their grimoires, and cursing them to slowly transform into tree. It is up to Grayling to find out how to save not only her mother, but all magic users. Bursting with rich language, themes of independence & persistence, and with magic reminiscent of classical mythology, this is a short but powerful book. Perfect for young readers who enjoy soft, subtle magic, strong characters, and journeys in the wild.
Midnight is a boy trying to start a new life. Wink is the wild, unpredictable bright eyed girl who is his new neighbor. And Poppy is the beautiful bully who always gets her way. This is their story. Brief chapters in each of their perspectives make up this tumultuous, twisted story of deceit, love, and jealousy. Tucholke’s ghostlike writing borders on the gothic and its twists and turns leave the characters and readers alike guessing who is telling the truth. The book moves quickly and yet lingers in the best way possible, leaving you to question what—and who—is real. Ethereal, strangely timeless, and haunting, this book stays with you long after you turn its last page.
A deliciously dark retelling of Peter Pan filled with fantastic illustrations from the author. In Child Thief, Peter moves between the world of Faerie and our own, convincing teenage boys to join him a magical land where time stands still. But Neverland is no longer the paradise it used to be...
“This isn’t a place for lies or pretending everything is all right. We know everything is not all right. If it were, you wouldn’t be here.”
Stories have been written about those who journey into magical worlds- about magical doors whisking young boys and girls away to far off lands for adventures. But what happens to those who find themselves back in the ordinary world after visiting their Wonderland? Miss West’s school is a place precisely for those boys and girls who long to journey back to their magical worlds. Now that Nancy has returned from the Underworld, she’s lost the only thing that makes sense for her, and her arrival at Miss West’s school gets complicated when strange things begin to happen. This book is both beautiful and gruesome, and its exploration of what makes us different is pure magic. A dark, lovely story about finding hope and finding home.
If you haven't heard of Krampus, the devilish Yule Lord who punishes children during Christmas, then let master storyteller and illustrator Brom be your guide. In this dark and imaginative novel, the lines between good and evil, Christmas cheer and Christmas greed, love and hate are all blurred. Hundreds of years ago Santa Claus captured Krampus, stole his magic, and left him to die imprisoned in a cave. But Krampus has endured. Now, with his power diminishing and his reputation long forgotten by the world, the only thing Krampus cares for is getting revenge on Santa. Their ancient feud is brought to light when Krampus finally breaks free. Brom pulls from the folktale's long Germanic history, connects it with Norse mythology, and fills it with macabre details and rich illustrations. As it was for Brom's Peter Pan retelling, Child Thief. the result is a fun, dark, and strangely heartwarming tale that's perfect for this time of year (and beyond).
A dark visit to Wonderland, opening with an adult Alice imprisoned in--and then escaping--a madhouse. She can't remember what happened to her in Wonderland but she's haunted by the few memories she has of it. As she goes through the Old City we see all our favorite characters grimly reimagined. Dark and engaging, I loved this so much that I read in it in a single day!
This is a fun and imaginative graphic novel that explores friendship, magic, and what it really means to be a hero. Nimona is a young girl who is fiercely independent, a bit impulsive, and plenty eager to create havoc around her. When she joins forces with the notorious villain, Lord Ballister Blackheart she thinks they can finally prove that the heroes at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't exactly who they say they are. But the lines between villainy and heroism aren't so clear and Nimona and Ballister must both work through their painful pasts before they can help make the present world a better place. Full of science, magical shapeshifting, heroes, villains and plenty of laugh out loud moments, this is a graphic novel readers of all ages can enjoy.
Sometimes you come across a book and as you glance at its cover and start reading the first page you get the feeling that this is a book that you could simply fall in love with. I got that feeling with Circus Mirandus almost immediately and I was not wrong-- this is a special and magical book that pulls you in the way only a magical circus could. Here is a story about a magical, wondrous circus, of flying girls, miracles, and impossible things. But here is also a story of young Micah and his beloved dying grandfather. Written poignantly and imaginatively, this is a touching and beautiful novel for readers of all ages.
It is a difficult thing to stand out among the slew of YA authors who tackle fairy tales. But A Wicked Thing certainly does so. It has a wonderfully fast-paced plot, good writing, and a refreshing narrative. When Aurora (“Sleeping Beauty”) wakes up after a hundred years, she is viewed as only a character out of a legendary story – a princess meant to save and rule the kingdom with her one true love. But Aurora wants to write her own story and A Wicked Thing is less about recasting a fairy tale heroine as a love-stricken teen than it is about Aurora challenging her own fate. A fun read and a welcome addition to the Fairy Tale genre.
Ever wondered who all the Prince Charmings were in your favorite fairy tales? This book hilariously follows them as they bumble their way about the kingdom trying to make a real name for themselves by rescuing princesses who, as it turns out, don't actually need a whole lot of saving! If you like books that make you laugh (and who doesn't?) then you'll love this!
When Ophelia, a girl who believes anything is possible “if you think scientifically,” stumbles upon a magical boy held prisoner in a museum, she must find her courage and open her heart up to magic in order to help free him and defeat the evil Snow Queen. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is an enchanting reshaping of the classic fairy tale, “The Snow Queen” and though it’s aimed at a middle grade audience, it does not disappoint even the well-seasoned fairy tale reader. With mysterious, intelligent characters and a well-paced plot, Karen Foxlee does a fantastic job of telling her own story. A delightful read for winter. Ages 8+.
I was so pleasantly surprised by this debut. The premise may not be anything new but this novel pulled me right in. Barker's writing style and subtle magic reminded me of one of my favorite writers, Diana Wynne Jones. The plot is well-paced, moving slowly when you want to enjoy the world and quickly when the action rises. Great for readers who enjoyed Night Circus, Howl's Moving Castle, The Magicians, or Outlander.
One of the best fantasy series! Cornelia Funke is an incredible storyteller and has written some of my favorite characters of all time.
Diana Wynne Jones has a magic like none other. I picked up Howl's Moving Castle when I was a kid, desperately trying to fill the void in between Harry Potter novels. I quickly devored everything I could by her and never looked back. The books of Chrestomanci are still some of my favorite books to read.
"She always gave the impression that the stories, the ones she wrote and wrote so very well and wisely, had simply happened, and all she had to do was hold the pen."