Have you read any great books recently? Since last month, here are some of my favorites.
LOCKWOOD & CO.: THE WHISPERING SKULL, is the second installment in the new series by Jonathan Stroud (who is also the author of the wonderful Bartimaeus books). Lockwood & Co. features a London that's overrun with supernatural activity. The agents, Lucy, George, and Anthony Lockwood himself, are hired to oversee the exhumation of a dangerous grave. Belonging to a dark arts practitioner who died horrifically, the grave is thought to house a "Type Two Visitor." When the coffin is opened for the agents to seal the bones, a terrible relic is found, and George's fascination with it allows a nasty ghost to escape. When the relic itself goes missing, Lockwood & Co. must find it before it falls into the wrong hands. If you haven't already read the first book in the series, don't wait! The books are a fine blend of creepy mystery and wry humor. I would call this upper MG for the 10 - 14 year old crowd.
Also out recently is Jandy Nelson's second book, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. Her debut novel, The Sky is Everywhere, was a Book Talk book in the past, and if you haven't read that one, trust me, you do NOT want to miss it! I'll Give You the Sun is her terrific second book about twins Jude and Noah who, at thirteen, are as different, and yet as close, as twins can be. By the time they are sixteen, however, a huge rift has formed and they are all but cut off from each other. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is narrated alternatively by Noah as a thirteen year old, and Jude as a sixteen year old. It's an interesting device and Nelson carries it off beautifully. (YA)