American contemporary, Animal Stories, Books for Everyone, Canadian, Fantasy, friendship stories, Ghost story, Good Books for Boys, Gothic, middle grade, Mystery, Readalouds, Realistic contemporary, Summer Reads

What to Read This Summer: Middle Grade

Here are some great recent/upcoming middle grade titles for the tween in your life, or, if you're like me, your own inner tween:   The Glass Sentence Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series gets comped  a lot in fantasy, but this is the only book I've read in recent memory that lives up to it in… Continue reading What to Read This Summer: Middle Grade

Award Winners, Classics, Fairytales, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Ghost story, Gothic, Magic, middle grade, Mystery, Personal Faves, Uncategorized

Of Ghosts, Mice & Manors: Goth Girl Review

There are ghost stories and there are mouse stories, but to my knowledge Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is the first book to weave both together and boy is it a charmer! One of our favourite gems at the Flying Dragon Bookshop was the Ottoline series by UK National treasure, Chris Riddell. These deluxe little… Continue reading Of Ghosts, Mice & Manors: Goth Girl Review

Cross over, Fantasy, Ghost story, Gothic, Mystery, Summer Reads, Uncategorized, YA

Love in the Time of Influenza: In the Shadow of Blackbirds Review

I am a sucker for all things Gothic. The Victorians may have had some weird ideas about things, but they certainly make for excellent fiction. Such is the case in this debut YA novel, In The Shadow Of Blackbirds, which lacked a little in richness and depth but nevertheless was a compelling and original story.… Continue reading Love in the Time of Influenza: In the Shadow of Blackbirds Review

American contemporary, friendship stories, Ghost story, Gothic, middle grade, Mystery, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story

Perfectly Creepy: Doll Bones Review

I don't know what it is about dolls, but they are the perfect subject for creepy stories. One of my favourite scary stories is The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Wren Wright, which I recommended on Bookish Notions last Halloween . Doll Bones is a rare breed, a true cross-genre tale with both literary and commercial appeal. Zach, Poppy and… Continue reading Perfectly Creepy: Doll Bones Review

American contemporary, Ghost story, Mystery, YA

So Many Ways to be Haunted: Paper Valentine Review

I really must learn to not judge a book by its cover. I looked at this beautiful cover and thought, steampunk horror story, ala Masque of the Red Death. Paper Valentine is in fact an unusual blend of ghost story, murder mystery, issues novel and romance. Although I had some issues with the characters and… Continue reading So Many Ways to be Haunted: Paper Valentine Review

Classics, Cross over, Fairytales, Fantasy, Ghost story, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Magic, middle grade, Personal Faves, Readalouds

A Gothic Masterpiece: Splendors & Glooms review

Be prepared- this review contains spoilers and incessant gushing. A Drowned Maiden's Hair remains one of my favourite contemporary middle grade books and I could not wait to read Schlitz's next book Splendors and Glooms, which seemed perfectly Victorian and gothic and creepy. The wait was worthwhile, and this book has vaulted into my best… Continue reading A Gothic Masterpiece: Splendors & Glooms review

Cross over, Ghost story, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Positive Gay Characters, YA

All That Jazz: The Diviners Review

I never know what to expect when I pick up a Libba Bray novel, other than YA genius. Where content or style is concerned, there is very little in common between the Gemma Doyle trilogy, Going Bovine, Beauty Queens, and The Diviners. Bray has the ability to slip between styles like no other YA author.… Continue reading All That Jazz: The Diviners Review

American contemporary, Cross over, Ghost story, Good Books for Boys, Gothic, Mystery, Summer Reads, YA

Buffy Re-vamped and Then Some: Anna Dressed in Blood Review

I have mentioned before how much I love ghost stories, which make up a large portion of my summer reading. I think it has something to do with discovering Christopher Pike and Mary Downing Hahn's The Doll House Murders at the library the summer I was ten. Now when the weather turns hot, I crave… Continue reading Buffy Re-vamped and Then Some: Anna Dressed in Blood Review

Ghost story, Gothic, Mystery, YA

Starstruck by Maureen Johnson: The Name of the Star Review

Jack the Ripper, English boarding school, ghosts, teen detective squads. This is enough information to pique my interest, but I was skeptical that it would come together until the name Maureen Johnson was attached. Now I am on board. Rory Deveaux moves from rural Louisiana to London to start a new life at a British… Continue reading Starstruck by Maureen Johnson: The Name of the Star Review

Canadian, Ghost story, Good Books for Boys, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA

Neil Flambé’s Twisted Sister: The Dead Kid Detective Agency Review

Mystery is always a popular choice among young readers, and as Kevin Sylvester as proved with his successful Neil Flambé series, mystery with a bit of humour and some spot illustrations is even better. Evan Munday's new series is a great step up for older Flambé fans. His text is full of pop culture references,… Continue reading Neil Flambé’s Twisted Sister: The Dead Kid Detective Agency Review