The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

I’ve been quietly reading the Magicians series for the last year or so. Imagine if you are a book lover and and you’re too old to attend Hogwarts but you still want to live in a world of magic.  Enter Lev Grossman’s Magicians series.


I’ve been reluctant to read the last book because once you finish the book, then it’s over right? Duh. But when you love a series, you don’t want to leave your friends.  I know you can relate to that.  But as the saying goes, all good things…and I think I was finally ready to leave Brakebills and Fillory.  Here’s a blurb:

Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, and a new Fillory–but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

I’m not going to say I cried at the end, but let’s just say that I was sad to see the story end and if you’re a grown up who loves magic this series is for you. Read it now.  Note, this series is NOT for children or teens. Maybe wait til your teen goes off to college: here’s some raunchy stuff in this series. But for grown folks?  All the YES.

And now it’s a tv series? Swoon.  Have you seen the show?

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Have you ever imagined a horror book for tweens? Prior to seeing Neil Himself, I never would have really considered it. Sure, I know kids like to be scared but I guess I never thought of the books as part of the horror genre.

That is, until I met Tracey Baptiste. And when I say met, I mean, I heard her speak at KidLitCon in November. To be sure, I had the book on my shelf just waiting to be read. The cover is kinda sceeery and I’m a big old chicken and don’t like to be sceeered.

But will ya look at this cover??


It screams nightlight, doesn’t it??

Yeah. And that’s just the cover.

What’s especially great about The Jumbies, which are as real as the boogeymonster, is that the cast in the book contains all diverse characters. Every single person in the story is a person of color! There are island people of all shades of brown, one family that is possibly Southeast Asian/Indian, and the White Witch. I’m not sure what her ethnicity is but whatever.

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

And as we soon find out, these Caribbean scary things torment Corinne and her little friends all over the island. All kinds of scary creatures with all kinds of scary names will keep kids on their toes the whole book. What I love about the characters is that sure, they are kids of color, but they are kids first. The color of their skin is not an issue. That way, readers of any color or ethnicity can read the book and

a) be equally terrified, and
b) see themselves in the story.

I personally see myself hiding from the soucouyants and the lagahoos until it’s safe to come out.

Thanks Tracey, for the good fright. It’s just right. But don’t read the book at night.

teee heee heee, I made a rhyme.

Diversity is for everyone, even kids who like to be sceeeered!

So much fun!