I am by nature a fantasy reader. I love the world building, the back story, the feel of a fantasy story. I love characters being placed in impossible situations and watching them fight their way out whether they fight with swords, pens, origami dragons or something completely different. Since sixth grade, I have thrilled to the words of Lloyd Alexander, Brian Jacques, J.R.R Tolkien and many more since those first three. In particular, I enjoy middle grade and young adult fantasy. Given an opportunity, fantasy is what I most often enjoy writing as well.
While I am trying to widen my reading diet, I often return to fantasy books. They are my comfort reads, my idea generators. Here are my five favorite reads in my favorite genre from 2011:
1. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson returns!
2. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier. The world’s greatest thief is a blind boy.
3. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. In this modern day Snow Queen, Hazel pursues Jack to try to restore her best friend in a world laced with magic.
4. The Unwanteds by Lisa McCann. The thirteen-year-old Unwanteds were supposed to find a Death Camp; instead they find a place where they can be creative without fear of punishment that they will fight to protect.
5. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Untameable carnivorous water horses and indomitable characters in the face of adversity make this young adult story so, so alive.
Friends have called it magical realism, but I think Laurel Snyder’s Bigger than a Bread Box also belongs here.