If You Liked Hugo Cabret:
Unusual and Innovative Books for Kids & Teens
Bosch, Pseudonymous. The Name of This Book is Secret
This is the story about a secret. but it also contains a secret story. When adventurous detectives Cass and Max-Ernest discover the Symphony of Smells–a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients–they accidentally stumble upon a mystery. What do a dead magician’s diary and the hunt for immortality have in common? Filled with word games and anagrams (and featuring a mysterious narrator) this is a book that won’t stay secret for long.
Coman, Carolyn. The Memory Bank
Hope and Honey Scroggins have parents SO horrible that one day, Honey is banished and Hope is told that she must forget her. Hope knows that she HAS to find her sister again, before her memories fade. But before she can even begin to look, she’s whisked away to the World Wide Memory Bank where dreams and memories are kept safe. She learns that a group of misfits called the Clean Slate Gang want to destroy the Memory Bank, and Honey may be with them. But Hope is determined to rescue her sister–there’s no other option!
Noyce, Pendred. Lost in Lexicon
When cousins Ivan and Daphne go on a treasure hunt in the rain one day, they never expect to stumble into a world where words and numbers run wild. After the cousins outwit a plague of punctuation, grateful villagers beg them to find their missing children. As they encounter unusual characters and situations, their peril deepens. Kidnapped, imprisoned, and mesmerized—with time running out—will Ivan and Daphne find a way to restore the lost children of Lexicon to their homes?
Oliver, Lauren. Liesl and Po
Liesl lives in a tiny bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost. Po, appears from the darkness on the Other Side. Together they are less alone. That same night Will, alchemist’s apprentice, bungles an important delivery; accidentally switching a box with the most powerful magic in the world with something much less remarkable. Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and the three are drawn together on an extraordinary journey.
Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous; quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. Definitely YA, and very interesting.
Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on separate, desperate quests to find what they are missing. A wonderful companion to The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Singer, Marilyn. Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse
This ingenious book of reversos, or poems which have one meaning when read down the page and perhaps an altogether different meaning when read up the page, toys with and reinvents oh-so-familiar stories and characters, from Cinderella to the Ugly Duckling. Each page is poetry, a story and a puzzle all featured with a short text and a fun illustration. A quirky and interesting book that’s also a quick read for all ages.
Valente, Catherynne. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland
September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t, the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. On her dangerous journey, September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday…
Van Allsburgh, Chris. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
An inspired collection of short stories based on the thought-provoking illustrations in The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. For twenty-five years, people have been wondering… now, some popular authors for children and teens have written down their versions. An incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, and poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget. This inspired collection features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both adult and children’s literature. Most of the stories are appropriate for all ages.
Weston, Robert. Zorgamazoo
Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings? Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . . What was it she saw? I’d rather not say. (Who’s ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?) But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I’ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO! Join Morty the Zorgle and Katrina on a fantastically illustrated, sophisticated rhyming adventure for kids of all ages!
So try something different! See what you think.