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Search tags: grade-2
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review 2018-01-08 06:26
The Path to Dawn (Opal Charm #1) - DNF @ 4%
The Path to Dawn (Opal Charm, #1) - Miri Castor

The writing is choppy and amateurish, and the MC thinks everyone is stupid. Character is definitely way too young for me to relate to. 

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review 2018-01-06 04:07
How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer
How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer - Taryn Souders

 

 

Someone once told me that money can't buy happiness. They obviously never had to ride a baby bike to the first day of middle school.

-opening lines

 

Chloe is determined to earn money this summer (maybe by babysitting). What she didn't plan for is her parents deciding to send her to career camp. There she will have the opportunity to see what it's like to be a cake decorator, athlete, scientist, or veterinarian. Well, Chloe knows for sure she doesn't get along with animals, by maybe she could work with the cake decorating thing. But, life has other plans... Between spiders, a goat named King Arthur, a rude girl named Victoria, and Director Mudwimple, Chloe's summer is looking ruined. But luckily Chloe meets a friend, a bouncy girl named Paulie (who Chloe nicknames Pogo), and finds out two of her friends from home are also there, Nathan (her secret crush) and Sebastian.

 

The story is told through Chloe's experiences and nightly journal entries. Chloe is relatable and the drama seems pretty accurate for a bunch of middle school aged girls living in a cabin together. Chloe's friendship with Pogo and the difficulties with the bully Victoria seem to be accurate portrayals of middle school relationships. Chloe doesn't always make the right choice, but in the end, she does the right thing. I read this quickly in one sitting and I think 4th through 8th graders will enjoy it.

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review 2018-01-06 03:42
Mark of the Dragonfly
The Mark of the Dragonfly - Jaleigh Johnson

Piper, a young girl with a talent for fixing mechanical things, finds Anna (a young girl with amnesia who needs her help) and together they take the 401 train trying to escape the man pursuing them. There they meet Gee, a boy who can transform into a dragon and who might be able to help them.

 

Piper is smart, brave and mechanically inclined, who could ask for a better heroine. She is alone and barely scraping by until she finds Anna in the meteor field (each meteor shower brings items from other worlds that the scrappers find and fix or sell). Anna doesn't know who she is but she has the mark of the dragonfly which means she is someone important to the king. Piper sees her chance to help Anna and maybe get a reward that could change her life at the same time.

 

This story is filled with magic, adventure, steampunk, humor, and a smidge of romance. I highly recommend it to readers in grades 4 through 8 (and adults who enjoy strong female characters and a bit of western/sci-fi; sort of like Firefly for the younger set). A promising series which I plan to continue.

 

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review 2018-01-04 22:39
The King of Average
The King of Average - Gary Schwartz
James is a very average kid.  He received all C's in school, he is ok at sports but not great, he gets along with other kids, but wouldn't say he has a lot of friends.  One day, James has a thought and exclaims that he must be the most average person alive!  James' exclamation is heard and he is approached by a not-so-average talking goat named Mayor Culpa.  Mayor Culpa wants James to be the new King of Average since their former king has disappeared.  Mayor Culpa transports James to the Land of Average where he must complete a quest in order to become the King of Average.  On his quest he is accompanied by some strange friends including his talking goat, and a duo of a Professional Pessimist and Optimist. As James explores the land of Average he is sent to such places as The Sea of Doubt, Appathia, The Flatterlands, Uppity, and Shangri-La where he might just reach Epiphany.  On his journey, James will discover if he is fit to be the King of Average of if he is above average.
 
This is a wonderful book for middle-grade readers who are probably facing a lot of the same feelings as James.  Humor, word play and wonderfully imaginative characters and places created a fun and whimsical story.  Some of the word play might go over younger readers heads, such as Mayor Culpa as a professional scapegoat.  However, the intention of the story, for James to come into his own and deal with his emotions and feelings as they come to life as people and things will be something that any reader can relate to.  I did love reading about James' adventures in the different parts of Average and exploring the places and people there.  Overall, a magical and imaginative coming-of-age and character building story for middle-grade readers.

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

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review 2018-01-04 05:17
Silver Mask
The Silver Mask (Magisterium, Book 4) (The Magisterium) - Holly Black,Cassandra Clare

 

This is book 4 in the series that began with The Iron Trial (review here). The series started off closely paralleling the Harry Potter series, but as it continues, it becomes something more and in its own way, better.

 

The series is full of magic, adventure, danger, heroes & villains, and even friendship & typical teen issues. The story begins with Call in magical prison because of who people think he is. He is rescued and then asked to do the one thing magic hasn't been able to do -- raise the dead.

 

I am still enjoying this fantastic series and I can't wait to see what comes next.

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