Avatar the Last Airbender 

Water, Earth, Fire, Air. Long ago, Nickelodeon created a series that inspired many around the world. Then, everything changed when a pandemic hit. Only Netflix, a streaming service, could bring people together by airing the series. And when the world needed that the most, they did it. Old fans rejoiced while a new generation was inspired. And I believe it saved us all…. from boredom.

For fans of Avatar the Last Airbender that opening will sound familiar. It was a series that could be watched and entertained by multiple generations. It had great life lessons for kids to grow up with - thank you Uncle Iroh - while also having deeper elements for adults to enjoy - Ba Sing Se am I right?

Many have binged the series since it started streaming on Netflix this past Spring during shutdowns caused by COVID-19. But with it only having three seasons the binge can be short lived and it is always sad to see the end of such an amazing series. It had an amazing plot, deep characters, and wonderful world building that included power over the elements. If you are anything like me and can’t get enough of this remarkable world then here is a list of books that have similar themes so that you can continue your ATLA love.  

10.30 RoarROAR
By Cora Carmack
(2017)

Aurora, the sole heir of Pavan, is on her way to becoming the perfect queen. But despite being brave, honorable, and intelligent, she has a rather large and an important secret. She has yet to show any trace of magic and she will need that in order to protect her people. Will she fall into ruin, have to marry, or find a third option that will help her be who she was born to be.

 

10.30 A Song of Wraiths and RuinsA SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN                                                                                
By Roseanne A. Brown                                                                                                                    
(2020)

It was supposed to be a chance for him and his sisters to escape their war-stricken home and start a new life. But then Malik’s sister was abducted by a vengeful spirit. Now the price for her freedom is for Malik to kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran.

 

10.30 Three Dark CrownsTHREE DARK CROWNS
By Kendare Blake
(2016)

Three queens are born as heirs to the thrown and each one is the possessor of special magic. There is the elemental, the poisoner, and the naturalist. In order to become the Queen Crowned the sisters have to fight for it and it is a game of life and death.

 

10.30 FurybornFURYBORN
By Claire Legrand
(2018)

Rielle Dardenne may be one of the prophesized queens, the Sun Queen. But first she will need to prove herself in seven trials that involves elemental magic. A thousand years later a bounty hunter named Eliana must find her mother. As both women fight in a war a millennia a part their paths will intersect.

 

10.30 Kingdom of SoulsKINGDOM OF SOULS
By Rena Barron
(2019)

All Arrah wants is magic of her own, but each year, with growing disapproval from her mother, she fails to call forth her ancestral powers. As a last resort she could trade years of her own life for scraps of magic. But then children start disappearing from the kingdom and the demon king is stirring.  

 

 Bookish Halloween

When you ask a book lover what their favorite season is, there’s a decent chance they’ll say fall. And what’s not to love? It’s the perfect temperature outside to curl up inside with a cozy blanket, a warm drink, and a good book. Anne Shirley herself even said “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”. And I can’t say I blame her. There really is something utterly romantic about autumn.  I also really love the spooky side of fall. Pumpkins and skeletons, and Halloween parties—but especially the costumes. For the last few years I’ve made it a goal to wear a bookish Halloween costume. Costumes inspired by books are not in short supply, and they’re such a fun conversation starter. I’m going to share with you some of my favorite bookish Halloween costumes for recreating with things you either already have, or can find really easily. 

COOKIE MOUSE

 cookie mouse

The mouse from IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE is an easy one. Any pair of overalls will do, whether they’re long pants, shorts, or a skirt. Layer a t-shirt underneath and you’ve already got the outfit. To complete your look with a pair of ears you have a few choices. An old pair of Disney mouse ears will work, or putting your hair in high double buns, or even making your own out of a headband, cardboard, and tape. Draw whiskers near your nose and you officially resemble a mouse. As a bonus, you get to carry a cookie around all night. No one will know if you keep a box of cookies in your bag and just replace the one in your hand every time you eat it.  

 

ARTHUR DENT

arthur dent

If comfort is your aim, shoot for dressing as Arthur Dent from THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Wear a pair of pajama pants, a white t-shirt, slippers, and a bathrobe out of the house and it should be pretty clear who you’re trying to be, especially if you keep a towel on hand and repeat “Don’t panic” to everyone you meet. And who knows? You might just end up on an adventure of your own.    

 

MADELINE

Madeline

Madeline may be tiny, but she’s mighty—and her costume packs a punch. Anybody who read MADELINE as a kid will instantly know who you are, and luckily, it’s a pretty simple costume too. Start with a simple blue dress. A white collar made from white felt and ribbon isn’t too hard to make, but you can also wear a blouse underneath your dress to the same effect. Add a pair of white knee socks or tights, and black flats. To round out the look, wear a straw hat and a pair of white gloves. You can up the ante on this costume by finding eleven other people to dress up as her school mates, and another person who wouldn’t mind dressing up as Miss Clavel.   

 

Teen Horror Skull 

If you love the suspense and spine-tingling, slow-burn of horror books, you need to know about the treasure trove of horror in Young Adult (YA). These books are just as convoluted, smart, and terrifying, but they just happen to be on the YA shelves. If you are looking for something horrifyingly new to read, why not check out these YA Horror books.

10.23 Blood CountessBLOOD COUNTESS
By Lana Popović
(2020)

The is a classic example Gothic Horror novel with some modern sensibilities. You follow sixteen-year old Anna into the alluring world of the Countess Elizabeth. Anna starts out as a lowly scullery maid, but then she is noticed and elevated to the rank of chambermaid. But as Anna is drawn closer and closer to the stunning and clever Countess, she finds that the Countess can be as cruel as she has been kind. The atmosphere of the book is very romantic; the reader is drawn slowly into a web of darkly forbidden love. It also has some serious REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier vibes.   

 

10.23 Wilder GirlsWILDER GIRLS
By Rory Power
(2019)

One of the great things about the Horror genre is that is mixes well will other genres. For example, this novel is a mixture of horror and quarantine survival story. Something is not right at the Raxter School for Girls. A mysterious illness threatens them from the outside. Since the Tox hit the mainland, the tiny island that the school is on is quarantined. Now the teachers are dying one by one and something is wrong with some of the students. When her best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty is determined to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine.The writing style of this author is gritty and lush. The characterizations are compelling and drive the plot. It also has some bite-your-hand scary twists in it.

 

10.23 Dreaming DarklyDREAMING DARKLY
By Caitlin Kittridge
(2019)

This is another Gothic Horror novel with an unreliable narrator and a mysterious uncle who lives on a small island in New England. Ivy has never known a home. She has never been able to trust her mother. She doesn’t even know who her father was. When Ivy’s mother dies, Ivy is sent to live with a rich uncle she has never known or met. Ivy soon discovers many family secrets including a string of mysterious murders. But then one night she awakens from a nightmare covered in someone else’s blood. This intricately plotted story has a super creepy and menacing atmosphere.

 

10.23 Here There Are MonstersHERE THERE ARE MONSTERS
By Amelinda Bérubé
(2019)

Sometimes Horror spills over into fantasy, the kind that includes monsters, dark forests, and mind games. This book is super atmospheric, meaning that the language is very descriptive with lavish depictions of the world the author is building. This is particularly important in this novel because Skye and her sister Diedre have moved across the country and now live next to a deep, dark woods. Skye is able to acclimate to the new town and school, but Diedre withdraws from everyone and starts spending a lot of time exploring the woods and building stone and stick faces on the ground. When Diedre disappears, Skye must confront her deepest secrets and make a deal with a horrifying creature who promises the help her find her sister.This has a very PAN'S LABYRINTH feeling to it. Think dark creatures, a desperate attempt to save a sister, and having to face the monsters that reside inside of us all. 

 

Autumn Forest

Salem is an extremely popular destination during the month of October. There are more than 500 different events during the month to celebrate Halloween. The city aims to educate visitors about its mysterious past, especially the famous Salem Witch Trials. I traveled to Salem in May of 2016 but I would love to go back and visit during the month of October. Here are some interesting books about Salem that you can start reading in anticipation of your next trip.

10.19 A Season with the WitchA SEASON WITH THE WITCH: THE MAGIC AND MAYHEM OF HALLOWEEN IN SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
By J.W. Ocker
(2016)

Welcome to Witch city! Learn about the historical sites and attractions in Salem as well as experience the thrills of Halloween as seen through the eyes of a curious and adventurous outsider. Author J.W. Ocker spends a month with his family in the city of Salem in order to experience firsthand the season with the witch. 

 

10.19 The WitchesTHE WITCHES: SALEM, 1692
By Stacy Schiff
(2015)

Along with suffrage and prohibition, the Salem Witch Trials represent one of the few moments when women played a central role in American history. An introduction to the strains on a puritan adolescent’s life, the demands of a rigorous faith, and the vulnerability of settlements adrift from the mother country. A look into the world of 17th century America. 

 

10.19 WitchesWITCHES! : THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE TALE OF DISASTER IN SALEM  
By Rosalyn Schanzer
(2011)

The riveting story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children, into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more.

 

10.19 What Were the Salem Witch TrialsWHAT WERE THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS? 
By Joan Holub
(2015)

Something wicked was brewing in the small town of Salem in 1692.  Over the next year and a half, nineteen people were convicted of witchcraft and hanged while more languished in prison as hysteria swept the colony. An inside look at this sinister chapter in history. 

 

10.19 The Salem Witch TrialsTHE SALEM WITCH TRIALS
By Robin Johnson
(2015)

Discusses the 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials. Emphasizing how innocent people were jailed on the evidence of dreams and visions and how the legal system allowed nineteen people to be hanged before the governor of the state brought the people of Salem to their senses.

 

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