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, Award Winners, Bullying, friendship stories, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Positive LGBT characters

Middle Grade Monday: The Thing About Jellyfish

Multiple people, including author Carrie Mac, Danielle at Bookish Notions and Michelle from Mabel's Fables told me that this would be a book I would love. They were correct. This National Book Award nominated title falls under one of my favourite categories, Poignant Coming of Age Story, and is particularly adept at detailing not only… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: The Thing About Jellyfish

American contemporary, friendship stories, Funny Books, Graphic Novel, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Summer Reads

Middle Grade Monday: Sunny Side Up

With that bright blue cover, bouncy font and beach-y theme, Sunny Side Up looks like a typical summer read. But looks can be deceiving. Sunny Side Up is a moving story about coming to terms with difficult secrets disguised as a typical summer read. So-called 'typical' elements include a summer spent away from home, steamy days spent… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Sunny Side Up

Books for Everyone, Fairytales, Fantasy, friendship stories, Magic, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Readalouds

Middle Grade Monday: Monstrous

This cover captured my heart long before its heroine Kymera did. But now that I've read her tale, Kymera's story is one that will stay with me for a long time. In an overall strong book the character of Kymera is perhaps the strongest element and I have no doubt that other readers will root,… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Monstrous

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Bullying, friendship stories, Good Books for Boys, middle grade, multicultural cast, Mystery, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Realistic contemporary, Summer Reads

Middle Grade Monday: Goodbye Stranger

A Rebecca Stead book is always unexpected and always a delight. I very much enjoyed her Northern fantasy First Light and remember hand-selling the heck out of it to die-hard City of Ember fans in my bookseller days. Then I read When You Reach Me and was struck by how timeless it felt, despite being… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Goodbye Stranger

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, friendship stories, Funny Books, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Readalouds, Realistic contemporary, Speculative Fiction/Sci-Fi, Summer Reads, Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday: The Fourteenth Goldfish

This is one of those deceiving middle grade novels that seems straight forward and charming but is so deeply layered that the minute you try to examine it you are left with the conclusion that Jenni Holm is a genius and mere mortals should not try to dissect her work. Ellie does not know what… Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: The Fourteenth Goldfish

American contemporary, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, YA

Manhattan and Macarons: The Summer Invitation Review

This lovely confection of a book feels a bit like a contemporary fairytale, or at the very least a glimpse at what Eloise's life might have been like as a teenager. Valentine (pronounced Valen-teen) and Franny are invited to spend the summer in their eccentric and wealthy aunt's Greenwich Village apartment with sculptress and chaperone-of-many-secrets,… Continue reading Manhattan and Macarons: The Summer Invitation Review

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, friendship stories, Graphic Novel, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Realistic contemporary, Spectacular Illustrations

Skate Like a Girl: Roller Girl Review

There is a surge in middle grade graphic novels featuring female protagonists that I am totally into. Some of these books are memoirs ( Smile, Sisters, and El Deafo) and others are fiction (Drama, Chiggers, or This One Summer). Fiction or non-fiction, they are all fabulous, and now there is a new kid on the block… Continue reading Skate Like a Girl: Roller Girl Review

American contemporary, Author Interview, Award Winners, Books for Everyone, Classics, Funny Books, grief, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, The Penderwicks

Happiness is a Penderwicks Novel: The Penderwicks in Spring Review

How can a book that is ultimately about an eleven year old's belief that she is responsible for the death of those she has loved be so funny and charming? Such is the magic of The Penderwicks in Spring, the fourth in the truly classic and heartwarming Penderwicks series. We throw words like "modern classic"… Continue reading Happiness is a Penderwicks Novel: The Penderwicks in Spring Review

American contemporary, friendship stories, grief, middle grade, multicultural cast, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story

Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Waiting for Unicorns Review

Who doesn't love a unicorn myth? Author Beth Hautala weaves folklore about unicorns, whales, and specifically narwhals (the unicorns of the sea) into a gentle and lovely story about a father and daughter coming through grief in northern Manitoba. This is the kind of book we would have referred to as a "Vikki book" at… Continue reading Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Waiting for Unicorns Review