Showing posts from June, 2021

MIDDLE GRADE SPECULATIVE (Fantasy) FICTION : Pizazz, It's Not Easy Being Super... by Sophy Henn

PIZAZZ :  It's Not Easy Being Super... by Sophy Henn Aladdin, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-5344-9242-4 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 8-10 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Discover the annoying side of being a superhero from snarky, reluctant hero Pizazz in this hilarious and highly illustrated new series for young middle graders—perfect for fans of Dog Man and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Most people think superhero work is awesome and fulfilling. Pizazz knows better. Whenever she’s in the middle of a movie or having fun with her friends, she has to dash off the save the world. And she’s always in the same outfit, including an embarrassing glittery cape, and the wedgies are unreal. Plus, being the good guy all the time is so not easy. Superheroes have bad days like everybody else, but Pizazz always has to be cheerful and noble and brave. More than anything, she just wants to be normal. REVIEW There are a lot of downsides to being a superhero, according to narrator

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Strong Like the Sea by Wendy S. Swore

STRONG LIKE THE SEA by Wendy S. Swore Shadow Mountain, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-62972-902-2 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Even though twelve-year-old Alexis was born in Hawaii, she won’t surf or swim with her friends—not since the ocean and its hidden creatures swept her out to sea. Instead, she grabs her best detective hat and decodes her mom’s latest challenge. Alex’s mom works in counterintelligence and leaves codes, ciphers, and puzzles behind for Alex to solve, always with a “treasure” at the end. It’s a brilliant game between them, and Alex loves figuring out her mom’s puzzles—especially the tricky ones—but when an emergency at sea puts her mom in possible danger, solving the next one suddenly feels far more urgent. Friends help as Alex races to decipher each clue before time runs out, but when the trail leads to grumpy old Uncle, his enormous dog Sarge, and a sea turtle unlike any other, the challenge changes int

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS : The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer & My Red Hat by Rachel Stubbs

THE MIDNIGHT FAIR by Gideon Sterer, illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio Candlewick Press, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5362-1115-3 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Far from the city, but not quite the countryside, lies a fairground. When night comes and the fair is empty, something unexpected happens. Wild animals emerge from the forest, a brave raccoon pulls a lever, and the roller coasters and rides explode back into bright, neon life. It’s time for the woodland creatures to head to the fair! In a gorgeous wordless picture book, author Gideon Sterer and illustrator Mariachiara Di Giorgio offer an exuberant take on what animals are up to when humans are asleep. Suffused with color and light, the panel illustrations celebrate the inherent humor and joy in deer flying by on chair-swings, a bear winning a stuffed bear, three weasels carrying a soft pretzel, and a badger driving a bumper car. With thrills both spectacular and subtle, Mid

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

RESCUE AT LAKE WILD by Terry Lynn Johnson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021 ISBN: 978-0-358-33485-9 Source: Blue Slip Media Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK In this funny and moving animals-in-peril adventure, a twelve-year-old girl and her two best friends determine to rescue two orphaned beaver kits—and soon find themselves trying to solve a local environmental crisis.  Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison “Madi” Lewis is not allowed to bring home any more animals. After she's saved hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a stray tom cat that ended up destroying the front porch, Madi’s parents decide that if they find one more stray animal in the house, she won’t be allowed to meet Jane Goodall at an upcoming gala event. But when Madi and her two best friends, Aaron and Jack, rescue beaver kits whose mother was killed, they find themselves at the center of a local conspiracy that’s putting the beavers and their habitats in danger. As Madi an

PICTURE BOOK FICTION REVIEW : Mucky Truck by Ammi-Joan Paquette

MUCKY TRUCK by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrations by Elisa Ferro Henry Holt & Co., 2021 ISBN: 978-1-250-26380-3 Source: Nicole Banholtzer PR Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK When a little truck gets stuck in the mud, his other truck friends come to his aid. At the end of the day, it's fire engine to the rescue! And the five friends celebrate by playing together in the slippy, sloshy, oh-so-mucky mud. With bouncy verse and visual drama, this read-aloud picture book will be a hit with preschoolers and fans of  Little Blue Truck .   REVIEW Mucky Truck presents an entertaining story about a truck that dives into a "sticky, tacky" mud puddle and gets stuck.  His truck friends, Crane, Digger, and Forklift, attempt to help him get free but get stuck themselves.  What they need, it turns out, is water, and a lot of it.  Which truck friend could provide such help?  And what will the vehicles do if they manage to get free?  This book will be a h