The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany Aching is a 9-year-old farm girl who is good with cheese and sees the world through steady eyes. She doesn’t like her younger brother that much, as he gets in her way and is constantly sticky, but when he is abducted by the Queen of the Fairies, she is determined to get him back. With the help of a group of rowdy pictsies named the Nac Mac Feegle, the “wee men” of the title who got kicked out of the Queen’s kingdom for being drunk and disorderly, Tiffany travels to the world of the fairies. Can Tiffany defeat the Queen, with only her wits, a frying pan, and the help of the Nac Mac Feegle? Can she save her brother and Roland, a useless boy from the village who also wandered into fairyland? Does she have what it takes to be a true witch, in a land where all your dreams come true, even the terrible ones? Find out by reading The Wee Free Men.
This is a young adult fantasy novel that lives in Pratchett’s Discworld universe. Tiffany is a great character, with many flaws but lots of heart. There are themes that will make this book relatable for many kids and teens, like having annoying siblings, death and grief, and finding out what who you are and what you want to do. The book is very funny, and it has the perfect amount of naughtiness in this book – there’s enough faux swearing by the Nac Mac Feegle to delight kids, but not too much. The Wee Free Men is delightful to read out loud to the family, especially if you ham it up with the Nac Mac Feegle dialogue. This is the first book in the Tiffany Aching series, which is a great introduction for young readers to fantasy fiction in general and Discworld in particular. Adult fans of Discworld will like Pratchett’s familiar fantasy-with-a-twist-humor and the cameo by Granny Weatherwax.
Recommended for ages 10-14, grades 4-8.
From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wee-Free-Men-Discworld/dp/0060012382/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1405965168&sr=8-1
From King County Library System in Book, Illustrated Book, ebook, Downloadable Audiobook, and Audiobook CD: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=title%3A(%22wee%20free%20men%22)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Gratuity (aka Tip) Tucci is a pretty-much-normal twelve-year-old girl with a pretty-much-normal life. That is, until her mom says that aliens are talking to her through a mole on her neck. No one believes her, until the aliens invade on Christmas Eve, which they rename Smekday in honor of Captain Smek. The aliens, called the Boov, declare Earth a colony and rename it Smekland. All of humanity is sent to live in Florida, transported there by rocketpod. Tip doesn’t get on a rocketpod though, preferring to drive to Florida in her mother’s dilapidated car instead. She forms an unlikely alliance with a Boov mechanic named J.Lo. Together with Tip’s cat they have a hilariously eventful road trip in Tip’s upgraded car, which is renamed Slushious and has a new feature – it hovers. Will Tip and J.Lo ever learn to get along? Will Tip be able to find her mom in the Happy Mouse Kingdom? Will their crazy plan to prevent another alien invasion work? Tip tells answers all these questions and more in The True Meaning of Smekday.
The True Meaning of Smekday is a classic road trip and coming-of-age story, and it is also a science fiction and satire novel. It includes many drawings, comic strips, and newspaper clippings to draw the attention of kids. It is a great introduction to sci fi for a kid in the second half of elementary school, a great choice for reading out loud to children, or for anyone who is young at heart and likes a good laugh!
Appropriate for ages 8-12 or grades 3-7
Read a comic of 10 reasons to read The True Meaning of Smekday: http://www.smekday.com/10reasons.html
Read an excerpt of the book here: http://www.smekday.com/excerptfromthetr.html
From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-True-Meaning-Smekday-Adam/dp/0786849010
From KCLS in Book, Audiobook CD, and Downloadable Audiobook formats: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=the%20true%20meaning%20of%20smekday&commit=Search&CFID=33399093&CFTOKEN=ae39d96d93de66c7-7E308132-155D-225D-1D86DD71A0737EEF