Don’t Let the Aliens Intimidate You: Celebrating Science Fiction

January 2nd is National Science Fiction Day, and we wanted to celebrate by giving you a list of science fiction children’s books to try! Oftentimes, science fiction is a genre that intimidates people with its imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and even extraterrestrial life. It’s a genre that can be difficult to define, with its wide range of concepts and themes. However, we’ve picked a few children’s books that we think would be a great start in dipping your toes into the science fiction genre if you’ve been too intimidated, or, if you’re a science fiction lover, here’s some to add to your list!

Barnett, Mac
Oh no! How My Science Project Destroyed the World. 2010 (Picture Book).
It’s a terrible thing when a giant robot starts destroying your city; it’s even worse when it’s your fault. This picture book opens up in the middle of the action, as our heroine faces the retreating back of a mechanical robot on the rampage — a robot she built. We soon learn that after winning the science fair with her giant robot, our main character watches as her robot gets loose in the city and creates havoc, making her question all of the features that she should have included and ones that she definitely shouldn’t have — like that laser eye. Now it’s up to her to stop it.
Q. SE. B2646o

Holm, Jennifer
The Fourteenth Goldfish. 2014 (Middle Grade).
Ellie is an eleven-year-old who is not a fan of change; she’s missing fifth grade, her old best friend, and even her dearly departed goldfish. But then a strange boy shows up one day — a bossy, cranky boy that oddly looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Now this bossy, cranky boy who’s just like her grandpa has to attend middle school with Ellie. This middle grade novel slips in a lot of information about important scientists and life-changing scientific discoveries alongside light and funny interactions and moments.
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Kaufman, Amie and Jay Kristoff
Gemina. 2016 (Teen).
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life, but nobody said it might actually kill her. Hanna is the pampered daughter of the station caption; Nik is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. While the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring station, an elite intergalactic strike team invades the station, throwing the two together to defend their home. Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival amidst alien predators and a malfunctioning wormhole — the fate of everyone on their space station (and possibly the known universe) is in their hands. This second book in a series (the first being Illuminae) is told through a dossier of hacked documents, including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, video transcripts, pictures, and more.
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Meyer, Marissa
Cinder. 2012 (Teen).
This futuristic Cinderella retelling takes place in New Beijing, a city that’s crowded by humans, androids, and a deadly plague ravaging the population. Cinder is a gifted mechanic — and a cyborg. As a cyborg, Cinder doesn’t have the same rights as a normal person, and her stepmother goes out of her way to remind Cinder of this whenever she can — even while Cinder tries to hide her cyborg status from the world. But her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, and she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle. Cinder is the first book in a Disney series, The Lunar Chronicles, of retellings of familiar stories set in a science fiction world.
S. M57572c

O’Hart, Sinéad
The Starspun Web. 2019 (Middle Grade).
Tess has lived at Miss Ackerbee’s orphanage all her life, with her friends and pet tarantula, Violet. But one day, a mysterious man named Mr. Cleat shows up and whisks Tess away to live with him. Before Tess leaves, Miss Ackerbee gives her a strange lens and makes an even stranger admission: that Tess can travel to parallel worlds and has been able to do so since she was found as a baby. Now Tess must learn to navigate her newfound abilities alongside her new life with Mr. Cleat and his nefarious housekeeper, all while trying to keep her abilities secret and making sure the lens doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
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Sanderson, Brandon
Skyward. 2018 (Teen).
Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly under attack by mysterious alien starfighters. The population is hidden under the earth, the only ones visiting the surface being pilots trained to fight against the aliens attacking them. Spensa, a teenage girl whose father once was a pilot, wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps and be accepted into flight school. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes her dream might be possible — assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school where everyone seems to hate her because of what her father did, and persuade the strange ship to help her because this ship appears to have a soul.
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Schusterman, Neal
Scythe. 2016 (Teen).
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. No death. Humanity has conquered all those things. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life — and they are commanded to do so in order to keep the size of the population under control. All manners of life are now controlled by the Thunderhead, a conscious Artificial Intelligence that handles all food and wealth distribution, medical care, and anything else required for living on Earth. Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentices to scythes — a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking a life, knowing that the consequence could mean losing their own.
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Siegel, Mark
The Sand Warrior. 2017 (Middle Grade Graphic Novel).
Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender in this science fiction graphic novel, where the Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. Three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves than meets the eye: Oona Lee, the clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine; An Tzu, a boy from the poorest slums, has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations; and Jax Amboy is the star athlete who is beloved by the entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends? These three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest across the universe.
S.741.5973 Si1561fwsa

Underwood, Deborah
Illustrated by: Meg Hunt
Interstellar Cinderella. 2015 (Picture Book)
Cinderella’s passion is working on spaceships and fixing things. She doesn’t want to marry the prince — she wants to be his mechanic. Living with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, she acts as the household mechanic, with her best friend being a robot mouse. When everyone is invited to the Prince’s Royal Space Parade, Cinderella’s stepmother forbids her to go. With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the parade — but when the Prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, Cinderella will have to zoom to the rescue. After leaving her screwdriver, the Prince frantically searches for the great mechanic, and he sets up a test to see who can fix his rocket.
Q. S.398.2 Un25i

Van Camp, Katie
Illustrated by: Lincoln Agnew
Harry and Horsie. 2009 (Picture Book).
With the moon shining through the window onto his new Super Duper Bubble Blooper, Harry finds it hard to sleep. He instead decides to sneak out of bed with his best friend, Horsie, and play with the toy, firing the bubble gun around his room. Before long, bubbles of all sizes are filling Harry’s room, but those bubbles then start to swallow up all Harry’s toys, floating them out the window towards space! The bubbles take his toy train, his cars, his planes, his shoes; but then the bubbles take Horsie, and Harry doesn’t hesitate in jumping on his toy rocket ship and racing to rescue his best friend.


Anywhere but Now: Time Travel in Children’s Literature

As finals approach and the lure of summer vacation beckons, just about everyone wants to be somewhere–anywhere–else. It’s the perfect time of year to celebrate a children’s classic and explore some times and places other than our own. Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Award-winning novel, A Wrinkle in Time, was published 50 years ago in 1962. Her works have influenced subsequent children’s authors in subtle and–in the case of the 2010 Newbery winner When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead–not so subtle ways.

This post contains a list of fiction and nonfiction children’s books about time travel. To find additional books on this topic in the catalog, try using the subject words “time travel” or “space and time” with “juvenile fiction” or “juvenile Literature.”

Angliss, Sarah. Cosmic Journeys: A Beginner’s Guide to Space and Time Travel. 1998.
This book looks at the future of space travel including nuclear fission-powered spacecraft, teleporting, and time travel. Age 8-12.
[Education Storage Q. S.629.41 An46c]

Asher, Jay and Carolyn Mackler. The Future of Us. 2011.
It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. Age 12+
[Center for Children’s Books, Uni High Fiction S. As353f]

Brennan, Herbie. Doomsday Box. 2011.
Working on a highly-classified espionage project, four English teenagers go back in time to the Cold War in 1962 to prevent a global outbreak of the bubonic plague in the twenty-first century. Age 12+
[Center for Children’s Books S. B755d]

Buckley-Archer, Linda. Gideon the Cutpurse: Being the First Part of the Gideon Trilogy. 2006.
Ignored by his father and sent to Derbyshire for the weekend, twelve-year-old Peter and his new friend, Kate, are accidentally transported back in time to 1763 England where they are befriended by a reformed cutpurse. Age 10+
[Center for Children’s Books S. B856g]

Cross, Julie. Tempest. 2011.
After his girlfriend Holly is fatally shot during a violent struggle, nineteen-year-old Jackson uses his supernatural abilities and travels back in time two years, where he falls in love with Holly all over again, learns that his father is a spy, and discovers powerful enemies of time who will stop at nothing to recruit him for their own purposes. Age 14+
[Uni High Fiction C88t]

Davis, Terry. H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. 2008.
This is a graphic novel adaptation of H.G. Wells’ story, in which a scientist invents a machine that carries him into the future. While there, he meets a race of gentle humans and evil underground creatures. Even worse, his time machine, his only chance to escape, is trapped deep inside the Morlock caverns. Age 10+
[Education S Collection S.741.5973 D298h]

Douglis, Carole. Ting and the Possible Futures. 2008.
Ting and her friends travel to two different futures using a time machine. The first future Ting explores is one of drought, submerged coastal cities, and refugee shantytowns. In the second possible future, Ting sees a huge change in attitude as well as landscape because people acted in time and averted the worst effects of climate change. Age 8-12.
[Available online at]

Elliott, Zeta. A Wish After Midnight. 2010.
Genna Colon desperately wants to escape from a drug-infested world of poverty, and every day she wishes for a different life. One day Genna’s wish is granted and she is instantly transported back to Civil War-era Brooklyn. Age 12+
[Education S Collection S. El589w]

Gier, Kerstin. Ruby Red. 2011.
Sixteen-year-old Gwyneth discovers that she, rather than her well-prepared cousin, carries a time-travel gene, and soon she is journeying with Gideon, who shares the gift, through historical London trying to discover whom they can trust. Age 12+
[Center for Children’s Books, Uni High Fiction S. G362r:E]

Guibord, Marissa. Warped. 2011.
When seventeen-year-old Tessa Brody comes into possession of an ancient unicorn tapestry, she is plummeted into sixteenth-century England, where her life is intertwined with that of a handsome nobleman who is desperately trying to escape a terrible fate. Age 12+
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S. G94111w]

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found. 2008.
When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time. Age 10-14.
[Center for Children’s Books S. H117f]

Jones, Diana Wynne. A Tale of Time City. 1987.
In 1939, an eleven-year-old London girl is kidnapped to Time City, a place existing outside the stream of time and manipulating the history of humanity, where she finds the inhabitants facing their worst hour of crisis. Age 10+
[Center for Children’s Books S.J713T]

L’Engle, Madeleine. Wrinkle in Time. 1962.
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. Using a tesseract, or a wrinkle in time, they travel across time and space to find him. Age 10+
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S. L547W]

Morton, Alan Q. Einstein’s Theories of Relativity. 2006.
This book covers the discovery and development of Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, which changed the way science thought of time and space. Age 12+
[Education Storage SB. E357m]

Osborne, Mary Pope. Magic Tree House [Series]
Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse that allows them to travel back in time. Over the course of the series, they have gone on nearly 50 adventures in places such as ancient Egypt and the Titanic. Age 5-10.
[Education S Collection and Education Storage]

Rogers, Gregory. The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard. 2004.
A boy playing among the warehouses of London kicks a soccer ball into an abandoned theater. There he finds an enchanted cape that transports him back in time right onto the stage of one of William Shakespeare’s plays! Age 5-10.
[Education Storage, Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. R631b]

Scarrow, Alex. Time Riders. 2010.
Rescued from imminent death, teens Maddy, Liam, and Sal join forces in 2001 Manhattan to correct changes in history made by other time travelers, using a “time bubble” surrounding the attack on the Twin Towers to hide their journeys. Age 12+
[Center for Children’s Books S. Sca76t]

Scieszka, Jon. Time Warp Trio [Series]
Joe, Fred, and Sam receive a magic book that allows them to travel forward and backward in time. The trio has a variety of wacky, humorous adventures in medieval Europe, Neolithic times, and the year 2095. Age 8-12.
[Education Storage]

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. 2009.
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S. St311w]

Winterson, Jeanette. Tanglewreck. 2006.
Eleven-year-old Silver sets out to find the Timekeeper–a clock that controls time–and to protect it from falling into the hands of two people who want to use the device for their own nefarious ends. Age 10+
[Center for Children’s Books S. W736ta]


Airships & Corsets & Clockwork… Oh My!: Steampunk in YA Fiction

What exactly is “steampunk?” It’s a literary genre, visual aesthetic, and a vibrant community of individuals. Steampunk as it’s known today began as a response to the “cyberpunk” movement in science fiction the 1980s and 1990s. Inspired by late Victorian science fiction such as The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, steampunk imagines a world in which Victorian steam-powered technology takes the place of modern nuclear and electronic technology. Steampunk also retains a strong Victorian sensibility when it comes to fashion: corsets are mixed with clockwork gears, and airships are often the primary mode of transportation. Some fans attend conventions of fellow steampunk enthusiasts or wear steampunk-inspired clothing in their everyday lives.

Because steampunk can be defined as several different genres in the library catalog (steampunk can also be classified as science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, or alternate history), a catalog search is not always productive when looking for steampunk fiction. While any of these terms can be used in a keyword or subject search, searching for “steampunk” in NoveList, Goodreads, or book review journals/databases can also be helpful.

Steampunk & Diversity: Some Resources

In its revisionist approach to history, steampunk is capable of exploring race in interesting, varied ways. Some steampunk literature, however, ignores minorities altogether or extends the prejudice of the Victorian era towards these groups. There is a growing multicultural movement within steampunk, however, and these resources provide an introduction to diverse books and groups within steampunk culture.

Beyond Victoriana

The Intersection of Race and Steampunk: Colonialism’s After-Effects & Other Stories, from a Steampunk of Colour’s Perspective

Multiculturalism for Steampunk

Silver Goggles

Steampunk Magazine

Some Japanese anime and manga have a strong steampunk sensibility as well and, in some cases, feature nonwhite characters in the leading roles. The popular seriesFullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa contains elements of steampunk.

Steampunk Fiction (YA/Ages 14+)*

(*The descriptions provided are for the first volume in the series unless otherwise noted.
The location CCB is the Center for Children’s Books.)

Carriger, Gail. The Parasol Protectorate [Series]
Soulless. 2009. [Residence Halls Lincoln Avenue SciFi/Fantasy 813 C2351s]
Changeless. 2010. [Residence Halls Lincoln Avenue SciFi/Fantasy 813 C2351ch]
Blameless. 2010. [Residence Halls Lincoln Avenue SciFi/Fantasy 813 C2351bl]
Heartless. 2011.

Soulless spinster Alexia Tarabotti accidentally kills a vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. Everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Clare, Cassandra. The Infernal Devices [Series]
Clockwork Angel. 2010. [CCB S.C541cl]
Clockwork Prince. 2011.

The year is 1878. Searching for her missing brother, sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld and finds herself up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork demons, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her Shadowhunter allies can stop them. Prequel to Clare’s bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Colfer, Eoin. Airman. 2008. [Education S Collection S.C68air]

In the 1890s, Conor Broekart and his family live in a castle on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. When Conor tries to expose a plot to kill the king, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. Flight is his only means of escape, so he passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines into the prison walls. The months turn into years, but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies.

Cornish, D. M. Monster’s Blood Tattoo [Series]
Foundling. 2006. [Education S Collection S.C816f]
Lamplighter. 2008. [Education Storage S.C816l]
Factorum. 2010. [Education S Collection S.C816fa]

Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl’s name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. The fictional world of Half-Continent bears a strong resemblance to a Dickensian London powered by alchemy and fantastical scientific inventions.

De Quidt, Jeremy. The Toymaker. 2008. [Education S Collection S.D443t]

What good is a toy that will wind down? What if you could give a toy a heart that would beat and beat and didn’t stop? From the moment that the circus boy, Mathias, takes a small roll of paper from the dying conjuror, his fate is sealed. For on it is the key to a terrifying secret, and there are those who would kill him rather than have it told. Pursued by the sinister Dr. Leiter and preyed on by the circus master and his wife, Mathias is drawn into a relentless nightmare that will lead him to the Toymaker, and to a knife as cruel as frost.

Dolamore, Jaclyn. Magic Under Glass. 2010. [CCB S.D6856m]

When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires Nimira to sing with a piano-playing automaton, she believes it is the start of a new and better life. But unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry’s involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron [Series]
Incarceron. 2010. [Education S Collection S.F531i2010]
Sapphique. 2010. [Education S Collection S.F531sa2010]

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside. Escape seems impossible until Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia, the Warden’s daughter. Claudia believes that she can escape her arranged marriage and free Finn. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

Harland, Richard. Worldshaker. 2010. [CCB S.H2267w]

Col Porpentine understands how society works: The elite families enjoy a comfortable life on the Upper Decks of the great juggernaut Worldshaker, and the Filthies toil Below Decks. Col’s grandfather, the Supreme Commander of Worldshaker, is grooming Col as his successor. Col believes Filthies are like animals until he meets Riff, a Filthy girl on the run who is clever and quick. If Riff is telling the truth, then everything Col has been told is a lie. And Col has the power to do something about it–even if it means risking his whole future.

Kittredge, Caitlin. Iron Codes [Series]
The Iron Thorn. 2011. [Education S Collection S.K6581i]

In an alternate 1950s, the Proctors rule the city of Lovecraft and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order–including Heretical beliefs such as magic and witchcraft–to dust. Every member of fifteen-year-old Aoife Grayson’s family, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their sixteenth birthday. Now a ward of the state and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, Aoife must leave Lovecraft in order to solve the mysteries of the city and, perhaps, change her fate.

Oppel, Kenneth. Matt Cruse [Series]
Airborn. 2004. [CCB S.Op5a]
Skybreaker. 2006. [CCB S.Op52s]
Starclimber. 2009. [Education Storage S.OP5D1993]

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials [Series]
The Golden Compass. 1996. [Education Storage S.P967N1996]
The Subtle Knife. 1997. [Education S Collection S.P967th]
The Amber Spyglass. 2000. [Education S Collection S.p967a]

Lyra Belacqua’s carefree life at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, who appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. Left in the care of the enigmatic Mrs. Coulter, Lyra sets out for the top of the world to free her friend, Roger, from the Gobblers with the help of a rare, truth-telling golden compass.

Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb [Series]
Fever Crumb. 2009. [CCB:S.R259f]
Web of Air. 2011.

The foundling Fever Crumb is the only female apprentice in the Order of Engineers, an organization that exists in an alternate future London where women are not considered capable of rational thought. When she leaves to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project, Fever discovers that she may be a Scrivener–a member of an inhuman race marked for execution–and that her missing memories are the key to a secret at the heart of London.

Reeve, Philip. Hungry City Chronicles [Series]
Mortal Engines. 2003. [CCB S.R259mo]
Predator’s Gold. 2004. [CCB S.R259pr]
Infernal Devices. 2005. [CCB S.R259i]
A Darkling Plain. 2007. [CCB S.R259d]

In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice named Tom saves his master, the historian Thaddeus Valentine, from an assassination attempt, only to be pushed–literally–out of London by the very man he admires. Stranded in the perilous Out-Country with the assassin, Tom must determine the truth about his world and save it from destruction.

Reeve, Philip. Larklight [Series]
Larklight. 2006. [Education S Collection S.R259la]
Starcross. 2007. [CCB S.R259s]
Mothstorm. 2008. [Education Storage S.R259m]

In an alternate Victorian London, Art Mumsby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in a huge and rambling house called Larklight that just happens to be traveling through outer space. When a visitor called Mr. Webster arrives for a visit, it is far from an innocent social call. Before long Art and Myrtle are off on an adventure to the furthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save each other–and the universe.

Richards, Justin. The Death Collector. 2006. [CCB S.R391d]

What starts as an ordinary pick-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble–and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs–and one of each is already terrorizing the streets of London. It’s up to Eddie, George, and Elizabeth to stop Lorimore’s monsters . . . or die trying.

Slade, Arthur. The Hunchback Assignments [Series]
The Hunchback Assignments. 2009. [Education S Collection S.Sl12h]
The Dark Deeps. 2010.
Empire of Ruins. 2011.

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a hunchbacked child with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, from a traveling freak show. Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire, then abandons the teenager on the streets of Victorian London. Modo encounters Association agent Octavia Milkweed, as well as the sinister machinations of Clockwork Guild, a mad scientist bent on turning the city’s orphans into zombies, and a plot against the British government that only he and Octavia can prevent.

Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan [Series]
Leviathan. 2009. [CCB S.W523l]
Behemoth. 2010. [CCB S.W5233b]
Goliath. 2011.

At the cusp of WWI, the Austro-Hungarians and Germans are poised to pit their steam-driven Clankers, iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition, against the British Darwinists’ fabricated animals. Aleksandar Ferdinand, dethroned prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, makes an alliance with British airman Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service whose secret is in constant danger of being discovered. Aboard the Leviathan–a whale airship–the two unlikely allies begin a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Wrede, Patricia C. Frontier Magic [Series]
Thirteenth Child. 2009. [CCB S.W925th]
Across the Great Barrier. 2011.

Eighteen-year-old Eff, who lives in an alternate version of the American West, must finally get over believing she is bad luck and accept that her special training in Aphrikan magic, and being the twin of the seventh son of a seventh son, give her extraordinary power to combat the magical creatures that threaten settlements on the frontier.

Yep, Laurence. City Trilogy [Series]
City of Fire. 2009. [Education S Collection S.Y43ci]
City of Ice. 2011.

In an alternate version of 1941, twelve-year-old Scirye’s older sister dies trying to prevent the theft of one of her people’s great treasures. Scirye sets out to avenge her and recover the precious item, and with the help of a street urchin, a dragon, and a tanuki, she pursues the thieves to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island being created by magic. Even with Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, on their side, they may not be able to stop Mr. Roland from gaining the Five Lost Treasures of Emperor Yu, which will give him the power to alter the very fabric of the universe.