Guys Read: Funny Business

Edited by Jon Scieszka

One Word Summary: Eclectic.

There’s a little of everything in Guys Read: Funny Business, from marauding robots to demonic turkeys and everything in between.

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The Search for Wondla

By Tony DiTerlizzi

One Word Summary: Vibrant.

The premise is wonderful, as a modern-day hyper-futuristic exploration and reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz.

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By Anne Ursu

One Word Summary: Fluctuating.

At times haunting and poetic, then reaching and heavy-handed, the overall result of Breadcrumbs is a memorable, likable story that could have been better than it was, with a little reigning in.

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Same Sun Here

By Silas House & Neela Vaswani

One Word Summary: Ebullient.

With easy, commanding authority the authors wholly embody the voices of their two characters, far-flung pen pals River and Meena, delivering a story that wrenches the reader with its honesty, clarity and verve.

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Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms

By Lissa Evans

One Word Summary: Mesmerizing.

The wildly inventive middle-grade novel Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans reads like one giant, fantastic, eye-bulging magic show.

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The Magician’s Elephant

By Kate DiCamillo

One Word Summary: Somber.

Of DiCamillo’s canon of stellar stories, 'The Magician's Elephant' shines a little less brightly than others.

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Splendor and Glooms

By Laura Amy Schlitz

One Word Summary: Dreary.

What this joyless, melodramatic headscratcher of a children’s book has to offer its young audience, aside from a healthy dose of gratitude to be born in the new millennium, is beyond this reader. 

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© Jordan B. Nielsen, 2012

The Peculiar

By Stefan Bachmann

One Word Summary: Cinematic.

The Peculiar took flight in a new direction, full of joy and alive with a palpable sense of the author’s delight.


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The Apothecary

By Maile Meloy

One Word Summary: Intoxicating.

As cunning, precise and transformative as one of the many elixirs in the titular Apothecary’s bottles, there is real magic contained in the pages of Maile Meloy’s The Apothecary.


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Who Could That Be At This Hour?

By Lemony Snicket

One Word Summary: Hardboiled.

A faithful and funny adaptation of the 1930s’ detective-centric pulp fiction for a new millennium audience.

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In a Glass Grimmly

By Adam Gidwitz

One Word Summary: Anecdotal.

Grimmly retains the same sense of its predecessor’s mischievous fun, if failing to present the reader with something wholly different.

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The Unfortunate Son

By Constance Leeds

One Word Summary: Equable.

Richly described, thoughtful, heartfelt and nuanced, there is just absolutely no way this book is going to fly with children.

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