Tag Archives: middle grade

Book Title:
All Summer long
Book Author:
Hope Larson
Book Illustrator:
Hope Larson
Publishing Date:
May 1st, 2018
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Date Read:
May 16th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling Hope Larson.

Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it's up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it's a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin's older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he's acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.

My Review

Hello, perfect summer read! I’m really loving all of the perfect-for-summer graphic novels that are popping up recently.  They’re really helping me to get into the mindset for summer (which I typically hate, by the way), with lazy days, friendships, … Continue reading

5 stars
7 Comments
Book Title:
Be Prepared
Book Author:
Vera Brosgol
Book Illustrator:
Vera Brosgol
Publishing Date:
April 24th, 2018
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
April 4th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost.

All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.

My Review

Remember a few months back when I reviewed Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost?  I had so many awesome things to tell you guys about that book, including how freaking awesome it was and how I couldn’t get enough of it.  Well, … Continue reading

5 stars
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Book Title:
This One Summer
Book Author:
Mariko Tamaki
Book Illustrator:
Jillian Tamaki
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
May 6th, 2014
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
February 27th, 2018
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

My Review

This One Summer has been on my to be read list for a while now.  I finally bought it back in early November of 2017, but for whatever reason I just kept putting off reading it.  I either wasn’t in … Continue reading

5 stars
12 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
P.S. I Miss You
Book Author:
Jen Petro-Roy
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
March 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Date Read:
March 6th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

In this epistolary middle-grade debut novel, a girl who's questioning her sexual orientation writes letters to her sister, who was sent away from their strict Catholic home after becoming pregnant.

Eleven-year-old Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. But when her parents forbid her to even speak to Cilla, she starts sending letters. Evie writes letters about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend.

As she becomes better friends with June, Evie begins to question her sexual orientation. She can only imagine what might happen if her parents found out who she really is. She could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn't writing back.

My Review

P.S. I Miss You was probably one of the most heartwrenching books that I have read not only so far in 2018, but all time.  It was a tearjerker, it was inspirational, and it was so beautifully written and emotionally … Continue reading

4 Comments
Book Title:
Flower Moon
Book Author:
Gina Linko
Page Count:
256
Publishing Date:
January 2nd, 2018
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Date Read:
January 14th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Tempest and Tally Jo Trimble are mirror twins—so alike they were almost born the same person—and they've been inseparable since birth. But it's the summer they turn thirteen, and it seems like everyone can tell something is changing between them. Pa Charlie, whose traveling carnival is the best part of every summer, is watching them closer than ever. Digger, who sneaks poor kids onto the carnival rides for free and smiles faster than anyone, seems to be fixing for a fight. Even Mama is acting different, refusing to travel with the carnival this year even though her own twin, who she hasn't seen since childhood, will be there.

And Tally and Tempest are the most different of all. There's a strangeness between them, a thickness to the air, an unseen push and pull, and it's getting stronger. It starts as a feeling, but soon it's sputtering and sparking, hurling them backwards, threatening to explode.

When Tally learns that she and Tempest may not be the first twins in their family to be separated by whatever this force is, she realizes she'll have to find a way to stop it—or she might lose not only her sister, but everyone she loves.

My Review

The first thing that I noticed and fell in love with about Flower Moon was the gorgeous cover on the book.  From that beautiful text the title is written in to the purple cover with the moon, Ferris wheel, and … Continue reading

4 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
Pumpkin Spice Secrets
Book Author:
Hillary Homzie
Book Series:
Swirl, #1
Page Count:
240
Publishing Date:
October 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Just as Maddie picks up her favorite pumpkin spice drink from the coffee shop counter, she spills it all over the cute guy standing behind her! Luckily, her embarrassment evaporates into a crush when she starts chatting with him -- his name is Jacob, and he's just starting in her grade at her middle school.

But before Maddie can tell her best friend Jana about him at lunch the next day, Jana announces her huge new crush -- on the same guy! Maddie doesn't want to cause trouble, so she keeps her feelings hidden. Jana will get over her crush soon, right?

Add major school stress to Maddie's secret, and it's a recipe for disaster. Can she keep her cool and work things out with both Jacob and Jana before it all turns into a total mess?

My Review

I was having a really hard time getting into a book – I was actually in the middle of four or five books when I picked up Pumpkin Spice Secrets.  I wasn’t sure why this one would be any different … Continue reading

4 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
The Dam Keeper
Book Author:
Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Book Illustrator:
Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Book Series:
The Dam Keeper, #1
Page Count:
160
Publishing Date:
September 26th, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
September 18th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again.

Now Pig is the dam keeper. Except for his best friend, Fox, and the town bully, Hippo, few are aware of his tireless efforts. But a new threat is on the horizon—a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley. Now Pig, Fox, and Hippo must face the greatest danger imaginable: the world on the other side of the dam.

Based on the Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name, The Dam Keeper is a lush, vibrantly drawn graphic novel by Tonko House cofounders Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.

My Review

First off, let me talk about how visually stunning The Dam Keeper is.  It has a hardcover format, and a dust jacket that is absolutely beautiful.  The gold lettering on the cover really adds to the book’s look, and the … Continue reading

4 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
The Girl with the Ghost Machine
Book Author:
Lauren DeStefano
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
June 6th, 2017
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date Read:
June 30th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

What if a machine could bring back the ones we love? From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope.

In this beautiful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Lauren DeStefano tells a story of love and loss, and what it means to say goodbye.

When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.

My Review

The Girl with the Ghost Machine is an interesting story about a grieving girl who lost her mother to illness, and who is afraid she is losing her father to a machine that he is trying to build to bring … Continue reading

4 stars
12 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Knife's Edge
Book Author:
Hope Larson
Book Illustrator:
Rebecca Mock
Book Series:
Four Points, #2
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
June 27th, 2017
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Date Read:
June 26th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexandra Dodge are reunited with their father and realize that two family heirlooms reveal the location of a treasure that is their birthright. When they set sail with Captain Tarboro on the Almira, they know they’re heading into danger—the ocean is filled with new and old enemies, including their nemesis, the infamous pirate Felix Worley. But like a coral reef that lurks below the surface of the waves, trouble is brewing between the siblings. Alex is determined to become a sailor and is happy with his role aboard the Almira, but Cleo—the only girl on the ship—is tired of washing dishes in the galley. In an effort to find her own purpose, she begins studying sword fighting with Tarboro, but neither Alex nor her father approves. Can the twins remain close as they pursue different goals and dreams, or will their growing differences tear the family apart before the treasure can be found?

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Compass South, Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock once again create an outstanding seafaring adventure.

My Review

I read Compass South right before I read this one, and I’m glad that I did.  While I’ve seen it said that this book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the first book of the two … Continue reading

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Book Title:
Compass South
Book Author:
Hope Larson
Book Illustrator:
Rebecca Mock
Book Series:
Four Points, #1
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
June 28th, 2016
Publisher:
Square Fish
Date Read:
June 25th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

Get ready for a thrilling journey in Compass South, a New York Times-bestselling middle-grade graphic novel full of pirates and adventure, written by the adapter and illustrator of the New York Times-bestselling A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel.

It's 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alex and Cleo's father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans.

But once there, Alex is kidnapped and made to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother.

Neither Alex nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in--they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced adventure.

This full color graphic novel is perfect for readers of all genders, including reluctant readers, comics fans, and anyone who enjoys action packed seafaring adventures. It's the first book in a duology, followed by a standalone sequel, Knife's Edge.

My Review

Compass South was originally published in 2016, and I hadn’t heard about it until the awesome folks over at :01 First Second Books invited me to join the blog tour for the sequel, Knife’s Edge.  Also, I really hadn’t been … Continue reading

4 stars
1 Comment