Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Favorite Book With Magic

Our book this week, Trial By Fire, is all about magic.  So this week, we're telling you our favorite book with magic in it.

I feel like the Percy Jackson series is one that just doesn't get enough props.  It came out during the HP craze (2005-2009 and the last HP was 2007) so it got a little lost in that in terms of being dealt it's fair share.

That's not to say it's not famous in it's own right.  According to, Percy Jackson (which is slot 8 on the best sellers list this week) has spent 340 weeks on the NY Times best seller list.  Not bad for a book and longer than everything else on the list in its category, including The Hunger Games and Divergent.

The books incorporate the Greek myths in awesome ways, and probably one of the more original ways that I've seen.  All these kids, ranging from about 12-17 years of age, are all demi-gods.  And, until they come of age, they're all in danger of being killed.  It's pretty dangerous to be the son or daughter of a God, and the camp they stay at is the only thing that protects them.  Percy has five books of adventures, all of which are fantastic.

But, I think for me, one of the best things is that book four and five are probably my FAVORITE of the series.  Too often the end of the series ends up being the worst, but that's not so for Percy.  The end is what's the best part.

The obvious choice, for me, would be Harry Potter. But since we talk about that series a lot, I'm going to skip that as my real favorite book(s) with magic, and tell you about...

The Magic School Bus series is just the COOLEST, right? I mean, let me count the ways. First, they're available at the annual event that makes nerdy kids like me flip out like early Christmas: the Scholastic book fair. Then, you have Ms. Frizzle, the world's coolest teacher (no offense, every teacher I ever had). She actually reminds me a lot of my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Merrill, who dressed up as characters and did wacky things to get the reluctant learners to participate and just make everything even more fun for those of us who were already excited to be at school.

But let's address the "magic" part of these books, since that's why I'm talking about them today. You know how popular Bill Nye is? It's because he took real, scientific fact and made it fun and interesting. That's what these books do. But instead of camera tricks and sound effects and regular segments like "Consider the Following," these books have what seems to be at least a mildly sentient, morphing school bus that can survive extreme environments, including inside the human body, at the bottom of the sea, outer space, and the inside of a volcano! I distinctly remember one book (I think the dinosaurs one?) where a new student joined the class, and she kept being skeptical, talking about how the bus can't do that, and they should all be dead, and Ms. Frizzle was a lawsuit waiting to happen, and everyone else just brushes her off because (1) they're obviously all fine, (2) they've totally done things like this before, and (3) SCIENCE!!! Magic in the name of science is the best kind of magic, in my opinion.

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