Posts Tagged ‘Middle Grade’

I suppose I should be embarrassed for the squees involved in a series meant for middle grade readers. Certainly I am an Elitist, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give recognition where it is due. And Johnathan Stroud is due recognition for a smart, well-written, engaging horror series known as Lockwood & Co.

In THE HOLLOW BOY Lucy’s ability to talk to ghosts changes everything, and she learns that if she stays with the company her presence may be the result of Lockwood’s death. So, out of loyalty and love for her friend and co-worker, she leaves to become a freelancer. In the opening of THE CREEPING SHADOW we see how Lucy is handling her new life–and learning the hard way how much more competent Lockwood and Co. is than other ghost hunting groups. Sure she misses her old team, but is determined to never go back.

She sticks to her plan until the day Lockwood shows up at her little apartment to hire her for a job that the famed Penelope Fittes wants them to do–and it requires Lucy’s special listening skills. How can she say no? (more…)


From Amazon: “As a massive outbreak of supernatural Visitors baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests throughout London, Lockwood & Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony Lockwood is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines. There is a new spirit of openness in the team now that Lockwood has shared some of his childhood secrets, and Lucy is feeling more and more as if her true home is at Portland Row. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro.

“Meanwhile, there are reports of many new hauntings, including a house where bloody footprints are appearing, and a department store full of strange sounds and shadowy figures. But ghosts seem to be the least of Lockwood & Co.’s concerns when assassins attack during a carnival in the center of the city.”

Yep. This series just gets better and better.


songdeepYoung Merryn and her father live by the sea, where her father fishes for his living. Merryn’s mother is dead, so it’s just the two of them living in the shack by the sea–at a time when being a fisherman grows more and more difficult, there are fewer fish being caught every time he goes out to sea.

Until one day when her father doesn’t return.



The kids at Lockwood & Co. are doing just fine. The events in THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE gave them enough notoriety to keep them busy with work and enough money for a comfortable lifestyle–even if it hasn’t made them rich. But being the smallest ghost hunting agency in London makes them a target for agencies like Tittles where Kipps’ team takes the prize from under Lockwood’s nose in the opening chapter. A frustrated Lockwood team grows bold and bets Kipps’ team that if they end up on the same case again, the team who loses the bet must take out a newspaper ad declaring the other the best ghost hunting team in town.

It doesn’t take long before the Lockwood team is put to the test, and it turns out to be their most dangerous case yet.


namelssTHE NAMELESS CITY by Faith Erin Hicks is about a city that has changed hands so many times from invading armies that it has several names–so really has no name. The city is a mix of natives, conquerors, and everything in between; currently it’s held by the Dao. Kaidu has traveled to the city from his rural home so he can train to be a solider in the Dao army, and to be closer to his father who is an advisor to the general.

Upon his arrival Kaidu discovers some important things early on: he doesn’t really like fighting, his father doesn’t have much time for him, and the city’s natives don’t much like their conquerors. On his visit outside the palace to the city he meets a girl who calls herself Rat. Kaidu doesn’t understand her hostility, so is intent on getting her to talk to him. Then she steals the knife his father gave him.


dragonlanternIn THE LEAGUE OF SEVEN (EBR review), our young heroes Archie, Hachi, and Fergus (along with Archie’s trusty Tik Tok man Mr. Rivets) worked together to stop the Mangleborn monster from the Florida swamps. They discovered that these creatures are buried all over the Earth, waiting for the day when they will be freed from their prisons and can take over humanity. It is only a new League of Seven–a tinker, a law-bringer, a scientist, a trickster, a warrior, a strongman, and a hero–who can stop them.

Now, in THE DRAGON LANTERN, with the first three members of new League discovered, they are sent on a quest by the Septemberist Society and Mrs. Moffitt to recover the Dragon Lantern. She believes this was the artifact that transformed Archie and may hold the answers to his past.

But immediately upon recovering the lantern it’s stolen. (more…)

league2Archie Dent’s parents are members of a secret society that knows about the giant monsters who want to enslave humanity. He’s always known about the Mangleborn who were buried by past League of Seven members, aided by the Septemberist Society. The League is always seven: a tinker, a law-bringer, a scientist, a trickster, a warrior, a strongman, and a hero. And now that the Mangleborn are attempting to escape again, a new League will form.

But all Archie knows right now is that his parents have been brainwashed by Manglespawn and in order to save them, he needs help. Along the way he meets Hachi, a Seminole girl with impressive skills with a knife; Fergus, a Yankee with an aptitude for machines; and there’s the Tik Tok machine man named Mr. Rivets, owned by Archie’s parents and tasked to keep his young charge safe.

But it’s only by working together that they can stop Edison from waking the Mangleborn buried in the swamps of Florida.