American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Canadian, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Uncategorized, Writing

Why Do So Few Characters Get Their Periods in Middle Grade Fiction?

Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day, a day dedicated to busting taboos and myths around periods. Fifty percent of the population gets a period, and yet people are still uncomfortable talking about it. There are lots of great non-fiction books for kids that cover puberty, but what about fiction? Most girls get their periods between 10-15… Continue reading Why Do So Few Characters Get Their Periods in Middle Grade Fiction?

American contemporary, friendship stories, Historical Fiction, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Positive LGBT characters, Realistic contemporary, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, Uncategorized, YA

What I Read in 2016: YA

I read a LOT of fab YA this year, some of which I won't go into here but you should definitely pick up (A Torch Against the Night! Empire of Storms! The Sun is Also a Star!). This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some YA titles that made me think, slipped… Continue reading What I Read in 2016: YA

American contemporary, Animal Stories, Books for Everyone, Bullying, Canadian, Good Books for Boys, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Readalouds, Realistic contemporary, Uncategorized, War

Middle Grade Gift Suggestions 2016

Last week I got to talk to one of my favourite people, Ann Foster, about middle grade fiction. When not working at the Saskatoon Public Library recco-ing kids and teen books, she is writing about fashion in TV over at You Know You Love Fashion (currently chronicling the enviable wardrobe of Phryne Fisher) and spearheading a… Continue reading Middle Grade Gift Suggestions 2016

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Fantasy, friendship stories, Ghost story, Graphic Novel, grief, middle grade, multicultural cast, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Realistic contemporary, Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday: Ghosts

Cat is not at all excited to be moving to foggy, seaside Bahia de la Luna, particularly when she learns that it is a sort of capital for ghosts. But doctors have agreed that it is a better place for her sister Maya, who has Cystic Fibrosis. Cat is torn between wanting to make new… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Ghosts

American contemporary, friendship stories, Funny Books, middle grade, multicultural cast, Realistic contemporary, Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday: Two Naomis

It's awkward enough watching your parent date, but the situation is much, much worse when the daughter of your parent's new SO is not only the same age but has the same name as you. Such is the premise for Two Naomis, a charming story about Naomi E and Naomi M (who ends up taking… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Two Naomis

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Bullying, Canadian, Classics, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Good Books for Boys, Gothic, Graphic Novel, grief, Historical Fiction, Magic, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Positive Gay Characters, Positive LGBT characters, Realistic contemporary, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, Uncategorized, War, WWII

Middle Grade Monday: Fall 2016 Preview

This has already been a staggeringly good year for middle grade (don't call it a comeback), with personal favourites such as Raymie Nightingale, The Wild Robot, Look Out for the Fitzgerald Trouts, and Pax garnering all sorts of buzz and attention. Here is a sampling of the new kids on the block this fall: Ghosts … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Fall 2016 Preview

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Canadian, Classics, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Ghost story, Good Books for Boys, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, middle grade, Mystery, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, Summer Reads, Uncategorized, War

Middle Grade Monday: Summer Reading Picks 2016

Whether you're lakeside, poolside, or inside, summer is the best time to read. Silly, spooky, thought-provoking and engrossing; here are some new(ish) books guaranteed to keep you or the middle grade reader in your life occupied this summer. Wolf Hollow We all have those keystone books in our lives, the ones so deeply affecting that… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Summer Reading Picks 2016

American contemporary, Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Classics, friendship stories, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday: Raymie Nightingale

There is a whole generation who will look back at two-time Newbery medalist and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Kate DiCamillo the way my generation looks back at Gordon Korman, Judy Blume, Kit Pearson or Beverly Cleary. In fact, in an EW article DiCamillo names Cleary as a major influence for her latest novel, the superlative… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Raymie Nightingale

American contemporary, Animal Stories, Books for Everyone, Classics, friendship stories, Good Books for Boys, middle grade, Readalouds, Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday: The Wild Robot

You may know Peter Brown as the author-illustrator of the very funny Children Make Terrible Pets, My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not) or the earnest and lovely The Curious Garden. In his first middle grade book The Wild Robot Brown asserts himself as a deft novelist, with a fresh twist on the classic… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: The Wild Robot

American contemporary, Animal Stories, Books for Everyone, Classics, Good Books for Boys, middle grade, Personal Faves, War

Middle Grade Monday: Pax

I have always wanted a Direwolf of my own, so perhaps it is of no surprise that the last two books I've read have featured wild dogs: wolves in Wolf Wilder and foxes in Pax. What better way to explore humanity, our relationship with the wilderness, and our kinship with animals? I am a long-time Sara… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Pax