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.)
Ancillary Justice is $2.99. Sci-fi fan Suzanne put this trilogy kick-off on her best books of the year list and we talked about it on the podcast. This is old-fashioned science fiction in the traditional sense, but it also plays with notions of identity, gender, and responsibility in ways that are interesting (and satisfyingly resolved in the book!) for a non-hardcore sci-fi fan.
Olivia Twist is $1.99. From Amy’s review: “OK, so just go with it: Oliver Twist is actually a girl, who’s pretended to be a boy because her old nurse warned her the world was no safe place for a pretty girl. When she’s picked up for stealing and serendipitously reunited with her upper class family, Olivia happily adjusts to having enough to eat and a safe place to sleep, but she still pulls on her old cap to help street urchins who, like she once was, are struggling to make it on the London streets. She also does a little thieving to keep the family budget going strong. Then, one night at a party, she runs into the Artful Dodger, all grown up and posing as an Irish lord. He knows there’s something familiar about Olivia, but he doesn’t connect the elegant young lady with the little boy who used to run with his gang. Sparks fly, but there’s plenty of danger lurking in the shadows for Olivia and Dodger both. I mean, either this is your kind of book and you have already stopped reading this and gone to put it on your library hold list, or this is not your kind of book and you are rolling your eyes at the premise.”
Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself is $1.99. This book is a MacGyverish delight, and if you have a budding maker, you need it, stat.
Still on sale
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay is $2.99. Harry Potter completists won’t want to miss this script that kicks of the Newt Scamander movies, even though it takes place many years before The Boy Who Lived was born.
The Red Queen is $2.99. We recommended this one in our summer 2015 reading guide: In Mare’s world, the Silvers have all the power, while the Reds do all the labor. But Mare, a Red, has powers no one suspects in the first novel in this medieval fantasy series.
The Search for WondLa is $3.99. School Library Journal says “DiTerlizzi is pushing the envelope in his latest work, nearly creating a new format that combines a traditional novel with a graphic novel and with the interactivity of the computer. Yet, beneath this impressive package lies a theme readers will easily relate to: the need to belong, to connect, to figure out one's place in the world. The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment.”
The Boggart is $3.99. If you’re looking for something that will remind you of Roald Dahl, this hilarious story of an ancient, magical Boggart meeting modern technology is a readaloud delight.
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is $2.99. Auxier’s weird Gothic-fantasy mash-ups aren’t for everyone, but they’re definitely for me, and this story about a blind orphan who steals a box of magical eyes and ends up on a fantastic quest is delightful.
The Name of the Wind is $1.99. If your fantasy-loving teen needs a new series to binge, you can’t go wrong with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s recommendation!
Absalom, Absalom! is $2.99. Faulkner’s story of the dark legacy of slavery and the question of what it means to be human convinced Suzanne that Faulkner was worth a read. I am totally biased by my own Faulkner love, but this is one of his best, I think. For high school.
The Book Thief is $2.99. When Death has a story to tell, you listen. In 1939 Germany, an orphan falls in love with book — and Death himself narrates the stories. Holocaust stories can be both punishing and profound, and this one is no exception — but when you’re ready, it’s worth reading.
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.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is $1.99. More for teens and parents than younger readers, Audre Lorde tackles racism, sexism, homophobia, and other-ing in all its forms. The New York Times says: “Lorde's works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”
The Glass Town Game is just $0.99. I snagged this one as soon as I saw it since it made Suzanne’s Best of 2017 list — she says “Similar in style to Valente’s Fairyland series with a dash of The Phantom Tollbooth, this would be a great read-aloud and introduction to the Brontes (although you may have to prepare your listeners for some post-book heartbreak when they learn about the eventual fates of the siblings). I especially loved the Jane Austen cameo, presented (as Valente apologetically notes) from Charlotte’s point of view (she’s not a fan).”
The Iron Trial is $1.99. From the fall 2014 issue: "Callum’s father has always taught him to avoid magic — so Callum is determined to do whatever it takes to get kicked out of the magical school he’s forced to attend."