Heart of Stone : a Verity Gallant Tale by M. L. Welsh. David Fickling Books, 2012.

This continues the children's tale begun in Welsh's Mistress of the Storm. Verity and her friends have enjoyed a fine summer, but in the fall, strange things again occur: the ground is eroding, and fine sand infiltrates all aspects of village life, even to erasing the words from ancient books in the library. The sand comes from the body of the Earth Witch, who was crushed into a million pieces by the Wind Witch many years ago, and who is on the verge of re-assembling herself. Once again, Verity and her friends must try to find the cause and stop the damage.

I love the way the author brings the library into the novel as the command center where the characters do research, maintenance on the damaged texts, and plot their next moves in the defeat of the Earth Witch's nefarious plans. The children are smart, have believable skills and feelings, and there's a hint of a budding romance in the works, too.

Eyre Affair
The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde. Viking, 2002.

Thursday Next is a Crimean War veteran and Litera Tec employee responsible for maintaining the integrity of classic literature in England. Because time-travel is common, it is possible to change the texts, thereby altering plots and characters. Thursday tracks down all such incidents and arranges for the arrest of the perps. The invention of the Prose Portal complicates matters by allowing real people to slip into the worlds of the novels and interact with its characters.

Part sci-fi, part mystery, part punny literary folly, this rollicking read is the first of the Tuesday Next novels.