Showing posts from 2020

MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY FICTION : The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver

THE MAGNIFICENT MONSTERS OF CEDAR STREET by Lauren Oliver Harper, 2020 ISBN: 978-0-06-234507-3 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them.
But their work must be kept secret—others aren’t welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call “monsters”?
One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared—along with nearly all the monsters.
With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is).
Cordelia Clay and her …

EARLY CHAPTER FANTASY BOOK : Our Friend Hedgehog--The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo

OUR FRIEND HEDGEHOG~The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo Alfred A. Knopf, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5247-6671-9 Source: purchased Ages 6-9 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Sometimes you make a friend,  and it feels like you have known that friend your entire life. . . .
Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company. When a great storm carries Mutty away, she embarks on a quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who's new to the neighborhood, Annika May. With bravery and teamwork, there's nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other.
The first book in a new series from Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo, Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us has the feel of a timeless classic, introducing an unforgettable ca…


WE ARE POWER How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World by Todd Hasak-Lowy Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-4197-4111-1 Source: publisher for review Ages 10-14 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
We Are Power brings to light the incredible individuals who have used nonviolent activism to change the world. The book explores questions such as what is nonviolent resistance and how does it work? In an age when armies are stronger than ever before, when guns seem to be everywhere, how can people confront their adversaries without resorting to violence themselves? Through key international movements as well as people such as Gandhi, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Václav Havel, this book discusses the components of nonviolent resistance. It answers the question “Why nonviolence?” by showing how nonviolent movements have succeeded again and again in a variety of ways, in all sorts of places, and always in the face of overwhelming odds. The book in…

MIDDLE GRADE MYSTERY FICTION : The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray

THE AMELIA SIX by Kristin L. Gray Paula Wiseman Books, 2020 ISBN : 9781534418851 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Amelia Earhart’s famous aviator goggles go missing and eleven-year-old Millie has to find them before the night is over in this girl-powered middle grade whodunit.
Eleven-year-old Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any, that is)—doesn’t realize just how much adventure awaits her when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to spend the night in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home with five other girls. Make that five strangers. But Millie’s mom is a pilot like the famous Amelia, and Millie would love to have something to write to her about…if only she had her address.
Once at Amelia’s house in Atchison, Kansas, Millie stumbles upon a display of Amelia’s famous flight goggles. She can’t believe her good luck, since they’re about to be relocated to a fancy museum in Washington, DC. But her luck change…

MIDDLE GRADE HISTORICAL FICTION & MYSTERY : Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce

PREMEDITATED MYRTLE A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery #1 by Elizabeth C. Bunce Algonquin Young Readers, 2020 To be released in October 2020 Source: ARC from publisher for review (Thank you!) Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.

When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes her — not even her father, the town prosecutor.
Myrtle Hardcastle's fascina…


INTO THE CLOUDS The Race to Climb the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Todd Olson Scholastic FOCUS, 2020 ISBN: 9781338207361 Source: ARC from Blue Slip Media Ages 9-14 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
A tale of survival and brotherhood atop one of the deadliest mountains on Earth.
This fast-paced, three-part narrative takes readers on three expeditions over 15 years to K2, one of the deadliest mountains on Earth. Roped together, these teams of men face perilously high altitudes and battering storms in hopes of reaching the summit. As each expedition sets out, they carve new paths along icy slopes and unforgiving rock, creating camps on ledges so narrow they fear turning over in their sleep.

But disaster strikes -- in 1939, four men never make it down the mountain. Fourteen years later, a man develops blood clots in his legs at 25,000 feet, leaving his team with no safe path off the mountain. Into the Clouds tells the stories of the men whose quest to conqu…

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens

THE DISASTER DAYS by Rebecca Behrens Sourcebooks Young Readers, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-4926-7331-6 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. It's a little disconnected from the outside world, but she's always felt completely safe there.

Which is why when she's asked one day to babysit after school, she thinks it's no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class that she's pretty sure makes her an expert. She isn't even worried that she left her inhaler at home.

Then the shaking begins.

The terrifying earthquake only lasts four minutes but it changes everything, damaging the house, knocking out the power, and making cell service nonexistent. Even worse, the ferry and the bridge connecting the kids to help―and their parents―are both blocked. Which means they're stranded and alone... With Hannah in charge, as…

GRAPHIC NOVEL FICTION REVIEWS : Investigators by John Patrick Green & HILO: All the Pieces Fit by Judd Winick

INVESTIGATORS by John Patrick Green First Second, 2020 ISBN: 9781250219954 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
sewer-loving agents of S.U.I.T.* and scourge of supervillains everywhere!

With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve! Can Mango and Brash uncover the clues, crack their cases, and corral the crooks—or will the criminals wriggle out of their grasp?

*Special Undercover Investigation Teams
In this amusing tale of mystery and mayhem, two alligators investigate the disappearance of a famous chef.  In the process they stumble across another crime involving the theft of a mysterious device called the Thingamabob.  Using secret passages through toilets and mustache disguises, Mango and Brash seek to find the perpet…

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Don't Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise

DON'T CHECK OUT THIS BOOK! by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise Algonquin Young Readers, 2020 ISBN: 9781616209766 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Is the sweet town of Appleton ripe for scandal?

Consider the facts:
Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. (Say it fast.)
Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her.
Ten-year-old Reid Durr is staying up way too late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous's controversial "green dot" collection.
The new school board president has mandated a student dress code that includes white gloves and bow ties available only at her shop.

Sound strange? Fret not. Appleton's fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the funniest, most rotten core of their town's juiciest scandal. Don't miss this seedy saga from the creators of the award-winning Three-Ring Rascals and…

MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY FICTION : Fire in the Star by Kamilla Benko

FIRE IN THE STAR The Unicorn Quest #3 by Kamilla Benko Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020 ISBN: 9781681192499 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)
Ages 9-12
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

After a lifetime of being the younger sister--of letting Sophie fight her battles, of following her on countless Experiences and through a fireplace into a magical land--it's finally Claire Martinson's turn to lead. And she'll do anything to keep her big sister safe: resist the wraiths' cold shadows, experiment with new and dangerous magic, become a thief in disguise.

When Claire discovers that "only a queen can defeat a queen," she knows she must steal and reforge the ancient Crown of Arden to stand a chance against the darkness that threatens the world and her family. Because Queen Estelle d'Astora, desperate to reclaim her power, will stop at nothing to gain the support of the four guilds--even if it means killing the last unicorn. Clai…

EARLY READER FICTION : Fergus and Zeke and the Field Day Challenge by Kate Messner and Houndsley and Catina at the Library by James Howe

HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA AT THE LIBRARY by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay Candlewick Press, 2020 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9662-7 Source: purchased Ages 5-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

It's Saturday, and Houndsley, Catina, and their friend Bert are looking forward to their weekly visit to the library. But when the trio arrives, they find that Trixie, the librarian, seems different. She doesn't tell a joke or recommend a book like she always does. That's when the friends find out the news -- the library is closing! With Trixie retiring and enrolled in circus school, there's no one to take her place as head librarian . . . or is there? James Howe and Marie-Louise Gay have created another engaging tale about what it means to be a supportive friend and how it's never too late to learn something new.


In this delightful early reader about friendship and libraries, Houndsley, Catina, and Bert set off for the library as they do every Satu…

MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION : Breaking Through by Sue Macy & Turn it Up! by Joel Levy

BREAKING THROUGH How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties by Sue Macy National Geographic Kids, 2020 ISBN: 9781426336768 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 10-14 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Macy offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into the journey of women's rights through the lens of women in sports during the pivotal decade of the 1920s. With elegant prose, poignant wit, and fascinating primary sources, Macy explores the many hurdles presented to female athletes as they stormed the field, stepped up to bat, and won the right to compete in sports. Featuring bold and talented heroines, this book documents how the social issues and morals of the decade--from politics to segregation to the media--helped shape the changing narratives around women and alter the course of history entirely. It is a fascinating window into a rich and seldom explored history, and also a topical reminder of the many discussions surrounding feminin…

GRAPHIC NOVEL FICTION : Fox & Rabbit by Beth Ferry

FOX & RABBIT by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Gergely Dudas Amulet Books, 2020 ISBN: 9781419740770 Source: purchased Ages 6-9 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A graphic-novel series for emerging readers about the simple magic of true friendship

Easy-going Fox and anxious Rabbit seem like total opposites. But, somehow, they make the perfect pair! Whether searching for hidden treasure or planting a garden in their own backyard, Fox and Rabbit find everyday magic at every turn. On this first adventure, the pair will discover some new favorite things like sunsets, dandelions, and cotton candy. And they’ll face new fears like heights, swimming, and (poisonous!) frogs. Thankfully, there’s nothing Fox and Rabbit can’t do together!


Fox and Rabbit enjoy doing many things together, such as looking at cloud shapes.  When one of those shapes turns out to be a chunk of cotton candy, it leads them to the local fair.  This begins a series of adventures involving playing…

MIDDLE GRADE MAGICAL REALISM: Willa and the Whale by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

WILLA AND THE WHALE by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown Shadow Mountain, 2020 ISBN: 9781629727318 Source: ARC from publisher for review (Thanks!) Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

After losing her mom, Willa is grieving and having a hard time living with her dad and his new family on an island off the coast of Washington State. Her dad tries to cheer her up by taking her whale watching, something Willa's mom used to do.

While all the passengers are on one side of the boat, Willa encounters a humpback whale on the opposite side. Willa feels so lonely that she starts to talk to the whale—and the whale talks back!

The whale, named Meg, quickly becomes a trusted friend and confidante Willa can speak to whenever she's by the ocean.

Meg offers sound advice Willa needs about dealing with a nemesis at school and trying to figure out why her friend Marc is keeping secrets about his family life.

Before the story ends, it will take all of Willa's courage and conn…