These books really stand out in current children's fiction - they are vibrant tales with many fast-paced and surprising plot twists plus the characters face real, often terrifying, challenges, and experience sorrow and joy, worries and self doubts, new beginnings and restoration. They are fully human. And through each tale are woven varied threads of hope, courage, companionship, faith and self-discovery. An enriching experience. Highly recommended reads for 8-14 year olds, though younger readers (age 8-9) would benefit from reading with an adult to aid their understanding and enjoyment.