Nasreddine

Loosely based on the Middle Eastern folk hero Nasreddine Hodja, in this retelling young Nasreddine learns that, instead of always listening to the advice of others, it is better for one to “decide if what you are hearing is wise, or if it’s only silly and hurtful.” Humorous, earth-toned watercolor illustrations effectively use line, white space, and pacing to offer an authentic Middle Eastern setting.

 

Merlin

In flight from the magic visions that plague him, Merlin falls into the hands of the wodewose–wild folk who, according to legend, live in the company of wolves and devour children. But far from being wild, the wodewose are an enormous family of the unwanted, the abandoned, and the homeless. For once Merlin has found a place where an orphan like himself belongs.

This is the third book in  the “Young Merlin Trilogy.”

Scarlet

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

The Book of Wonders

Sorcerers, Cyclops, Djinnis . . . Magic. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone who is caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan–a terrifying tyrant who, even with his eyes closed, can see all. When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must risk everything to rescue her. Along with Rhidan, who is her best friend, and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.

When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew

In these three imaginative stories, Jan Andrews introduces us to Quebec’s traditional folktale hero, Ti-Jean. He’s an endearing character who is both wise and foolish, and though he does find himself in hard situations (often of his own making), in the end, he somehow manages to do what needs to be done. In “Ti-Jean and the Princess of Tomboso” he eventually outwits a greedy princess; in “Ti-Jean the Marble Player” he gets the best of a pint-sized scoundrel; and in “How Ti-Jean Became a Fiddler” he turns the tables on a too-clever-for-her-own-good seigneur’s daughter, and finds true love in the process.