Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson: This is an extremely enchanting middle grade book. I liked the main character, Hilary Westfield, a lot–she wants to be a pirate and practices knots, etc, but she’s also good at waltzing and she never comes across as a Strong Female Character. The plot is generally a bit ridiculous, but you know, pirates! Sensible plots need not apply. 11-year-old Maureen would have enjoyed this book immensely.
The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb: The story of the hunt for Aldof Eichmann following WWII. It’s a fascinating story, well told here (although there were occasionally time jumps that I found a little confusing). Apparently, it’s the YA version of an adult title, and I did find places where I felt a lack of complexity and detail showed that it was an adaptation rather than the original. On the plus side, now I want to read Hunting Eichmann. But for me, the moment of greatest power was the quote from the Israeli Attorney General at Eichmann’s trial.
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore: I had been meaning to read this one for ages (since it first came out) and I finally just snapped and requested it. It’s a nice YA and would probably be great for some upper mg readers as well. With almost-echoes of Jane Eyre and a world where fairies are real, it’s also a great historical fantasy. AND Nimira, our heroine, is a WOC (I couldn’t quite figure out the real-world analogue to her culture) and a lot of what happens relates to her experience as an immigrant and a member of a marginalized culture.
Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh: I’ve really enjoyed this one in the past, but for whatever reason, on this re-read I found almost all the characters unsympathetic. Somehow the whole thing just seemed rather sad and tawdry. However, Mike Lamprey remains my favorite! Perhaps re-reading A Surfeit of Lampreys is in order.