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MIDDLE GRADE SPECULATIVE FICTION : Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull

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WRATH OF THE DRAGON KING Dragonwatch #2 by Brandon Mull Shadow Mountain, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-62972-486-7 Source: publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK War has come to the dragon sanctuaries of the world and nowhere is the danger more intense than at Wyrmroost. After a humiliating defeat at the hands of Kendra and Seth, Celebrant, King of Dragons, prepares to unleash his fury and take control of his native preserve. Armed with information from a new ally Ronodin, the dark unicorn Celebrant seeks a legendary talisman the dominion stone.

However, the powerful stone is protected by a cursed castle. Upon entering the castle fortress, an unyielding power strips all magical beings of their power and forces Celebrant to take his human avatar form. Kendra and Seth must enter the cursed castle as well. The race is on. Will the two young caretakers rally enough support from the creatures of Wyrmroost against the greatest threat the magical communi…

PICTURE BOOK FICTION REVIEWS : EEK! A Noisy Journey from A to Z by Julie Larios and Julie Paschkis & I'm Afraid Your Teddy is in the Principal's Office by Jancee Dunn

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EEK! A Noisy Journey from A to Z by Julie Larios and Julie Paschkis Peachtree Publishing, 2020 ISBN: 9781682631690 Ages 2-6 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK A boisterous trip through the alphabet--letter by letter and sound by noisy sound!

This story begins quietly as Mouse selects a flower for someone very dear to him. Then the fun begins! To complete his journey, Mouse must make his way through the alphabet. One sniff of his special flower--Achoo!--and a bee flies out--Bzzz! Readers will love meeting the colorful parade of characters along Mouse's trek and will cheer when he reaches his destination and presents the flower to... Well, that part of the story is a surprise!

Author Julie Larios and illustrator Julie Paschkis have collaborated to create an entertaining combination of clever text and lively art. With its fun--and onomatopoeic--sounds, and its parade of colorful characters, this distinctive picture book will delight y…

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Posted by John David Anderson

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POSTED by John David Anderson Walden Pond Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-06-233820-4 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note wa…

A NEW FAVORITE PICTURE BOOK SERIES : When Pencil Met Eraser and When Pencil Met the Markers by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr.

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WHEN PENCIL MET ERASERStory by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr, Illustrated by German BlancoImprint, 2019ISBN: 9781250309396Source: purchasedAges 3-8All opinions expressed are solely my own.ABOUT THE BOOKEver wonder why there's a little pink eraser on every pencil? Find out in this picture book that tells the true story of how Pencil and Eraser became the best of friends.

When Pencil draws on the pages of this book, Eraser erases parts of Pencil's work, and the book itself becomes a canvas for their different takes on creativity--until the two discover their artwork is even better when they work together. REVIEW This delightful story provides an explanation for how pencil and eraser came together.  Pencil loves to draw and is very good at it.  Pencil is not impressed when Eraser erased some of the picture Pencil drew. Pencil tries to ignore Eraser, but Eraser continues to change Pencil's pictures. Finally, Pencil tries to stump Eraser's creativity only to fin…

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Dan Unmasked by Chris Negron

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DAN UNMASKEDby Chris NegronHarper, 2020ISBN: 9780062943064Source: ARC from Blue Slip MediaAges 9-12All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOKWhether they’re on the baseball field or in Nate’s basement, devouring the newest issue of their favorite comic book, Dan and Nate are always talking. Until they’re not.

After an accident at baseball practice—an accident that Dan is certain he caused—Nate’s stuck in a coma. Usually, Dan can rely on his and Nate’s superpower—the secret language that only they know, a language of raised eyebrows and subtle nose taps.

Now, if Dan ever wants to see Nate tap his nose again, he’s got to figure out a way to wake him up. But for all the time he’s spent reading about the adventures of Captain Nexus, Dan knows he’s no superhero. Heroes have powers—and without Nate, all Dan has is a closet stuffed with comics and a best-friend shaped hole in his heart. There’s no way a regular kid can save the day all on his own. Right?REVIEWBaseball …

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

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AMERICAN AS PANEER PIE by Supriya Kelkar Aladdin, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5344-3938-2 Source: publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK
An Indian-American girl who struggles to navigate her two very different lives: the one at home, where she can be herself, and the one at school, where she is teased for her culture. When a racist incident rocks her small town, she must decide to continue to remain silent or find her voice.
REVIEW
This book was eye-opening in a lot of ways.  The themes that permeate the book are so relevant to the world today.  The story revolves around Lekha Divekar, a young Indian American girl who wants so badly to belong with her classmates.  Her parents are immigrants from India and have kept many of their traditions.  Lekha enjoys many of these traditions but she dislikes having to always answer questions about her traditions and beliefs.  She's also been bullied and stereotyped by those around her.  She does her best to quietly …

MIDDLE GRADE GRAPHIC NOVEL : Great White Shark Adventure by James O. Fraioli

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GREAT WHITE SHARK ADVENTURE Fabien Cousteau Expeditions written by James O. Fraioli, illustrated by Joe St. Pierre Margaret K. McElderrry Books, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5344-2087-8 Source: publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Two young explorers join Fabien Cousteau and his team to get up close and personal with great white sharks in this start to a series of graphic adventure novels.
Junior explorers Bella and Marcus join famed explorer Fabien Cousteau and his research team as they embark on an ocean journey off the coast of South Africa, where the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks are found. Their mission is to investigate a sighting of a massive white shark, and tag it so they can track and protect it. Along the way, they’ll encounter whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and a colorful array of other marine life. They’ll also enter a shark cage and come face to face with these powerful creatures. 
Dramatic, graphic illustrations and…