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Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Posted by Sherry on 9/20/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction |

This 2017 middle grade novel has definite Newbery award potential. It reads like a Newbery; the style, subject matter, and pacing reminded me of Katherine Paterson (Jacob Have I Loved) or Clare Vanderpool (Moon Over Manifest), both Newbery award winning authors. If Beyond the Bright Sea wins the Newbery or even a Newbery honor, it […]

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York by Laura Ruby

Posted by Sherry on 9/18/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

York, Book One, The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby. This middle grade alternate history and steampunk-ish fantasy had a few awkward phrases and descriptions, and I’m not at all sure that all the loose ends were gathered together by the end of the book. (Understandable, since it’s the first book in a series.) However, Ms. […]

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The Song of Glory and Ghost by N.D. Wilson

Posted by Sherry on 8/24/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

I could just say that everything I wrote about the first book in the Outlaws of Time series is true of this one, in spades. If you read and liked The Legend of Sam Miracle, you’ll probably like this second book, too. If you had some issues with the first book —pacing, confusing time shifts, […]

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Roll by Darcy Miller

Posted by Sherry on 8/22/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

A boy named Lauren, commonly called Ren for obvious reasons, and Sutton, the girl with red, yellow, and orange striped hair who is Ren’s new neighbor, bond and grow a friendship over a common interest in Birmingham Roller pigeons. I’m always interested in looking into new worlds and communities that I never knew about or […]

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The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne

Posted by Sherry on 6/16/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

This middle grade fantasy about a spooky house that allows certain “special” people to travel through time and space didn’t quite work for me. I’m trying to figure out why. 1) I think it’s it’s a little too creepy, spooky for my tastes. An older man/ghost, Horatio, takes on ten year old Amelia as a […]

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The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Posted by Sherry on 5/26/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

The Goldfish Boy is a problem novel from a British perspective. I liked reading it because I have a family member with OCD. However, I’m not sure that the protagonist, Matthew, rises above the level of the stereotypical “child with an illness who learns to overcome”, and his parents are extremely annoying when they take […]

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Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by Sherry on 5/24/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General, Japan |

“‘Once, there were two princesses, Sisters. One trained to be a warrior, at the top of a mountain. She was never allowed to go home. The other trained to be the perfect princess. She was never allowed out of the palace. Until one day, when their father said they were ready . . .’ ‘They […]

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Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Posted by Sherry on 5/9/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

Really good science fiction for middle grade and young adult readers is really hard to find these days. I mean the old-school, space travel, fighting space aliens, survival in a hostile environment kind of science fiction. Not evil corporations are taking over the world, dystopian pseudo-sci-fi. Hunger Games wannabes are easy to find. Old-fashioned Heinlein/StarTrek-type […]

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The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey

Posted by Sherry on 5/8/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction |

This middle grade novel has a medieval, feudal setting, and the author kept me guessing all the way through as to whether it would turn out to be fantasy/fairy tale or realistic fiction. In the story, Elric must take care of his sister Wynnfrith after their mother’s death and protect her from the villagers who […]

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Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton

Posted by Sherry on 4/26/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

“Henry Penwhistle’s bedroom door was the sort of door where adventures began.” And that’s the sort of first sentence that makes me think that this book is going to be a great adventure. Immediately, I am reminded of a wardrobe door into Narnia, or Bilbo Baggins’ front door that led him out onto the road […]

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