‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

Many children know the feeling of not fitting in and in "The Midnighters," author Hana Tooke explores that feeling through her main character, Ema, whose fantastic, incredibly dangerous journey in this novel finally leads to her finding acceptance and respect. Ema was born into a family of scientists, and while she absorbed much of their … Continue reading ‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

‘The Fort” by Gordon Korman is a thoughtful middle grade novel about secrets and what we hide from even our best friends

The Fort by Gordon Korman Gordon Korman has been writing books for a long time—since he was twelve years old, in fact. As he explains in the Author's Note, he wrote his first book in 7th grade as a fluke of an assignment. Scholastic published it two years later, and—luckily for middle grade readers and … Continue reading ‘The Fort” by Gordon Korman is a thoughtful middle grade novel about secrets and what we hide from even our best friends

‘Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra’ by Stuart Gibbs is the next foray into the brilliant and exciting world of a young genius

Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra by Stuart Gibbs "Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra" by Stuart Gibbs is exactly the kind of middle grade fiction that teachers adore. And there are so many reasons to adore this clever and well-written adventure. The main character, Charlie, is a wonderful main character. She's smart, … Continue reading ‘Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra’ by Stuart Gibbs is the next foray into the brilliant and exciting world of a young genius

‘Cinder-Nanny’ by Sariah Wilson is a lovely summer rom-com read

Cinder-Nanny by Sariah Wilson When the temperatures near 100 degrees, summer has officially arrived; a perfect "beach read" to enjoy and celebrate summer weather is "Cinder-Nanny" by Sariah Wilson. In spite of its title, this delightful, light romance doesn't contain actual magic; but the romance between two unlikely individuals is clever and touching. And while … Continue reading ‘Cinder-Nanny’ by Sariah Wilson is a lovely summer rom-com read

‘The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames’ by Lisa McMann is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series

The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames In her new series, "The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames," Lisa McMann creates an action-filled fantasy with children who have supernatural powers but must survive on their own after the last adult in their group dies. The five children have always lived in a secret hideaway far from civilization … Continue reading ‘The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames’ by Lisa McMann is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series

‘Reckless Girls’ by Rachel Hawkins: When “paradise” is anything but

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins With her latest twisty thriller, "Reckless Girls," author Rachel Hawkins presents us with four young women who end up together on what would appear to be a tropical paradise. A deserted island near Hawaii where the beaches are golden, the water is warm, and the sunsets stunning. With plenty of … Continue reading ‘Reckless Girls’ by Rachel Hawkins: When “paradise” is anything but

‘The Lock-Eater’ by Zack Loran Clark is an action-filled fantasy with plenty of twists

The Lock-Eater by Zack Loran Clark In his debut novel, "The Lock-Eater," author Zack Loran Clark presents us with a very unusual protagonist. Melanie Gate is an orphan, and she lives with other similarly situated girls at the Merrytrails Orphanage for Girls. Mrs. Harbargain is the kindly woman in charge of the orphanage, and she … Continue reading ‘The Lock-Eater’ by Zack Loran Clark is an action-filled fantasy with plenty of twists

‘Ripped Away’ is historical fantasy as two kids travel back to London at the time of Jack the Ripper

Ripped Away by Shirley Reva Vernick "Ripped Away" by Shirley Reva Vernick is a middle grade novel, almost a novella, really, at a bit over 100 pages, featuring first person narrator Abe Pearlman. In his very relatable, charming narrative he describes his lonely existence. He's not in any school clubs nor does he play sports. … Continue reading ‘Ripped Away’ is historical fantasy as two kids travel back to London at the time of Jack the Ripper

‘A Blizzard of Polar Bears’ by Alice Henderson is a combination of mystery, thrills, and wildlife adventure

A Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson It's not often that a novel can combine thrilling action with fascinating characters and a setting that is depicted so precisely that we shiver while reading about venturing out onto pack ice in Northern Canada. Alice Henderson accomplishes all that and more in "A Blizzard of Polar … Continue reading ‘A Blizzard of Polar Bears’ by Alice Henderson is a combination of mystery, thrills, and wildlife adventure

‘Daughter of the Deep’ by Rick Riordan is thrilling and hugely entertaining

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan In an exciting leap that is just as thrilling as any twist Percy Jackson might encounter, Rick Riordan brings us a slightly different kind of adventure with "Daughter of the Deep," his book about a group of students in a maritime academy who end up on the run … Continue reading ‘Daughter of the Deep’ by Rick Riordan is thrilling and hugely entertaining

‘Pony’ by R. J. Palacio is a superb new novel about devotion

Pony by R.J. Palacio While the plot of "Pony" by R. J. Palacio reminded me a bit of another middle grade book about a pony, "Some Kind of Courage" by Dan Gemeinhart, the stories are quite different apart from being historical fiction with both boys having a horse that they love dearly. Each story is … Continue reading ‘Pony’ by R. J. Palacio is a superb new novel about devotion