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Search tags: Middle-grade
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review 2017-03-24 03:18
Payback it is...
Masterminds: Payback - Gordon Korman

 

 

 

Yes! I finished book 3 in the Masterminds series. This one was just as good as the first two. There is a part in the middle where I was like, wait it seems over but half the book is still left, then the action started again. There were some twists that young readers may not see coming.

 

There are even more impossible things in this book than the last one, but kids will love it even more because of the crazy, adventurous things the characters do. 

 

This is an enjoyable, thrilling adventure series with something for girls and boys both. Highly recommended to 4th & 5th graders, especially.

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review 2017-03-24 02:41
Becoming Naomi Leon - review
Becoming Naomi León - Pam Muñoz Ryan

One of her favorite sayings was that the good and the bad of any situation were sometimes the same.

 

My thoughts dived into a jumble in the middle of my mind, wrestled around until they were wadded into a fisted knot, and attached themselves to my brain like a burr matted in a long-haired dog.

 

I always thought the biggest problem in my life was my name, Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, but little did I know that it was the least of my troubles, or that someday I would live up to it.

 

 

When Naomi was 4 and her brother was 1, their mother left them with their grandmother. Seven years later, the mother (Skyla) shows up on their doorstep wanting to "get to know her children". But, she has other motives. A chain of events sends Naomi, Owen, and Gram on a trip to Mexico where Naomi discovers more about her Mexican heritage and finds something unexpected.

 

This is a lovely story. The characters are likable. I enjoyed reading about Naomi's journey and how she reasoned things out in her head. Her devotion to her brother is admirable. She doesn't let anyone stop her when she needs something. 

 

The book is culturally authentic and contains many examples of Spanish words and Mexican culture. Readers, especially girls, will enjoy reading about Naomi's determination and her adventures. The ending doesn't take the easy way out and is pretty realistic, as opposed to being too perfect and happy. 

 

 

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review 2017-03-20 11:35
A Boy Called Bat
A Boy Called Bat - Elana K. Arnold,Charles Santoso

Bixby Alexander Tam is a young boy who likes to go by the nickname Bat.  Bat loves animals and knows all kinds of facts about animals.  Bat's mom is a veterinarian and Bat would like to be a veterinarian just like her some day.  However, Bat is still in grade school and must focus on that.  It is hard for Bat to make friends since he doesn't like to look people in the eye and likes to flap his arms. One day, Bat's mom brings home an orphaned baby skunk that she plans on taking care of before giving it to a rescue.  Bat is amazed by the baby skunk and helps him mom with it's care.  Bat doesn't want to give up the skunk so soon and tries to find a way to convince his mom to keep his new friend; and as Bat learns to love a skunk, he may learn to open up to new human friends as well. 


A Boy Called Bat is a fun, engaging and heartwarming middle grade read.  Most of all, this book encourages diversity and empathy without the story line being directly about the fact the Bat is on the autism spectrum.  In fact, that is not even mentioned within the book, what is mentioned is how Bat perceives the world, how he handles emotions,  interacts with other people and his intense love for animals. This is all done in a way that is easy for kids to understand and makes Bat very easy to relate to.  I loved that Bat was coupled with a skunk, an animal that most people do not like very much; together, as Bat learns to take care of the infant skunk and convince his mother to keep the skunk for longer, Bat learns skills in how to relate with people.  All of the characters in the book were equally as well thought out, though we see most of the people as Bat sees them, everyone surrounding Bat cares for him and wants the best for him.  Overall, a great middle grade read, especially for animal lovers.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2017-03-19 21:34
Resistance - Book 1
Resistance - Carla Jablonski,Leland Purvis,Hilary Sycamore

 

This graphic novel gives us a look at the French Resistance during World War II, and how the war affected everyone, including children. The resistance was a complicated thing, but all efforts were crucial in the fight.

 

This story centers on kids who are naive at first, but gradually realize how dangerous the war is and how much it affects their lives and the people they love.

 

I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to reading the sequel. I felt for the kids and was as nervous as they were around the soldiers.

 

Great graphic novel for middle school aged kids. My son (8th grader) liked it and brought it home so I could read it too.

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review 2017-03-15 04:15
Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie
Summerlost - Ally Condie

Quick review for a quick read. I was first introduced to "Summerlost" through a snippet offered on NetGalley, but I later checked out a full version of the book from my local library. This definitely satisfied my longing for a quick read in the form of a fulfilling MG/teen summer story. It's Ally Condie's middle-grade debut about a girl named Cedar who's coping with her first summer after her father's and brother's tragic accident. She returns to the town of Iron Creek for the summer, meeting a boy named Leo and volunteering her time at a theater festival called Summerlost. It is also a chance for her to join Leo in a side job directing tours surrounding the 2oth anniversary of the death of a Hollywood actress whose life was cut short due to tragic circumstances as well.

This proved to be a very quick read in the audiobook form, and I found Cedar's voice to be cheerful and easy to follow. The story provided some nice turns of showcasing the strong bond between Leo and Cedar, as well as illuminating and valuable showcases of Cedar with her family, though in brief spells. The setting was probably the strongest part of this narrative. I did feel that some parts of the narrative left much to be desired for deeper emotional development and narrative styling, but I liked the theme and enjoyed the overarching story for what it offered.

Overall score: 3/5 stars.

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