By Dustin Cabeal
There were two Hilda books this year, and so they get equal credit for being on this list. Luke Pearson’s Hilda series has been one of the best finds for me over the last couple of years. I read the first book on Nobrow’s app and have been hooked since.
Hilda lives in a world with magical creatures, but also modern society. It’s very much like Lord of the Rings but in our world. The bigger catch is that Pearson doesn’t homage things like Lord of the Rings, but instead creates something entirely new. Like teeny tiny people that are invisible and completely unharmed by you unless you sign a contract with them. Or a giant that looks like a mountain when it’s asleep. It’s a world that is both creative and inviting, but then also scary. Hilda is brave as hell though and makes it through each danger, but as we see, her mother isn’t thrilled by it and worried about her like any parent would. This contrast is there to ground the story, to show that Hilda isn’t untouchable, but that she’s lucky a lot of the times.
Hilda is a series for kids, but it’s also a series that any adult can enjoy. Does that make it all-ages? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m looking forward to the Netflix show coming next year, but more so more books from Pearson.