The middle grade novel A Season Most Unfair by J. Anderson Coats (Atheneum, Jun 2023) shares the common issue of a preteen girl not ready to “grow up” in the unique setting of a small town in Medieval England. Scholastica (Tick) wants to continue being her father’s candle-making partner, but to her horror, he has
As tweenaged Raina prepared for the growing pains of getting braces while beginning middle school, a surprise fall on a sidewalk knocked out her two front teeth. The autobiographic comic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix, 2010) is her growing-up story. It mixes the discomfort of growing up, the disappointment of changing friendships, and the
Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Candlewick, 2018) was a great first novel to read this year. Merci’s story of the first half of sixth grade is a sweet, fun, and tender book. It deals with the realities of growing up and watches as Merci comes to a new understanding and place of growth.
El Deafo by Cece Bell (colored by David Lasky) is a graphic novel that won the Newbery Award in 2015 for its great story. I feel like it’s well deserving for both the story and the illustration, as its graphic nature provides a unique format to tell of the author’s experiences growing up deaf in
When I was young, I loved Ann M. Martin’s books. Of course, I read The Baby-Sitter’s Club, but I also looked up everything else she wrote. The book I received for review consideration seemed eerily familiar as I read it, so I’m pretty sure I visited this once before. Bummer Summer by Ann M. Martin
Sometimes a clever and intriguing storyline makes a novel great. Sometimes, it is the interaction of a number of interesting characters. And other times, a novel is great because of the carefully developed setting that gives life to the situations and characters. In One Came Home (January 2013, Knopf Books for Young Readers), Amy Timberlake
The Newbery Honor book Savvy by Ingrid Law follows similar patterns to the middle grade novel The Lightning Thief, which I read at about the same time (thoughts here). A child (Mibs) has a birthday (this time her thirteenth) and discovers her special powers, testing them by going on a journey with other kids. Savvy
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