Since the explosion of Harry Potter on the book scene, stories about magic have made a huge resurgence.
But it takes more than wands, spells, and mythical creatures to catch my interest. I am -- I admit it -- a character addict. I love stories that have action and suspense, yes, but you won't really get my interest unless the characters are genuine and complex, rich in their development, and even just a little be tormented by inner struggles.
So, I'm happy to report finding the series by Stefan Bachman that begins with The Peculiar. Set in a dark, bleak version of London that is populated by faeire folk who have become stuck in the "normal" world, this story is a dark adventure about persecution, but also about bravery and hope.
Bachman's masterful storytelling provides suspense and action, but also rich character development that allows the reader to sympathize with the changeling protagonist. A fun, rewarding read for middle school readers. Be forewarned...it ends on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to keep reading. Cool side note, Bachman was only 16 when he began writing The Peculiar!