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What To Read After Harry : Freak, Uglies, Artemis Fowl
© Deanna Toxopeus
April 04, 2008

More books to soothe your Potter fixation.


Writer: Scott Westerfield / Reading Level: Grade 5 / Suggested Audience: Grade 8 up / Target Audience: Science fiction lovers

Everyone in Tally's world wants to be beautiful. Luckily for them at sixteen everyone in Tally's world is made beautiful through surgery. Tally, at fifteen and nine months, can't wait to move from being an Ugly to a Pretty and starting a dilettante life that a Hollywood starlet would envy.

So the problem is, what happens if you didn't want to be made beautiful? Tally's new friend Shay wants to run away. The authorities give Tally a choice, find Shay and betray the rebels who live outside the city or never get a chance to be a Pretty.

Scott Westerfield has created an interesting dystopia where our society's obsession with beauty and pleasure reaches its pinnacle. Tally's choice is an interesting one. Kids will love the intrigue and Tally playing hero. There is also a little romance for the girls.

The Freak

Writer: Carol Matas / Reading Level: Grade 5 / Suggested Audience: Grade 6 up / Target Audience: Lovers of the paranormal

Jade comes down with a fever on summer vacation and nearly dies. We are talking out of body experience, traveling down the tunnel to the white light, meeting her granddad kind of nearly dying. She gets better, but discovers that she can see the future and just knows things about people.

Her grandmother thinks she has the family gift that skips a generation. Her friends think she's weird and avoid her once she unwittingly starts revealing their secrets. Jade tries to prevent car bombings that may be a result of the attempt of a family friend to get a Nazi war criminal extradited.

Carol Mates has created an excellent sci-fi story for young adults that weaves elements of anti-Semitism, religion and school into the story of a girl dealing with psychic abilities. While this is a contemporary sci-fi tale, Potter fans will like Jade acting as hero and the race to stop the next bombing.

Artemis Fowl

Writer: Eoin Colfer / Reading Level: Grade 6 / Suggested Audience: Grade 5 and up / Target Audience: Youthful criminal masterminds, or believers in fairies.

Artemis Fowl is the son of a criminal mastermind, and he takes after daddy. Artemis is convinced of the existence of fairies. He decodes the fairie holy book, and captures Holly, a member of the Lower Elements Police (LEP).

He ransoms her to the LEP. But Holly is the best agent the LEP has. Using her wits and the gadgets created by Foalie, a technically minded centaur who wears a tin foil hat so the mud men (that's you and I) can't read his brain, she fights back.

Eoin Cofler has created a fun fantasy romp, one he describes as "Die Hard with fairies". It is not going to change your life, but it a good ride.

There are more books in the series for those young'uns who enjoy the first one. There is a graphic novel for the reluctant reader.

Still jonesing? RevolutionSF staff writer Deanna Toxopeus looks at these and other books in her RevolutionSF blog.

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