My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver, a review

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver Published 2018 by Candlewick Press, 268 pages Genre: Middle Grade historical It’s April, 1970, in Red Grove, Alabama. Lu, a sixth-grade girl from a Venezuelan family, just wants to get along socially. The schools have been integrated for only six months, and the town is divided […]

Greetings From Witness Protection! by Jake Burt, a review

Greetings From Witness Protection! by Jake Burt, a review Published 2017, MacMillan Publishing Group, 358 pages Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Thirteen-year-old Nicki woos the reader with her strong and quirky personality. We quickly fall in love with this kid in the foster care system who’s gotten the raw end of the deal consistently, with no […]

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, a review

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, illustrated by Katie Hartnett Published by Chronicle Books, 2018, 299 pages Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Grisha the dragon had a very unfortunate encounter with a sorcerer named Leopold, and as a result spent a century or so as an enchanted teapot. After he’s freed, soon he’s confined to […]

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara LaReau, a review

The Jolly Regina and The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau, Books 1 and 2 of the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, a review. Published 2017 and 2018 by Amulet Books, New York, each about 160 pages, illustrated by Jen Hill Genre: Middle grade, aimed at kids about twelve years old These books both break a […]

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, a review

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, Book 2 of the Littlest Bigfoot series, a review Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, 317 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approximately 12 years old I was trying to get a recently published book to read and ended up with this one, which […]

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, a review

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz series #1, a review Published 2007 by Scholastic, 308 pages Genre: Middle grade humorous fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old This engaging and funny book promises to encourage reluctant readers with plenty of improbable silliness. Its only flaw is that it isn’t all that […]

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, a review

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Book 1 of The Seelie Wars, a review Published 2013 by Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, 232 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old Snail is her name, and she’s an odd person in the Unseelie Court. She’s a midwife’s apprentice, clumsy, […]

Dear White Christian, a review

Dear White Christian by Aaron J. Layton Published 2017 by the Committee on Discipleship Ministries, Lawrenceville, GA Nonfiction, 120 pages I am a writer of fiction for twelve-year-olds. In my manuscripts, I have found myself returning again and again to the theme of racial reconciliation through the eyes of a white person. So I was […]

Prince Oleomargarine, Mark Twain’s new book for kids: a review

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illus. by Erin Stead Genre: Middle Grade read-aloud picture book, 8 1/2 x 11-inch format, 152 pages Published 2017 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers Great news for Mark Twain fans! An unfinished children’s tale was found in 2011 in Twain’s papers–misfiled under recipes, […]

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, a review

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool Published 2010 by Delacorte Press, 351 pages Genre: Historical middle grade/tween fiction, Newbery Medal winner Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker arrives in the dusty, underpopulated town of Manifest, Kansas, during the height of the Great Depression, sent there by her drifter father who for some reason thinks she needs to stop […]