At the very least, they've read one from that list, Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and now, Mal Peet's Keeper. These three each engage strange journeys which are largely driven by the inner lives and imaginations of the lead characters. Alice is almost entirely playful. Icarus Girl is much more spiritual, sophisticated, and scary. Mike located some terrific interviews with the author, with whom we'll try to communicate later this year. Here are a couple of the links he shared:
Keeper lies somewhere in between. It is pitched to kids this age, unlike the children's classic Alice and Oyeyemi's full-fledged novel. Its South American setting echoes much of the genre of magical realism. Unlike the other two, it has a male protagonist. In the book's narrative, he is an adult, but begins the story by recounting his early teenage years in the rainforest of an unnamed country (not quite Colombia, not quite Venezuela).
Themes that have emerged thus far: intuition; climate change; childhood; generational conflict; ostracism; celebrity. The usual array.