Happy December!!!

It's December 1st and the holiday shopping season is now in full swing. We've got the Late, Late Toy Show tomorrow night, and there have been loads of recommendations in the press and online lately in regards to which books to gift this season. (It was also really interesting to learn that, this year, here in Ireland, the gifts we all most want to receive is....BOOKS!) I just thought I'd add to the mix with a few suggestions of my own.
These are not necessarily echoing the recommendations already made by many of my brilliant colleagues and friends in the book business. I thought I'd try to have some alternatives that haven't received as much recognition...though I think you'll find that's not necessarily true, either.
Anyway.. today, I'm going to recommend some series. I'm frequently asked about series at work. It makes sense. You're looking for something that will really excite your favourite young people about reading, and if there is more than one book, you can keep them reading and enthusiastic. So, while the obvious choices are receiving loads of recognition, and the kids are really enjoying Wimpy Kid (Kinney), the Inheritance series (Paolini), Skulduggery Pleasant (Landy), Artemis Fowl (Colfer), Inkheart (Funke), along with all the fabulous young adult series out there... and of course Harry Potter is still going strong, here's a few others to entertain and capture the imagination.

-The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan
There are eleven books in this fantastic adventure/fantasy series for ages 10+.. and girls enjoy it as much as boys do... and adults who enjoy their fantasy reads really get into it as well. Gripping and highly addictive reads!

-The Adventure Island Mysteries by Helen Moss
For ages 8 to 11 years, this is a great series that has the tone and formula of Enid Blyton, but is very contemporary. Loads of suspense and mysteries to be solved in this six book (to date) series. Wonderful reads!

-Tumtum and Nutmeg series by Emily Bearn
Tumtum and Nutmeg are two mice who have made their rather elaborate home in a disused cupboard in a cottage. The cottage is inhabited by children Lucy and Arthur and their absent-minded father. So far sounds a bit twee, doesn't it? Not at all. This exciting series for ages 7 to 10 is packed with action, adventure, a battle or two and plenty of drama. Very, very well written and a pure joy! Six books in all, plus a Christmas adventure.
- The Sister's Grimm by Michael Buckley
You'll be totally captivated by this series of 8 books (the 9th and final installment is due out in May 2012) following the life of Sabrina and Daphne Grimm: descendants of the original Brothers Grimm who have, much to their dismay, discovered that the fairy tales aren't simply fairy tales at all. The tales are actually a casebook of magical crimes. Brilliant! Ages 8 to 12

- Young Sherlock Holmes by Andrew Lane
Lane has given us great insight into the development of the world's first forensic detective, as well as 4 cracking adventures that are a must, not just for young readers, but for Sherlock fans of any age. (ages 10 +)
- The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver
I'm not going to go on about this series, because I could talk/type for hours about the sheer genius at work here. Brilliant writing that is clearly the result of insightful research; a real sense of time, place, texture... following the story of Torak, an orphaned young man coming of age in a hostile and deeply mysterious world six thousand years ago. Incredibly magnificent! ages 12 +


  1. Go Torak. The Sister's Grimm sounds like a clever idea.


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