This meme was started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. As I am a grandmother, who loves to read to her grandchildren, a mother who loved to read to and with her children, and a retired teacher librarian, this meme really attracted me. If you love children’s books, or have a favourite from your childhood, join us in introducing them to a new generation of readers.
This month, I am trying to read as many middle-grade or late primary books on my TBR as I can. My goal is at least 10. I have read a couple of them with my oldest grandson, but as my grandchildren are 7 years old or younger, I read some alone. If they listened to one, I added their thoughts to the review.
Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself is the second book in the Nick and Tesla series. This is a combination mystery and science project story. Nick and Tesla are living with their Uncle Newt, an eccentric, inventor and professor. He allows them to tinker and make their own gadgets in his basement lab. In this story their friend’s father finds a valuable first edition comic book at a yard sale. He plans to auction it off and make enough money to save his store and home. Before he has a chance, it is stolen and Nick and Tesla are ready to help solve the mystery.
This series a fun one. I enjoy the relationship that twins Nick and Tesla have. They are typical siblings with some bickering, disagreements and competition. They each have their strengths and work well together when trying to solve the mystery and help their friend. Uncle Newt is hilarious. He reminds me of the Nutty or Absent-Minded professor in the movies. In this book he changes a bit as he has an interest in a new character, Dr. Sakurai, who bought the local hobby shop, The Wonder Hut, where they buy all their supplies. The science activities seem like they would work fine and easy enough to do. Each robot made has a card with a list of supplies and directions to make it. My grandson was quite eager to try to make a robot and wanted to know if I had all the materials, but I will leave that part for my son to do with him. There are some cute black and white illustrations in the book that add interest to the story. The mystery has a few red herrings along the way, but isn’t too hard to figure out for me, but my grandson did not know who the thief was until the final showdown and reveal. This was a good story that my grandson was interested in and would be a welcome addition to a classroom, school, public or family library. I will definitely check out others in this series.
Little Lunch: Triple Treats by Danny Katz, Mitch Vane (Illustrator)
Little Lunch: Triple Treats is the first book in a series based on the Australian show of the same name. I will say that I enjoyed the book more than the one show I watched. Little Lunch is what we call recess and snack time. This book has three short stores in it, so I would consider it an early chapter book. Each story highlights a different child. The first story follows Rory as he tries to find something to eat for Little Lunch because he has once again left his lunch box at home. In the second story, we follow the kids through Grandparents Day when Batttie doesn’t think his grandfather is going to be able to show up because he’s been sick. In the last story titled The Cake Sale we follow Melanie as she tries to sell slices of cake that she made to raise money for homeless puppies. There are some good lessons learned in each story. I liked the illustrations, which were black and white drawings/sketches, interspersed throughout the story, more than one on each page. The font is large and easy for young readers. My grandson and I read this book together, taking turns. He laughed at many of the antics and was quick to point out when they were doing something wrong. This is a cute series for late primary, early junior students.
Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T. Smith
This is the second book in the Mr. Penguin Mystery series. These are early chapter books that would be great for anyone, but especially reluctant readers. It is a fun story with enough illustrations to add much to the story. Mr. Penguin and his friends Colin the spider, Edith and Gordon the pigeon are trying to keep a rock/gem safe from a trio of baddies. They hop on a plane and it crashes on a snowy mountain. They are saved by a pair of twins and taken to their town, Schneedorf-on-the-Peak. Dieter had written to Mr. Penguin to come and help find his hamster, Mr. Tufytbum alonw with some other rodents who have disappeared. He thought that was why The Adventurers were there. That was not reason, but they decided to help while waiting for a way to go home. Putting themselves in danger, they end up saving the day. This group of Adventurers bumble through the case, have some luck thrown their way and with Colin the Spider’s plans and quick thinking, they solve all the mysteries and tie things up before heading home.
I read this book to my grandson and he really enjoyed the antics of Mr. Penguin and his friends. He laughed along with their adventures and said this one was even better than the last one. He is hoping there will be another Mr. Penguin Adventure. I have to say, he loved Mr. Tuftybum’s name, but he is a 7 year old boy, so of course he did. This book could be read aloud or independently (children ages 8 to 9). I recommend this one, especially for classrooms and family libraries.
Ansley’s Big Bake Off (The Daniel’s Sisters #1) by Kaitlyn Pitts, Camryn Pitts, Olivia Pitts
3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐
Ansley’s Big Bake off is the first book in The Daniels Sisters series. This is a Christian fiction story geared to young readers (8 to 11) who enjoy chapter books. There is a lot of scripture and faith in this book, so it won’t be for everyone. Ansley and her three sisters are dealing with a lot. They recently lost their mother, have moved to a new home and will be attending a new school. Ansley is particularly nervous about making friends and fitting in. It turns out she has more in common with one of her new classmates than she originally realized. The characters are interesting and easy to connect to. the Daniels’ family are warm, kind, caring, smart, loving and full of integrity. Their father and aunt teach them with gentleness, guidance and reference to scripture. This is an uplifting and inspirational story that I recommend to all Christian families, especially those with young girls.