Archive of Middle Grade

16Dec2018

Book #70: Searching for Dragons

As I finished up these posts, I started to notice something startling.  My numbers on Goodreads didn’t match my numbers on the blog.  That’s like when you balance your checkbook and notice you’re a dollar off.  I could ignore it, but I don’t want to.  It took some digging, but I found way back in January, I had finished reading Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede in the first fe

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Book #66: The Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy

Is it bad manners to say ditto again?  The third book in the Beyonders series might be my favorite, but that might be because I’m so emotionally invested in these characters that I feel every step they take with such weight.  Dang, this series is good. Goodreads rating: 5 stars

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Book #61: The Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion

I reviewed the first book in this series here.  The second has far more world-building, which I enjoy.  I don’t have much to add to that review, so I’m going to make this easy on myself and say ditto.  Five stars, baby.

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12Dec2018

Book #60: The Underneath

I’ve reviewed The Underneath by Kathi Appelt here, and it’s a pretty good summary, but I read it aloud to my kids over a year ago as well.  When I was writing the syllabus for my book discussion group, we had just read it aloud and I knew I wanted to introduce it to more young people in the world. It’s always easy to discuss a book based on what happened and who was in it. I wanted to ta

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Book #58: Dragonwatch: The Wrath of the Dragon King

The sequel to Brandon Mull’s first Dragonwatch book, which I briefly reviewed here, was just as fun, action-packed and great as a read aloud as expected.  I love enjoying these books as a family, all experiencing the highs and lows together.  To top it off, we went and met Brandon Mull at a book signing in Portland a few days after we finished reading it.  My kids hammered him with questions,

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12Dec2018

Book #55: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

My kids all have book-related names and after four girls, my husband and I were stumped by what we should name our first boy.  What boy from our favorite books should we name him after?  Who do we like enough and also like his name enough to name our child after him?  Tom Sawyer was the answer.  While our Sawyer isn’t as conniving, devious, or reckless (sometimes), he does share the qualitie

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11Dec2018

Book #53: Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was one of my favorite books when I was a kid.  I wanted to be a spy just like Harriet.  I even got myself a notebook and old clothes good for climbing fences and into dumbwaiters.  Unfortunately, I didn’t live in New York City, I lived in suburban Kansas City, Kansas.  Nobody had a dumbwaiter in their split-level home.  Nobody was even around worth spying

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11Dec2018

Book #51: The Mysterious Benedict Society

I already blogged about The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart here, but I’m so glad I read it again for the book discussion group.  Introducing another generation to this amazing book is always worth a re-read. Reading it again always makes me ask the question, which character am I most like?  Constance, probably, as much as I hate to admit.  What about you? Goodreads r

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11Dec2018

Book #50: My Life With the Liars

If a middle grade reader ever asks you, “Do you know of any books about cults that I could read?” and you want to make sure it’s appropriate for their age, this would be the book for you.  Otherwise, I don’t know why you’d want to read My Life with the Liars by Caela Carter.  It was hard reading.  Cults give me the jeebies.  But I’m glad I read it because my girls were all reading

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11Dec2018

Book #49: The Trumpet of the Swan

Are you one of those people who hate talking animal stories?  Or super smart animals?  Well, you still might like The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White.  Everyone knows about Charlotte’s Web by the same author, but I wonder how many people know about this beautiful little book.  These two are my favorites by E. B. White, with Stuart Little a very distant third. There’s so much to love

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