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review 2019-01-18 02:33
Amal - audiobook
Amal Unbound - Aisha Saeed,Priya Ayyar

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

 

 

I watched from the window as the boys tumbled out of the brick schoolhouse across the field from us.

-first sentence

 

Amal loves school and her dream is to one day go to college and become a teacher. But one day, a chance encounter disrupts her life. She becomes an indentured servant to the family of her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal plans to work until she pays off her family’s debt, but when she finds out the truth, what will she do?

 

This story takes place in Pakistan and is meant for a middle-grade audience. Amal is a fantastic strong female character; she knows what she wants, she knows what is right, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

 

I listened to the audio and the narrator, Priya Ayyar did a wonderful job. I’m counting this for “A” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

 

Recommended to grades 4-6.

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review 2019-01-16 20:29
Book Review: The Fugitive Factor
The Fugitive Factor - Gordon Korman

Title: The Fugitive Factor
Author: Gordon Korman
Series: On The Run, #2
Format: ebook
Length: 216 pages (iPhone)
Rating: 4 stars

 

Synopsis: Aiden and Meg Falconer are now celebrities ... for all the wrong reasons. It's much harder to be on the run when the whole country's looking for you....
Aiden and Meg Falconer are out to find the evidence that will free their parents from a life sentence in prison. But in order to do that, they have to live undercover. Ever since they broke out of a juvenile detention facility, they've been chased by the FBI ... and by a strange killer they've nicknamed Hairless Joe. Now their story has hit the airwaves, and suddenly everyone is looking for the Falconer kids. They think they can hide with an old family friend ... but when she turns them in and Meg is put in jail, the danger and adventure only increase.

(spoiler show)

 

Favourite character: Meg
Least favourite character: Emmanuel Harris

 

Mini-review: I am loving this series. It’s fun, action-packed, keeps you on the edge of the seat and it’s a pretty quick read. Would highly recommend this series.

 

Fan-cast:
Aiden Falconer - Cameron Boyce
Meg Falconer - Storm Reid
Emmanuel Harris - Lee Pace
Jeffrey Alder - Elijah Wood
Chelsea - Malina Weissman
John Falconer - Bobby Cannavale
Louise Falconer - Tiffany Haddish
Jane Macintosh - Claire Danes

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review 2019-01-16 17:15
Book Review: Most Likely To Die
Most Likely to Die - Carolyn Keene

Title: Most Likely To Die
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew Files, #27
Format: ebook
Length: 160 pages
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Nancy's high school class reunion provides a mysterious opportunity when former cheerleader Wendy Harriman finds her room ransacked and a horrifying death threat is left among the mess.

 

Favourite character: George
Least favourite character: Wendy

 

Mini-review: I thought this was a pretty good Nancy Drew book. I always like reading the ones I’ve never read before, because then I don’t know the ending ahead of time. I didn’t guess this one, surprisingly. But I wasn’t really shocked. I can’t actually remember the last time a Nancy Drew shocked me.

 

Fan-cast:
Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara
Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin
George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand
Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort
Carson Drew - Paul Rudd
Wendy Harriman - Madelaine Petsch
Patrick Emmons - Luke Benward
Don Cameron - Timothée Chalamet
Monica Beckwith - Amy Forsyth
Celia Quaid - Haley Lu Richardson
Judd Reese - Justice Smith

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review 2019-01-16 04:11
Book Review: Tales From A Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life - Rachel Renée Russell

Title: Tales From A Not-So-Fabulous Life
Author: Rachel Renee Russell
Series: Dork Diaries, #1
Format: hardcover
Length: 282 pages
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis:
Meet Nikki Maxwell! She's starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!
New school. New mean girl. New crush. New diary so I can spill about all of it…
I put a lot of really personal stuff in this diary along with my sketches and doodles.
But, mostly it’s about how TRAUMATIC it was transferring to my new private middle school, Westchester Country Day.
And, how a lot of the CCP (Cool, Cute & Popular) kids were really SNOBBY and made my life TOTALLY miserable. People like, oh, I don’t know, maybe…
MACKENZIE HOLLISTER!!
And, it just so happened that I got stuck with a locker right next to hers. I could NOT believe I had such CRAPPY luck. I knew right then and there it was going to be a VERY, VERY long school year :-( !

 

Favourite character: Nikki
Least favourite character: MacKenzie

 

Mini-review: This series is like my guilty pleasure, I swear. I love all the sass and I appreciate the pop-culture references of the times (Jonas Brothers, High School Musical, etc.) and her obsession with Tyra Banks. I also love how she has sassy speeches in her head that she’s too scared to say out loud. I relate big time.

 

Fan-cast:
Nikki Maxwell - Kassidy Slaughter
MacKenzie Hollister - Taylor Ann Thompson
Brandon Roberts - Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh
Chloe Garcia - Mya-Lecia Naylor
Zoey Franklin - Skai Jackson

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review 2019-01-15 20:55
The Princess of Baker Street
The Princess of Baker Street - Mia Kerick
The kids of Baker Street grew up playing together to the fanciful games thought up by Joey Kinkaid.  Joey was called the Princess of Baker Street since his games often included Joey in a princess dress being rescued by his best friend, Eric Sinclair.  Now, the kids of Baker Street are in Eighth grade and things have changed, the four friends have found themselves in separate cliques.  Eric has opted for the route of survival, especially since is mom isn't often around.  Eric hangs around with his friends on the soccer team.  Joey doesn't exactly fit in anywhere, he would much rather wear his mother's dresses to school than the button up shirts and slacks that his father insists on.  When Eric and Joey are paired as study buddies, their friendship rekindles.  However, when Joey begins to show up to school in girl's clothing, Eric's allegiance is divided between his friends and his need to fly under the radar.
 
Timely and relevant, The Princess of Baker Street reaches into the awkward, transitional years of middle school for a group of students, including the Joey who is realizing that he has always been a girl.  Told through Eric's point of view, the voices are sincere and realistic for eighth graders.  Everyone seems very self-concerned and are worried about where they will fit in.  Eric's journey is just as important as Joey's.  I felt for Joey as he dealt with an absent mother and the decision to be Joey's friend even if it would cost his popularity.  Eric's struggle with his feelings for Joey as he slowly comprehends that not only is Joey a girl, but that he has always seen Joey as a girl as well- a girl that he likes.  With these understandings comes big changes and responsibilities.  Not all of the changes are handled very well by everyone and reinforces that none of these issues should be handled by the kids by themselves.  Insightful and pertinent, The Princess of Baker Street is an important and heartfelt read that can be enjoyed by middle grade through adult readers. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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