Oh, I know you, Omnivoracious reader. You're already browsing the August books. You're even looking ahead to what's coming out in the fall. But there's a little time travel trick that would benefit both you and your children: take a trip back to June, when Random House released The Lost Art by Simon Morden. It's a delightfully complex children's book that explores a post-apocalyptic world.
What's it about? "One thousand years after the formidable war machines of the User cultures devoured entire civilizations and rewrote planetary geography, Earth is in the grip of a perpetual Dark Age. Scientific endeavor is strongly discouraged, while remnant technology is locked away—hidden by a Church determined to prevent a new Armageddon. This is the world to which Benzamir Michael Mahmood must return. A descendant of the tribes who fled the planet during those ages old wars, he comes in pursuit of enemies from the far reaches of space. The technology he brings is wondrous beyond the imaginings of those he will meet, but can its potency match that of the Church’s most closely guarded treasure? For centuries it has lain dormant, but it is about to be unearthed, and the powers that will be unleashed may be beyond anyone’s capacity to control. Even a man as extraordinary as Benzamir..."
This is an audacious concept for this audience, but it works. If you're looking for something different, you should check it out before you go a-seeking amongst those alluring August titles.