Friday, December 11, 2009

Last-Minute Gifts: Boxed Sets for the Fantasy Fiction Fan

A great gift for a young reader, boxed sets provide the most bang for the buck and provide a comfortable cache of books for those long dreary days of midwinter ahead.

For middle readers, fantasy fiction seems to be the main draw this year. Here are some sets that have been best sellers.

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson has some problems, an unpleasant stepfather and a series of schools that have determined that they can get along without him, thank you, but being a demi-god, the son of a mortal and an Olympian, is the sort of problem which gets him into some adventures beyond the usual 'tween boy variety. That rare series, beloved of reviewers and readers alike, Percy Jackson and the Olympians Hardcover Boxed Set: Books 1 - 5, comes with all five books in its own "steamer trunk" with a so-cool hidden compartment for mere mortal secrets.

Humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have combined their considerable talents to create the backstory of how orphan Peter acquires his powers as the hero of the classic Peter Pan. Pirates, faery starstuff, villainous seadogs, courageous heroes and heroines, and non-stop adventures make the first three books of this series favorites of reviewers and real page turners for middle readers. Also just out for the hardcore fanatasy fan is the latest top seller in this series, Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Starcatchers).

When Kendra and Seth are put under the care of their Grandfather Sorenstan, the overseer of the mysterious Fablehaven wood, they learn that that gated forest is the home of fairy folk, imps, satyrs, and trolls which threaten their own safety and that of the world. Brandon Mull's best-selling series, together here in his Fablehaven (Boxed Set): Fablehaven; Rise of the Evening Star; Grip of the Shadow Plague, offers fantasy and fast-paced adventure for both boys and girls in the elementary and middle school grades.

Forced to move into their great-uncle Spiderwick's dilapidated and frankly spooky old house, Simon, Jared, and Mallory Grace soon learn that there are sinister powers and strange creatures abroad on the property, and the three quarrelsome siblings soon learn that they must combine forces to fight the evil influences which draw them into their cosmic struggles. DiTerlizzi's and Black's first five quaintly illustrated volumes are found here in their The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set): The Field Guide; The Seeing Stone; Lucinda's Secret; The Ironwood Tree; The Wrath of Mulgrath and continued in their new set, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set): The Nixies Song; A Giant Problem; The Wyrm King.

"There will be three who hold the power of the stars in their paws." With this prophecy, the three young cats, grandchildren of Firestar of the ThunderClan warriors, each with his or her own special birthright of powers, must fight to preserve their kind in Erin Hunter's Warriors: Power of Three Box Set: Volumes 1 to 3 in this top-selling series of fantasy adventures for elementary and middle readers. For an added treat, the fourth book in this popular series, Warriors: Power of Three #4: Eclipse, has just been published this fall.

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