The fourth book this year is Swordbird, by Nancy Yi Fan. I read this because my son thought it was wonderful and has been bugging me for probably a year to read it.
The story was written by a 12-year old, and this lack of experience shows in the writing, but I have to admit that it was a little better than I expected. While the story is simple and the characters are a little shallow, it’s told well and keeps moving along well.
I think I could recommend this for 8 or 9 year old readers.
The next thing on the list is River Teeth.