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 passes every day on the walk home from school suddenly has […]

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 that Jackson’s starting fifth grade, why is Crenshaw showing up again, unasked for? Jackson’s family […]

The Hate U Give movie, a review

In the movie “The Hate U Give,” 16-year-old Starr is an African-American living in what she calls “the ‘hood,” a place called Garden Heights, while attending a nearly all-white high school. She lives in both worlds, trying to fit in both places. When her childhood friend Kahlil volunteers to drive her home from a party […]

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, a review

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, a review Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Genre: Middle grade historical Not till I got to the end of this book did I realize how autobiographical it was.  It features a 12-year-old boy, Jack, in the most bizarre of towns with the most bizarre friendships […]

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 […]