Sunday, October 1, 2017


Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grad Monday where Middle Grade Mania spotlights the newest upcoming releases for your young reader!


Jeannie Mobley
Holiday House
Ages 8 - 12
Release Date: September 28, 2017

All aboard for a fast-paced, Jazz Age–era murder mystery set aboard a Chicago-bound train!
It’s 1923, and thirteen-year-old Bobby Lee Claremont is leaving the Sisters of Charitable Mercy orphanage in New Orleans, certain a better life awaits in Chicago’s glamorous-sounding mob scene. But his plans unravel when he boards his train and meets the recently widowed Nanette O’Halloran, her two traveling companions, and a cop who suspects the trio of murdering Nanette’s husband. Bobby Lee is sure Nanette’s innocent. But what about her companions? As Bobby Lee digs for answers, he discovers the mob, Prohibition, segregation, and a famed jazz band are all pieces of an increasingly dangerous puzzle.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors.  I've read most of what she's written.  I was definitely intrigued when I heard about this graphic novel based on her own childhood memories.  It's not entirely memoir as Shannon herself explains in the back of the book.  After all, human memory is certainly fallible and no two people experience the same situation in exactly the same way.  Plus, she's changed a lot of names.  But it's clear that the emotion behind the story is real. It certainly felt real to me, maybe because I could relate to some of the struggles that young Shannon has making, keeping, and losing friendships.  Friendship can be a tricky thing, especially when clicks get involved as they so often do in elementary/middle school.  

Read entire review HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cracking the Cover reviews BAN THIS BOOK

If ever there was a book where you should ignore the suggested age, it’s Alan Gratz’s Ban This Book. Though intended for middle readers, this novel will resonate with book lovers of every age.
At the center of Ban This Book is Amy Anne, a shy and soft-spoken fourth-grader. There’s nothing Amy Anne likes to do more than escape into a good book. And recently that book is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Amy Anne can totally relate to running away and hiding in a museum.

When Amy Anne arrives at her school library to check out her favorite book, it’s not on the shelf. But it hasn’t been checked out, either. It’s been pulled from the library all together, and it’s not the only book. A parent has been hand-selecting books she sees as dangerous for young people and getting the school board to ban them.

Read entire review HERE.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Children's Books Daily mentions three BOOKS FOR BOYS

Boys are notoriously tricky to engage with reading, which is one reason Megan loves sharing book reviews from young blogger Book Boy. The following three books for boys are all reviewed by Book Boy Jr (aged 10), who contributes occasionally to his older brother’s blog. All are by Australian authors. TMB

 Read about all recommended books HERE.

Thursday, September 21, 2017



The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone. Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies. Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes. And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…


 Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby "[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery." - Kirkus You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! - Stephanie Faris



Author Jenny Lundquist Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she'd better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

    amazon or paypal 

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 10/10/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

BEAST AND CROWN reviewed by Charlotte's Library

Beast & Crown, by Joel Ross (HarperCollins, August 2017)  is one I was looking forward too (I liked his first book, Fog Diver, lots), and so I was happy when a copy came my way from a friend.  And I was happier to actually read it, finding it fun and fast and thought-provoking.

Ji is a boot boy, toiling away for the privileged nobility.  His mother hopes that one day he'll rise to the ranks of butler.  Ji hopes that he can keep squirrelling away enough valuable shoe decorations to buy his stable hand Sally's little brother from slavery in the city.  But then the son of the noble family he serves is chosen to be a contender for the Summer Crown.  The Diadem Rite will chose the next heir, giving the chosen one the magical power that was gathered from all the people in the land years ago by the first Summer Queen so that she could keep the country safe against monsters.

Read entire review HERE.