With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Frontier Magic (series) by Patricia C. Wrede

Are you a fan of magic? Do you like stories set during the American frontier times? This series might be something that interests you. A few reviewers have called it Little House on the Pairie meets Harry Potter.

Frontier Magic has three books (The Thirteenth Child, Across the Great Barrier, The Far West) that focus on Eff Rothmer, the older sister of a set of twins growing up in frontier times in an alternate USA, called Columbia. Eff, real name Francine, is a hard-working girl who loves her large family. Her brother Lan is the 7th son of a 7th son, and he is the one everyone around them expect to do great things. Eff has to battle other people's misconceptions that she will be very unlucky because she was born the 13th child.

The first book takes Eff from 5 years old to 16 years as her family moves to a university town on the edge of the frontier along what would be the Mississippi River. As Eff gets older, she finds aptitudes for other forms of magic and an affinity for working with animals. That makes her one of the perfect candidates to go on exploratory missions to find out what is out there. Her different way of seeing and working with magic often saves the day when her companions have a hard time, but Eff is always humble about her achievements. By the time we get to the end of the third book, Eff is 22 years old, and we know that she will continue exploring and having adventures in the world around her.

This book is considered a Young Adult title, but it is perfect for anyone who wants to read about a strong but kind heroine with strong family ties. It also works for people who love adventure from the back of a horse and those who like alternate histories.

If the Frontier Magic series interests you, feel free to request the books and check them out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.