Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, a review

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012), tells a middle-grade whodunit with the unforgettable Southern voice of a rising sixth-grader, Mo.

Mo lives with the eccentric proprietors of the town diner, Lana and the Colonel. No matter that the Colonel has amnesia and can’t remember his life before he got to the North Carolina hamlet of Tupelo Landing in a hurricane eleven years before.

Mo doesn’t know her past either– the Colonel rescued her, a baby he plucked from the flotsam and jetsam in the river in that same storm. But she yearns for her Upstream Mother , writes letters to her in her diary—and sends notes to her bobbing down North Carolina streams in bottles.

When a grumpy local turns up murdered, Mo and her friend Dale set out to solve the case. Her drawl and plucky spirit pull the reader through a page-turner story filled with unforgettable characters.  Will Mo find the murderer? Will she find her mother?

I’ll give this Newbery Honor winner five stars. * * * * *

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, a review

Sal Vidon, able narrator, is somehow calm when outrageous things are happening. And plenty of outrageous things do happen in this book, so the result is hilarious. Carlos Hernandez' middle grade novel Sal and Gabi Break the Universe focuses on … [Continue reading]

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a review

I really enjoy time-slip novels--where two stories are told, one in the past, one in the present, alternating chapters. So I was glad to find this middle-grade mystery novel with time-slip, published in 2018. Also, it focuses on race issues, a topic … [Continue reading]

Big Foot and Little Foot: The Squatchicorns, by Ellen Potter, a review

This chapter book, The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter, tells a yarn just for that young reader who likes gentle, fantastic stories. Engaging illustrations by Felicita Sala bring it to life. It's the third book in a series about a friendship between … [Continue reading]

How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, a review

I couldn't put this book down, and it's been a while since that happened! How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, published in 2019, gives us a gripping middle-grade mystery about World War II. Thirteen-year-old Bertie starts volunteering as a … [Continue reading]

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, a review

Louisiana’s Way Home, a middle-grade historical  novel by Kate DiCamillo, took ahold of my heart somehow. I read it a couple of days ago, and it’s still hanging around in my mind. I think it’s the amazing combination of the quirky characters, … [Continue reading]

Flight of the Bluebird by Kara LaReau, a review

(Book giveaway! scroll down for details.) Flight of the Bluebird is the third and final book of the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters. It's a middle-grade adventure featuring the twins from Dullsville who are learning to like a bit … [Continue reading]

The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix, a review

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler, by John Hendrix, is a hybrid graphic novel for teens and adults,  telling an unforgettable story in an unforgettable way. It was published in 2018 by Amulet. The book alternates … [Continue reading]

The Hotel Between by Sean Easley, a review

The Hotel Between by Sean Easley, a middle grade fantasy published 2018 by Simon and Schuster, 341 pages: a review. Cameron, age 12, lives in Texas with his grandma and twin sister Cass, who is confined to a wheelchair. A vacant strip mall he … [Continue reading]

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review Published 2015 by MacMillan, 245 pages Genre: Middle grade, realistic with a touch of fantasy Crenshaw, a huge cat, used to be Jackson's invisible friend -- when Jackson was three years younger. So now … [Continue reading]