A recommended list for childrenApril 04, 2017

The Children's Book Council of Australia Awards revealed its shortlist. The Book of the Year: Older Readers included Cath Crowley's "Words in Deep Blue", Shivaun Plozza's "Frankie" and Claire Zorn's "One Would Think the Deep" while The Book of the Year: Younger Readers had "Rockhopping" by Trace Balla, "A Most Magical Girl" by Karen Foxlee, and "Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade" by Kate and Jol Temple. Expect an increase in sales on these titles and the others who made it to this distinguished list, but there would be another set of titles that children and teenagers must not overlook during the next few months. It would be more uplifting than the recent ratings of "The Biggest Loser: Transformed".

There's no need for an introduction, not even a lengthy pep talk. Here's three:

J. K. Rowling's script on "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" would be available in hardbound copies. And it must be foolish of anyone to pass it up. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series have several references to the classics, most notably Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea cycle. This led to some purists accusing Rowling of lack of originality. (And LeGuin didn't let this one pass up.) "Fantastic Beasts" could be one of the many sequels, prequels, and spin-offs that Rowling had been thinking during these past years. A magical version of the Big Apple may not be enthralling as Hogwarts, but this was the beginning. It may turn out to be better (and more original). Rowling knew how to amuse her audience during the most unexpected moments, and the book would give the young and old ones some reminders for the sequel.

The Hidden Oracle. "The Dark Prophecy", the second book in "The Trials of Apollo", will hit the bookshelves on May 2. This would be a good time on reading "The Hidden Oracle" again. (If you haven't opened the book, then there won't be any excuse this time.) Rick Riordan depicted the god of the sun as a reality TV contestant, who had an insular mind. (He can't appreciate anything not related to ancient Greece.) He was complaining a bit too often, but it was understandable if one would think about where he was coming from. There were chapters when Apollo tried to upstage Percy Jackson, who would be the main character in this saga. And he did. (He was an Olympian.) Some readers would wonder if Riordan should consider Oz as a setting for his upcoming book(s). It could happen, as Greek mythology made a lasting impact everywhere. Almost.

Mobile Armored Riot Police. This might be too much for younger readers, but the sociological issues would appeal to the older ones. It might get lost in the technological advances of the future, but manga had universal appeal. (A cult following if you don't believe in it.) At the heart of this story is a probing issue on design and identity. This would be a familiar theme in Victorian novels, also books on the dystopian future. If the title may sound violent, then the adapted title (in popular culture) could pique your interest. Ghost in the Shell.

Do you have other titles to recommend for us? Don't keep it them to yourself.

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