Five Finds – Steampunk for Tweens

I am often asked by patrons to suggest books, either for themselves or for their children, and find myself making up mini bibliographies for different subjects, genres or audiences. To keep track of the different book lists I’ve made, I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog called “Five Finds”, in which I’ll share some of different titles I’ve discovered. Youth services covers everyone from babies to teenagers, and includes fiction, nonfiction and audio-visual materials, so there is a lot of content to explore!

I thought I’d kick off the series with a bit of an unusual book list. An outgoing young patron recently came up to the desk and asked if the library had any steam punk novels. Not the typical tween request, but certainly an interesting one! Although I’m not too familiar with this genre myself, I did a bit of research, and here are just a few of the titles I found.

Note: I have not read all of the books on this list, and I am not recommending them based on personal experience, nor am I necessarily making any comment on their quality or content. All entries on this list are found in our library’s collection, and I’ve taken the annotations directly from the catalog.

1. Uncrashable Dakota – Andy Marino 


In 1912, an airship on its maiden flight is hijacked and young Hollis Dakota, heir to the Dakota Aeronautics empire, his friend Delia, and stepbrother Rob, become embroiled in a family feud that could send the ship– and them– crashing from the sky.

2. Airborn – Kenneth Oppel


Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface.

3. Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld


In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.

4. Larklight – Philip Reeve


In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty’s outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.

5. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman


Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

If you have any great steam-punk or alternate history titles that you’d like to add to this list, please leave a comment and let me know!


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