The Immortal Fire

      Anne Ursu
The Immortal Fire

After surviving the perilous Underworld and barely escaping a murderous Poseidon, cousins Charlotte and Zee know better than to expect their lives to return to normal. After all, vengeful gods do not like to be foiled by mere mortals...especially when those mortals are thirteen.

So when a fire-breathing Chimera descends on their middle school, Charlotte and Zee are determined to fight -- not only for their lives, but for humankind. With nothing but a mysterious map and hints of a powerful weapon to guide them, the cousins journey to Mount Olympus, home of Zeus himself. But they're not alone. Their arch-nemesis Philonecron dreams of taking Zeus's place at the throne of the universe -- and now he has Poseidon's trident to help him do it. The only thing he needs now is a little help from Charlotte and Zee....

In this thrilling conclusion to the Cronus Chronicles, author Anne Ursu brings her epic battle of good versus gods to a breathtaking end.


Read online

    The Siren Song

      Anne Ursu
The Siren Song

Inside an ordinary middle school in an ordinary city, a small redheaded eighth grader is doing something very ordinary, indeed.

Ever since Charlotte Mielswetzski and her cousin, Zee, saved the world, life has been rather ordinary. Ordinary, that is, if you call being ultramegagrounded (in Charlotte's case) or treated as if you might fall to pieces (in Zee's case) ordinary. Either way, heroes deserve better.

Of course, no one knows Charlotte and Zee are heroes. It's not like they can simply announce that Greek myths are real or proclaim they have returned from the Underworld, where they rescued all of mankind from Philonecron, a deranged demigod with delusions of grandeur. Instead, they are forced to keep this terrible knowledge to themselves, and are stuck in a state of extraordinary ordinariness.

But things aren't quite as ordinary as they seem. For Philonecron is the grandson of Poseidon, and you don't mess with the progeny of the second most powerful god in the universe. And Philonecron himself isn't so happy about having all of his delicious plans thwarted by mortal children. He wants revenge, and with his grandfather to help him, he is going to get what he wants.

For Charlotte and Zee, their not-so-ordinary lives are about to be disrupted once again. This time it's not the world they must save -- it's themselves.

In the thrilling second installment of the Cronus Chronicles trilogy, author Anne Ursu brings her trademark wit to a spectacular adventure on the high seas.



Read online

    Max Swings for the Fences

      Anne Ursu
Max Swings for the Fences

Maximilian Funk is the new kid in school, and not much of a baseball fan, a deadly combination. He has to figure out a way to impress Molly Kinsman, the best pitcher in the city and the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. One little lie couldn't hurt, could it?

This short story from the collection Guys Read: The Sports Pages is a winner.


Read online

    The Shadow Thieves

      Anne Ursu
The Shadow Thieves

See that girl, the one with the bright red hair, overstuffed backpack, and aura of grumpiness? That's Charlotte Mielswetzski. And something extra-ordinary is about to happen to her.

Oh, it's not the very cute kitten that appears out of nowhere and demands to go home with her. It's not the sudden arrival of her cousin Zee, who believes he's the cause of a mysterious sickness that has struck his friends back in England. It's not her creepy English teacher Mr. Metos, who takes his mythology lessons just a little too seriously. And it's not the white-faced, yellow-eyed men in tuxedoes, who follow Charlotte everywhere.

What's so extraordinary is not any one of these things....It's all of them. And when Charlotte's friends start to get sick one by one, Charlotte and Zee set out to find a cure. Their quest leads them to a not-so-mythical Underworld, where they face rhyme-loving Harpies, gods with personnel problems, and ghosts with a thirst for blood.

Charlotte and Zee learn that in a world overrun by Nightmares, Pain, and Death, the really dangerous character is a guy named Phil. And then they discover that the fate of every person -- living and dead -- is in their young hands.

In her dazzling debut for young readers, Anne Ursu weaves a tale of myth and adventure, danger and magic that will keep readers engrossed until the very last secret is revealed.


Read online

    Breadcrumbs

      Anne Ursu
Breadcrumbs

Review

“This is a lyrical book, a lovely book, and a smart book; it dares us to see stories as spreading more widely, and running more deeply, than we had imagined.” (Gary Schmidt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars )

The evocative magical landscape, superbly developed characters (particularly dreamy, self-doubting, determined Hazel and lost Jack), and the piercing sadness of a faltering childhood friendship give this delicately written fantasy wide and lingering appeal. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) )

Like a fairy-tale heroine, Hazel traverses the woods without a breadcrumb trail to save a boy who may not want to be saved in this multi-layered, artfully crafted, transforming testament to the power of friendship. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

The creepy fantasyland that Hazel traverses uses bits from other Andersen tales to create a story that...is beautifully written and wholly original. It’s certainly the only children’s fantasy around where Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer figures into the plot. (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

“Devastatingly brilliant and beautiful...Ursu has sculpted a rich and poignant adventure that brings readers deep into the mysterious, magical, and sometimes frightening forests of childhood and change. Breadcrumbs is one of those rare novels that turned me on my head then sat on my heart and refused to budge.” (Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor-winning author of Savvy )

Product Description

A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.


Read online