Today's Best Book Deals for Your Homeschool
(Prices are correct as of the time of writing, but y'all know sales move fast — check before you click the buy button! These are Amazon links — read more about how we use affiliate links to help support some of the costs of the HSL blog here.)
The Audible version of The One and Only Ivan is $1.95 today. (Only the audiobook is on sale; this deal isn’t for the Kindle book.) Shelf Awareness says, “Discover an animal hero that will take his place with other courageous and beloved animals such as Babe, Mrs. Frisby, Charlotte and Wilbur. Adults reading this aloud with children will find it just as rewarding.”
The Age of Miracles is $1.99. Suzanne says, “Adolescent Julia and her family struggle to deal with massive changes as the rotation of the Earth inexplicably slows. While I struggled a bit with the science (or the massive lack of it) in this particular apocalyptic scenario, that’s not really the point. Instead, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer used a Hellmouth to point out the challenges of high school and teenagerhood, Walker uses the possible end of the world as a backdrop for this coming of age tale, where Julia wonders if she’ll even survive the dramatic changes, both personal and global, taking place in her world. (This is one of the only novels on the list that I’d be okay handing to a middle schooler.)”
The Magicians is $1.99. For teenagers (I definitely wouldn’t hand this to younger readers) looking for something to read after growing up on Harry Potter and the Chronicles and Narnia, this dark, subversive take on wizards in the modern world is pretty much perfect.
Still on sale
Gregor the Overlander is $3.99. This fantasy epic takes place in a world deep beneath the city streets, where cockroaches, rats, and spiders have an uneasy truce with the Underlander humans. When Gregor accidentally plunges into the world, following his little sister, the Underlanders think he may be the hero of their ancient prophesy.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is $1.99. This old-fashioned story about a house painter who finds himself the delighted custodian of a group of penguins makes a great readaloud.
Carter & Lovecraft is $1.99. Suzanne (who will read anything with Lovecraft on the cover) says, “H.P. Lovecraft is classic weird, and modern authors have been having a wonderful time in the past few years revisiting and revising him. And he does need some revising: H.P. is unfortunately as well known for his virulent racism and sexism as he is for tentacled mind-melting hell-beasts… In Carter & Lovecraft, an ex-cop private eye gets mixed up with the last Lovecraft descendant — who happens to be both female and black — and a plot to change the rules of reality in very unpleasant ways. (SPOILER: By the end of the novel things are looking fairly bleak for our heroes, but the sequel, ominously titled After the End of the World, just came out for all of us who want to read what happens next.)”
Seveneves is $2.99. This hard sci-fi story is a great follow-up for fans of The Martian. What would happen if the surface of the Earth suddenly became uninhabitable? In Stephenson’s world, scientists band together to create a tiny space colony of chosen survivors, a task that comes with constant technical challenges that need to be scienced if humanity is going to stand a chance of survival. (The first part is stronger than the second, but I always feel that way about Stephenson’s books.)
Atonement is $2.99 — and while the sadness at its heart makes it a hard read if you’re in a dark headspace yourself, I think, it’s a gorgeous novel about the perils and pleasures of writing and the lingering shadow of guilt that can’t be absolved. I’d put it on a World War II reading list since you already know that’s going to be sad but rewarding.
George is $3.99. “While George has no doubt she's a girl, her family relates to her as they always have: as a boy. George hopes that if she can secure the role of Charlotte in her class's upcoming production of Charlotte's Web, her mom will finally see her as a girl and be able to come to terms with the fact that George is transgender. With the help of her closest ally, Kelly, George attempts to get the rest of the world to accept her as she is,” says School Library Journal.
Corsets and Codpieces: A History of Outrageous Fashion, from Roman Times to the Modern Era is $1.99. If you’re studying European history with a fashion enthusiast, you’ll want to have this book, which is an often funny and always fascinating review of fashion from the middle ages to Christian Dior.
Jane Steele is $1.99. Suzanne and I differ in our degree of love for this one, but we agree that the mash-up of Jane Eyre and Dexter is brilliant in this murderous take on the classic. Reader, I murdered him, indeed.
The Farwalker’s Quest is $3.99. Why isn’t this middle grades fantasy more popular? Set in a futuristic, post-technology world, the story sends friends Ariel and Zeke on a quest to find the source of an ancient telling-dart, which, of course, also becomes a quest to discover who they really are.
Sunshine is $1.99. If you, like me, have a sweet spot for vampire stories with plucky heroines, you will appreciate this totally YA novel about a baker in a post-apocalyptic world who harnesses her own power to fend off the vampiric threat to her hometown.
Strange Practice is $2.99. My daughter recommends this twist on traditional monster literature: Dr. Greta Helsing treats all kinds of undead ailments, from entropy in mummies to vocal strain in banshees. It’s an abnormally normal life — until a group of murderous monks start killing London’s living and dead inhabitants, and Greta may be the only one who can stop them.
Paper Girls (Vol. 1) is $3.99. Suzanne is such a fan of this graphic novel that it made her best of 2017 list: “For older YA readers (and fans of Stranger Things), Paper Girls is a fantastic time-traveling alien-invasion adventure set in the 80s.”
The Clockwork Scarab is $0.60. Bram Stoker’s sis teams up with Sherlock Holmes’s niece to solve mysteries in a steampunky Victorian London. In this first book in the series, the duo suspects a secret society based on Egyptology may be behind the disappearance of two society girls. I think this is one of the most fun middle grades mystery series I’ve discovered in recent years.
The Game of Silence is $2.74. Shelli loves this series about an Ojibwe girl navigating changes during U.S. westward migration: “The book opens with Omakayas standing on the shore of her home, an island in Lake Superior. In the far distance, she sees strange people approaching. Once they arrive, her family finds that these people are Anishinabeg people too. (We call them the Ojibwe or Chippewa people now.) They are haggard, hungry, and some of them have lost members of their family. Among them is a baby boy who has lost his parents, and now he becomes Omakayas’s new baby brother. These people are refugees who have been pushed out of their homes by the chimookomanag, or white people, and as the story unfolds, Omakayas’s family realizes that they, too, must leave their homes.”
Howl’s Moving Castle is $3.99. Sometimes a curse can be just what you needed, as Sophie discovers in this delightful fantasy about a hat maker's daughter who's cursed to premature old age by the Witch of the Waste. To break the curse, Sophie will need to team up with the mysterious wizard Howl, who happens to be stuck under a curse of his own — but first, she'll have to get to his castle, which has a habit of wandering around. I love this as a readaloud, on its own, or (of course) a companion piece to the equally wonderful (though often quite different) movie adaptation.