‘Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow’ by Jessica Townsend is a suspenseful sequel in middle grade series

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“Wundersmith: The Calling of Morigan Crow” is the sequel to the first book in the “Nevermoor” series, “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow,” about a young girl who was whisked to Nevermoor just before she had been doomed to die on her 11th birthday. As an illegal immigrant in Nevermoor, the only way she can stay in Nevermoor is to pass rigorous trials to earn a place in the illustrious Wundrous Society — which she does in the first book.

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‘The Widows’ by Jess Montgomery is a gripping historical fiction set in turbulent coal mining Appalachia

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In “The Widows,” author Jess Montgomery visits a time and place that is not often memorialized in fiction. In a corner of rural Ohio, where coal mines control the lives of the residents and the immigrants who come to America to work in the mines, the lives of the miners and those who live in town intersect through the relationship of two women, both widows, who fight for justice.

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‘An Easy Death’ by Charlaine Harris is the first in a new exciting paranormal series

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“An Easy Death” is by acclaimed author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the fabulous Sookie Stackhouse series. It’s the first in a new series featuring Lizbeth Rose, a 19-year-old, determined, talented gun for hire.

The setting is an alternate United States which was forever altered when Franklin Roosevelt was assassinated before he could be sworn in. Texas has been reclaimed by Mexico, Russia (the Holy Russian Empire) has grabbed California, and Canada has taken over many of the northern states. Native Americans have claimed their ancestral land which had been stolen from them. The only part of the actual United States that’s left is really poor, and those who live there have a hard life. Farmers hoping to get to a safer and better place to live must hire gunslingers to ensure their safety as they journey to a different place.

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‘The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise’ by Dan Gemeinhart surprises, touches, and grabs readers

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With “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise,” Dan Gemeinhart once again shows his writing super-power ability to simultaneously amuse, touch, fascinate, and grab readers by the heartstrings as they race through this story of a girl and her father who live a peripatetic life, traveling from place to place in their rehabbed school bus.

Coyote and her father, Rodeo, have lived on Yager, their converted school bus, and traveled wherever their whims have taken them. Want to walk on the beach? They’d head for the coast. Pulled pork sandwich? The best one is at Pork Chop John’s Sandwich Shop, in Butte, Montana.

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Children’s chapter book round up: From graphic novels to roadkill – a year in review

 

Start the new year right — get some of 2018’s (and one 2019 new release) middle grade books for the young reader in your life. There is a wide range of titles that will appeal to many different readers.

Graphic novels are high in interest and many children who aren’t interested in reading text-only chapter books love the illustrations and fast-moving pace of these books. There are several 2018 releases that include graphic novels and books with many illustrations along with text, mimicking the feel of a graphic novel. Continue reading

‘Fire & Heist’ by Sarah Beth Durst is a perfect young adult fantasy/action/scifi thriller

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“Fire & Heist” by Sarah Beth Durst is a wonderful young adult fantasy. Long-time fans of this author will not be surprised that it’s engaging and boasts a fabulous plot. While she has included a lot in the story — there is some “Ocean’s Eleven” mixed up with a bit of “Wrinkle in Time” and every book with a wonderfully evil villain (think Michael Grant’s newest book, appropriately titled “Villain”) — it just boils down to a book that ends up being a quick read because the action simply doesn’t stop.

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‘The Curious Cats Spy Club’ Super Sleuth Set by Linda Joy Singleton is a lovely middle grade mystery series

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Middle grade readers will adore “The Curious Cat Spy Club” series by Linda Joy Singleton. It’s a series about three middle school kids, two girls and a boy, who get together in the first book to rescue three kittens they accidentally find abandoned in a plastic bag in a dumpster. These three kids happen to be especially talented, each in a different way, and each of their talents is needed in order to solve the mystery of who abandoned the kittens, and where they came from.

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‘Kingdom of the Blind’ by Louise Penny is a Careful Balance Between Mystery and Canadian Small-Town Winter Charm

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Jump right in to “Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny even though it’s the eleventh in this series about Armand Gamache, a detective in Québec who has risen through the ranks although is he currently suspended. In this story, he is appointed as a liquidator, or executor, of the will of a woman he does not know. In fact, the two others appointed as liquidators, one of whom he does know, also do not know the deceased who chose them.

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‘Little White Lies’ by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Is a Lovely YA Tale of Determination and Debutantes

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Former debutante Jennifer Lynn Barnes shares with readers the trials and tribulations of what goes into being a society deb and living the life of the rich and famous. In “Little White Lies,” protagonist Sawyer Taft goes from fixing cars and taking care of her mother to living with her grandmother and participating in nine months of preparation to be a debutante — in return for half a million dollars.

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