logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: middle-grade
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-02 21:59
Seriously Wicked
Seriously Wicked - Tina Connolly

I ran across Seriously Wicked on the e-library site for my local Army library and fell in love with the cover. But they didn't own the book. I recommended it, and the next in the series, for purchase and, much to my delight, the library purchased both of them.

 

It is a quirky, quirky novel, which is something I appreciated! Camellia Hendrix is not your normal 15 year old high school girl. Instead, she is the apprentice/slave to Sarmine, whom she refers to only as "the witch." How she came to be under the control of Sarmine is sketchy at best and doesn't help the already rocky relationship between the two. To say that the witch is not maternal would be a vast understatement. Her idea of punishment is to turn Cam's hand into noodles, wrap her in vines, turn into a statue, and much worse. Clearly a case for child protective services, but the witch insists the punishments teach lessons and are character-building. Cam's best friend is quirky in her own way, smart and accepting of Cam's secrets. And then there is Devon, whose character went through all kinds of mayhem.

 

The characters, even if you hated them, were interesting and well-developed. Because the novel was fairly short, each one of the characters played a significant role in the story. Kelvin, Jenah, even her teacher... each one of them was significant to the plot. Cam's character was fantastic, a strong female personality without any of the emo-angst I hate. Instead, she met diversity with a smile and a quip. She adapted to her circumstances and found a way to make the best of it. I loved the fact that no matter how much she was oppressed, and she was, she still made it her mission to protect others. And there were plenty of unexpected moments along the way.

 

Overall: The book is marketed as a YA novel, but although I enjoyed it, I felt like the tone of it was a probably bit younger than that. Seriously Wicked is fun, light-hearted, and quirky read full of witches and magic.

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12557
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-31 18:18
How to train as the #2 hero
Sidekicked - John David Anderson

I haven't read a large amount of middle grade fiction but I must say that I've really enjoyed John David Anderson's writing thus far. Sidekicked was a lot of fun and right after finishing it I added two more of Anderson's books to my TRL. The story revolves around Andrew "Drew" Macon Bean (admittedly a fantastic name) who is not your typical sidekick. His powers aren't the usual 'faster than light speed' or 'stronger than steel'. Nope. (I'm not going to reveal his powers because they are truly unusual and it'll be more fun for you to read it and found out for yourselves.) However, he is a typical nerdy kid just trying to make it through middle school unscathed. There's the usual pre-teen drama about who likes who and fitting in but on top of that is uncertainty about the safety of themselves, their families, and the town. Like Miss Bixby's Last Day, Anderson doesn't shy away from tough subjects. The drawbacks to having superpowers such as having to lie to one's parents, worrying about the mental health of one's mentor (the Super assigned to each Sidekick), and navigating adolescence are dealt with in a very loving, realistic way. Drew is a likable character and I think boys as well as girls will identify with him and become invested in his story. If you have kids in your life who are obsessed with superheroes but are not overly enthusiastic about reading maybe you could suggest that you read this one together. I have a feeling it will be a hit. :-) 9/10

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-30 03:20
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

My daughter encouraged me to read Rump, also by Shurtliff, as soon as she finished it. I loved that she chose that book, because it looked like the big chunky books I always love, that invite a long stay on the couch under a cozy blanket (its gloomy and cold as I write this). While Rump is still on my tippy to-read pile, I picked this from NetGalley when it was available, based on that earlier recommendation.

 

So, I will admit it, my daughter was right. Shurtliff’s newest tale did not disappoint, so I really need to think about moving Rump to the top of the pile. I love the overlapping fairy tales, and the many ways Shurtliff adds depth to a character who typically seems to have none at all. I especially liked how she seamlessly wove characters from the other tales into the plot as if we could watch the forest from a high tree and all the stories were really only one epic tale – it reminded me a little of the forest in Shrek. I did not really love Goldilocks in this version, but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise completely enjoyable read. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. I also read this one first, so I could recommend it to my daughter.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-29 05:18
A Gothic Tour
The Poe Estate - Polly Shulman

This is an homage to Gothic fiction lovers aimed at younger readers. I loved that about this book. It's metafiction that takes it even deeper. There is story within a story within a story. I read The Wells Bequest first, which is the science fiction volume of this series. I liked it, but I liked this more because I love Gothic/Classic horror. It's apparent that Shulman does as well. I made a note of all the books she alluded to. Many I had read, but I got ideas for others to look up and read.

The overall concept was well done, and some elements were quite serious for a MG level book. This book deals with death in a very matter-of-fact way. Suki's sister died and her ghost is her protector. Except Kitty is getting to be problematic in her protectiveness, leading to Suki's reputation as being weird, and Suki needs to let her go. Her parents have to move in with a great, great-aunt into a house that is part of her family's strange and tragic history. As Suki gets drawn into an adventure related to her ancestor's tie to the house and interacts with employees from the New York Circulating Repository, she learns that it's important to accept her sister's death and try to move on.

I couldn't give this book higher than 3.5 stars because it is written in too lightweight a fashion. Some serious topics are put out there and there are deeper levels that don't get delved into with this book. I feel that there was a longer book inside of this one that didn't get written. I understand that some things had to be pared down due to format, but I would have liked to see that other book that this book shows potential for turned out. On the good side, I love how multicultural it is, and the fact that all families aren't the same, and that hardworking people experience financial difficulties and lose their homes and jobs. Not because they are lazy, but because of things outside their control. Suki is a strong young girl to go through all of this and keep on going. I had mad respect for her and her family. I cried about her sister and some of the tragic events from her family's past.

I love the metafiction concept. I could read about that for days. I could have spent hours more delving into this interest world that Shulman created. I wish I had 100 more pages of this gem. I will always be a cheerleader for middle grade fiction. While I was somewhat disappointed with this book, I would still recommend it to readers who love classic and Gothic horror.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-24 18:43
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde - Shannon Hale,Dean Hale,LeUyen Pham
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde - Shannon Hale,Dean Hale,LeUyen Pham

She has to fight bunnies! There is nothing more adorable than a horde of ravening bunnies: they’re cute locusts. But bunnies aren’t always safe, as Monty Python and former president Jimmy Carter both know.

 

library copy

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?