The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes, a review

In The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes (2012), Marcus Frye has learned a bit of magic that sometimes works. He’s the 14-year-old orphan apprentice to the magician Master Zyll.

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson, a review

In the book Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson (2006), Silver is a plucky 11-year-old whose parents and sister vanished four years ago. She’s being cared for by a selfish mean woman in the family mansion, Tanglewreck, one of those old English manor houses with a lot of mysteries to it.

The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, a review

The Book of the King (2007), by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, tells a tale full of the supernatural. Its young protagonist, Owen, is one courageous guy.

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade novel and series opener, involves two worlds.

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin, a review

The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin, a series of two books published in 2016 and 2017, provides a dystopian Jurassic Park tale for middle-graders. Plucky Sky Mundy, in an underground colony in what once was northern Indiana, is just one of a few hundred humans alive, survivors of a plague.

We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, a review

One thousand refugees from Earth, likely the only survivors, are in a spaceship orbiting a populated planet, hoping for permission to land. If they can’t live on Choom, they’ll perish –their food and fuel are nearly gone. They came because they were invited twenty years ago when they set out from Mars, asleep on autopilot. […]

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 […]

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 out-of-this-world humor and on an ethnic group, Cuban-Americans. I came away feeling refreshed and much […]

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 dear to my heart. In fact, it’s written by an African-American about African-Americans. […]

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 bicycle messenger for the civil defense organization. It’s early 1944. The Germans are bombing […]