4 New Novels For the Budding Young Geek


Pic: Cover Detail from More Than Magic by Kathryn Lasky/Penguin Random House ©

Got a young one in your life? A little brother or sister, son or daughter, niece or nephew? You need to get them reading, if they aren’t already. Besides all of the advantages that children who read enjoy over their non-reading peers (better language and communication skills, enhanced concentration) getting them reading now guarantees that you’ll have someone to geek out with when they get older — especially if you give them the right kinds of books. With that in mind, here are several geeky reads for the up and coming bookworm in your life.


Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes
by Wade Albert White

What’s It All About:
Anne and her bestie Penelope couldn’t wait to leave Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. Now that they’re out, they’ve got a quest to solve: the kind with dragons, and magic, and madcap science. Is it too late to go back?

Why Kids Will Enjoy It:
First of all, there’s the hilariously named institute. That in itself should get readers through the door, but after that, there’s plenty of adventure and more than enough humor to keep the laughs coming.


More Than Magic
by Kathryn Lasky

What’s It All About:
Ryder Holmsby is having a hard right time right now. Her mom died a few years ago, and now her dad is dating a woman with a stuck-up teenage daughter. At least she’s got Rory: the television cartoon hero that her parents created before mom died. Rory is the same age as Ryder, and is everything Ryder strives to be: brave, strong, and adventurous. But Rory isn’t real. At least, not until the day she jumps out of the television set to beg for Ryder’s help. The people behind the TV show are trying to make Rory into a dopey princess—the kind who doesn’t have fun adventures! It’s going to be up to Ryder to save the day.

Why Kids Will Enjoy It:
Um, hello, when I was a kid I daydreamed about my cartoon TV pals coming to life all the time. Didn’t you? Anyway, this story has an important message to impart: You don’t have to be what other people want you to be. Every child needs to hear that. Some adults, too.


Time Traveling With a Hamster
by Ross Welford

What’s It All About:
When Al Chaudhury turns 12, he receives a letter from his late father. Inside are the details of an important mission: Al must use a top secret time machine to travel back to the year 1984 to prevent his dad’s death. The mission promises to be a tough one, but Al won’t be going alone: His hamster. Alan Shearer, will be coming along for the ride.

Why Kids Will Enjoy It:
You’ll have most kids at “time travel”, but in case you’re still on the fence, consider that this is a story about a child saving his dad’s life. Many young readers will love the idea of being the one who gets their parents out of trouble for once.


The Wild Ones: Moonlight Brigade
by C. Alexander London

What’s It All About:
The Wild Ones: Moonlight Brigade, is the follow-up novel to The Wild Ones. Both books are adventure novels featuring a wily gang of animals led by a smart raccoon by the name of Kit. In the last book, Kit and co. had to square up against the Flealess: a gang of domesticated animals who are none to pleased when the Wild Ones arrive on their turf. In The Moonlight Brigade, Kit and the animals who have grown to depend on him have to repel a rival gang led by Coyote: a tricky character with plenty of smarts of his own.

Why Kids Will Enjoy It:
Show me a child who doesn’t like animals: I’ve not met one yet. Young readers are bound to fall in love with the world of The Wild Ones. I mean, come on. Look at the little hat on Kit. This is both adorable and hilarious. Perhaps Adoribarious, even.