Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana, and as today’s theme is hidden gems I decided to focus on some underrated MG in particular. Onto the books!
The Spellchasers trilogy- I read this trilogy back to back last year, and I had such a good time. It’s about a girl called Molly, who has been cursed into being a shapehshifter, as she goes on a workshop to try and break it and then has different adventures with people she meets who have been cursed with different things; a kelpie, a sphinx, a druid and a toad. The adventures are exciting, the magic system is interesting and unique and I really love the references to Scottish things such as exams.
The Children of Castle Rock– this is my joint favourite book of the year so far, and I barely know anyone who’s read it, unlike the other (and at least one of those was because I recommended it). It’s about three children in a Scottish boarding school, and what happens when they go on an orienteering trip that goes awry. It is hilarious, I adore the main trio and supporting cast, the setting is sublime and the writing style is so unusual and wonderful. Think Enid Blyton, but so much better.
Fly Me Home– usually when I get asked to name an underrated book, I bang the drum for Polly’s debut Boy in the Tower, soI thought I’d change things up and mention her most recent release today. It’s the story of Leelu, who has just emigrated to the UK, and what happens when she discovers objects that grant her wishes. I loved everything about this; the themes of the meaning of home, every single character is brilliantly written even if they aren’t likeable, the blend of magic and contemporary issues was seamless and works perfectly, and the ending made me cry. I didn’t much like Where Monsters Lie, but this and Boy in the Tower are exceptional reads I wish more people would read!
The Elephant Thief- I’d never heard of this before Louise recommended it to me, but I’m so glad she did. It was a fantastic MG adventure that tells the story of Danny, a pickpocket from Edinburgh as he meets the Maharajah the elephant and is given the opportunity of a lifetime to become his mahout, but first he must get him to Manchester in just a week to win a bet for the menagerie owner who’s given him a chance.
The Rose Raventhorpe series– I absolutely love mystery books, and this series follows Rose Raventhorpe as she becoms involved with a secret society of butlers. I love the witty narration, the characters are great, the mysteries are interesting and I’m hoping there may be more books to come that just haven’t been announced yet!
The Rose Muddle series– these are also historical mysteries, which are set in the Edwardian era and introduce us to orphan Rose Muddle as she leaves the workhouse and becomes the guardian to a mysterious amber pendant that has links to a shadowy and dangerous society. The blend of fantasy and mystery is really well done, Rose and her friend Rui are incredibly likeable and the mysteries are super exciting. The setting of the second is particularly amazing too, and the animal sidekick Bahula is so great!
The Buried Crown– I read this in March, and like the Elephant Thief it’s a very enjoyable MG adventure. It’s set in World War Two, and follows evacuee George and Jewish refugee Kitty as they begin to search for an artefact, but a dangerous enemy is also searching for it too… . I liked that the book showed how the war destroyed families in England and in Germany, I loved George and Kitty and despised the villains, and I really want Spud the dog to be mine because he’s just PRECIOUS.
The 39 Clues series- I know of no one who has read this series other than me, and I really like it. It’s about a feuding family as they are given the opportunity, in small teams, to hunt for something that will make them the most powerful person in the world by following 39 clues that take them across the globe. I loved learning a bit aboyt lots of different historical figures and countries, I was really rooting for the team we primarily follow (young, orphaned siblings Dan and Amy, who have a lovely relationship) and the rest of the Cahill clan have interesting and mysterious pasts that are slowly unraveleled as the books go on.
The Secret Breakers series– this is a mystery series of sorts, but it has one key difference; the characters aren’t trying to solve a crime, but instead have been recruited into a new attempt to finally crack the code of the Voynich Manuscript. The characters are all so loveable (particularly Hunter and Freidman), and while I couldn’t wrap my head around most of the codebreaking it’s so interesting to read about.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow– this is about a prison breakout set in a snowy, icy QUEENdom. I’ve not seen that many people read it, and I think it was really exciting with a fun ensemble cast and lots of danger and intrigue. Valor is a great heroine too, and I also love Ruth Lauren’s writing style.
What books do you think are hidden gems? Do you agree with any of my choices? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!