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Middle Grades

Mini-Reviews of Children’s Non-Fiction

These Non-Fiction books are all geared to children ages 9 and up in my opinion. They are all well written with great illustrations. Definitely great additions to libraries, home, public and school. All were requested by me to read, and review. Ratings, ideas and opinions are my own.

The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Hasan Davis, Alleanna Harris (Illustrations)

4.5 Stars: Continue reading “Mini-Reviews of Children’s Non-Fiction”

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Sarah’s Search for Treasure (The Searchers #3) by Bertha Schwartz

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

Continue reading “Sarah’s Search for Treasure (The Searchers #3) by Bertha Schwartz”

Kelly’s Search for Family (The Searchers #2) by Bertha Schwartz

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

Continue reading “Kelly’s Search for Family (The Searchers #2) by Bertha Schwartz”

Daisy’s Search for Freedom, Circulating Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours! Continue reading “Daisy’s Search for Freedom, Circulating Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway”

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

I actually requested this book back in August when I read a review on Perfectly Tolerable. Check out Brittany’s blog if you are not familiar with it.

Sheets

Sheets

by Brenna Thummler

Published August 28th 2018 by Lion Forge

3.5 Stars

SHEETS is a sad, but powerful middle grades graphic novel about loss, perseverance, forgiveness and unlikely friendships.

Marjorie, a thirteen year old girl, who feels invisible to the world. When her mother died, her father shut himself down emotionally. Marjorie is not running the family laundry and taking care of her little brother. She loves books and the piano. She is awkward and has not friends. A tough life trying to get through middle school. Throw in a ruthless business man harassing her, and I do not understand how she makes it through the day. And then there is Wendell. He is the ghost of a little boy, who has the habit of exaggerating. He is a cute little ghost who wears a sheet. When Wendell gets kicked out of his house and needs a place to stay, he ends up in the human world, living in the laundry. There are all kinds of problems with this, but when push comes to shove, Wendell and Marjorie team up to save the laundry.

This book is a graphic novel that deals with some deep issues: death of family and friends and the depression of the child forced into taking care of her family, as well as the bullying. Having said that, it is also about second chances and finding friends in the most unlikely places. The illustrations are wonderful. They are colourful, yet muted in pastel shades that add to the despair that Marjorie is feeling. The faces show so much expression, it is easy to see how the characters are feeling. This is a clever story that I believe middle school students would enjoy and perhaps some may identify with these outcast characters. With Halloween around the corner, this is a different type of ghost story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “Sheets by Brenna Thummler”

Adventures with the Vikings (Good Times Travel Agency #3) by Linda Bailey

11959655 Stars

Published September 1st 2001 by Kids Can Press 

I had no idea this was a series when I requested a copy of this book through Netgalley. This series has the Binkerton children entering the Good Times Travel Agency, in this book, during a storm. Libby, the youngest sibling, is attracted to a model of a Viking Longship. As she reaches out to touch it, the three of them end up traveling back in time and to a new location with a Guide Book. They must work through the guide book in order to return home. This is a graphic novel, with great illustrations that will entice kids. They are detailed, and often have funny jokes thrown in. I liked the format with the graphics at the top of the page and an open page of the guidebook at the bottom with facts about whatever is happening in the story. It is not overwhelming, but quite informative. I appreciate that Linda Bailey differentiates between the fact and fiction in the book and gives further facts at the end. The illustrations do a good job of illustrating some of the information given in a fun way. I thought this was an excellent introduction to Viking lore and history. I will be watching for more in this series. This book would be a great addition to a school, classroom or family library. Reluctant readers would love this series. The publisher, Kids Can Press, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Continue reading “Adventures with the Vikings (Good Times Travel Agency #3) by Linda Bailey”

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

For the second week of the Children’s Readathon, hosted by This is My Truth Now, we are reading Children’s Readathon Award Winners.

My final read for this week is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

Number the Stars

Over the years, I have read many of Lois Lowry’s books, I do not know how I missed this one. This is a poignant tale of Annemarie Johansen and her family living in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1943. Annemarie’s best friend is Ellen Rosen, a young Jewish Girl. When the nazis finally decide to relocate the Jewish people, a high-ranking German official tells the Danish government. The rabbi at the synogogue the Rosens attend warns them. The rest of the story details the secrecy and the plans the resistance has to smuggle the Jewish people out of Denmark, across the sea to safety in Sweden.

This is a story of bravery, love, sacrifice and success. The story is told in simple language for children. It is not gruesome or descriptive of the horrors that occurred, but it is easy to see the burdens and fear the Danish people lived with. This book is a Newberry Award winner and it is easy to see why. This is not a long book, but it is an important story. Once again, I have learned something about the people who survived WWII that I was not aware of before.

Make sure you read the afterword as it informs the reader of the true facts, what part of the story is fiction and some background to the author’s research and motivation to write this book.

Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4) by Jen Calonita

Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4)4 Stars

My Review: This was another wonderful adventure with Gilly and the other students at Fairy Tale Reform School. In this story, the new library is opened. The books are magical and many are off limits without special permission. Prince Sebastian (aka The Beast) and his wife Beauty are in charge of the library with the help of many fairies. Their daughter also comes with them and she and Gilly become friends. Anna, Gilly’s sister is still missing and Gilly is obsessed with finding and rescuing her. Jack, another new student also becomes friends with Gilly. They have a very similar background and both have family members with Rumpelstiltskin. When Gilly gets the chance to head up to Cloud City where she is hoping to rescue her sister, she takes up. All her friends join her in this adventure. Will things turn out the way they hoped? Will they rescue Anna and Jack’s family? Will they capture Rumpelstiltskin?

There is an undertone about bullying in this story as well as judging people by their appearance, title etc. There is also some discussion about trust, which is an issue in everyone’s lives, not just children. There is a lot more magic in this book and not as much figuring out puzzles, but that does not matter in this story. This book is another great addition to this series for middle grade readers. I would recommend reading these books in order as there is often cliffhangers as there is in this one. I am looking forward to reading Misfits, the next in this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4) by Jen Calonita”

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall by Drew Weing

375343794 Stars

My Review: In this second book in the Margo Maloo series, Charles is the official assistant to Margo when it comes to solving mysteries or problems involving monsters or other supernatural beings. In this outing, Margo is contacted by a teenage vampire. They have been living and hiding out in the abandoned mall, but she is afraid that humans are trying to find and film them. Margo and Charles head off to help. They go not want another home to the vampires to be taken and have them move to another place like the imp they are helping. I also enjoyed the interesting explanation of why there are only teenage vampires. This case has a happy ending, but I do not want to give away the whole story.

This series is clever, witty with wonderful adventures altogether with great characters and plot. Both Charles and Margo are interesting characters with recognizable personalities. This comic fits both girls and boys with the main characters being one of each. The story flows nicely and the panels are put together in a way that the story is easy to follow and the graphics are recognizable. The art is well done in a dark shadowy way that fits well with the story. The back of the book has pages showing each of the monsters in the story. It tells a little about them and shows their physical makeup. A nice addition. This is a great book for school and public libraries, especially for those reluctant readers whether male or female. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall by Drew Weing”

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