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 […]

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.

Flight of the Bluebird by Kara LaReau, a review

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 of excitement in their lives.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]