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After Harry : City of Ember, Awake and Dreaming, Runemarks
© Deanna Toxopeus
June 08, 2008

Your genre fan demanded you pony up thousands of dollars to buy the prequel that Rowling penned for charity. Save your money! There's lots of other fiction out there for Harry Potter fans to devour.

Because something is written at a grade 6 reading level does not mean it is meant to be read by grade 6 students. Make sure the book is appropriate for the child. Two of these books are of high reading levels, and are appropriate for younger children.

City of Ember

Author: Jeanne DePrau / Reading Level: Grade 7 / Suggested Audience: Grade 7 and above / Target Reader: Lovers of science fiction and dystopian fiction.

Lina's twelfth birthday means she will be finished with school and will be assigned a job in the city of Ember. She dreams of being a messenger, but is assigned the job of Pipe-works laborer. Classmate Doon is a messenger but really wants to work in the pipe works. Doon realizes Ember is dying, and they try to escape it.

A gripping post-apocalypse story has many parallels in our world. Potter fans will love Doon and Lina as heroes. There are two sequels and a prequel. A movie with Bill Murray is in October 2008.

Awake and Dreaming

Author: Kit Pearson / Reading Level: Grade 8 / Suggested Audience: Grade 5 and up / Target Reader: Dreamers, urban fantasy fans.

Theo's life is miserable. She copes by creating a vivid dream world based on the books she loves. When her mother ships Theo off to live with an aunt, Theo encounters the Kaldor family, the embodiment of her dreams.

Then this perfect life fades before her eyes and Theo is back in the real world. Shocked and saddened, Theo sets out to find out what happened.


Author: Joanne Harris / Reading Level: Grade 9 / Suggested Audience: Grade 7 and above / Target Reader: Fantasy fans; mythology nuts.

500 years after the end of the world, the old gods and their magic are dead. The world now follows the Nameless One and the Word. Anyone with magic who is young enough and human is trained to be a follower. If they are too old or not human, they are “cleansed."

Maddy has no friends, except for peddler One-Eye. One-Eye teaches Maddy how to use her magic. This begins adventures with Maddy learning her true heritage as she tries to stop the second end of the world. Joanne Harris has created an amazing fantasy story based on Norse mythology. She tells what happened after Ragnarok. Harris' take on magic is fresh in a fantasy heavy field. Potter fans will love the magic and Maddy's attempts to save the world.

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

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