Archive of Middle Grade


Book #33 The Family Under the Bridge

I read The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson to my 11- and 8-year-olds, based on the recommendation from The Read-Aloud Family.  It’s about an old Parisian man, Armand, who lives as a vagrant, happily and by choice.  He encounters a young mother and her three small children, who have lost their father and their home, and then his spot under the bridge.  He begrudgingly starts

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Book #30: Time Jumpers

In order of my favorite Brandon Mull series, #1 The Beyonders, #2 Fablehaven, #3 The Candy Shop Wars, #4 Five Kingdoms.  I know, it’s sacrilege not to have Fablehaven as #1, but that’s just how much I love The Beyonders series.  Having Five Kingdoms at the bottom of the list doesn’t imply that it’s bad, just not my favorite.  It was definitely fun to read aloud as a family each book as

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Book #29: Zombie Kid

The things we do for our kids, right?  Like reading Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage out loud to them because their older sister picked a “girly” book.  No offense to Savage, who impressed me at the LTUE conference, because I’m sure his other less bathroom-humor-oriented books are excellent.  This one tested my patience. Despite the gross-out jokes and general prepubescent-boys-being-them

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Book #28: Penny from Heaven

My 11-year-old wanted to read Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm for her book club.  Actually, she went to the book club without reading it, got excited by the discussion, then asked me to read it aloud to her.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t super excited about it.  My daughter couldn’t remember most of the details and the blurb on the book didn’t draw me in, but I promised and we went ahead.

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Book #20: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

I’ll admit that my only knowledge of this book was based on the Disney movie, The Secret of NIMH, and I hardly remember anything from that.  Only that it was like a horror movie done Disney-style.  Out of curiosity, I checked the description of reviews of the movie on, and though it follows the same plot, it’s not the same as what I read aloud to my 11-year-old and 8

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Book #10: The Indian in the Cupboard

Nostalgia dictates a lot of the books I choose to read aloud to my kids and this book is a prime example of it.  Oddly enough, my library didn’t have a copy of it.  Is it because of it’s outdated title?  Or no one reads it any more or remembers reading it?  No idea.  But the first book in Lynne Reid Banks’ books about Omri and his magic key are worth reading. Originally published in

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