Elza and I love games almost as much as we love reading middle grade books. You’ll find more of these over on Middle Grade Carousel and posting throughout the day on our Twitter account. Follow us and play along! ~CJ
In the graphic novel NewsPrints, Blue is a newsboy in a city where the ongoing war against neighboring countries is in the headlines. Making ends meet is tough, so the chance to work part-time for a quirky inventor is a big deal. And then there’s Crow, a new and mysterious friend, and an old friend Hector, who’s a war correspondent on the trail of a big story. Sarah, Plain and Tall is a classic for good reason. When their father sends away for a wife, Anna and Caleb are looking forward to meeting their new mother. They trade letters until her arrival. But will Sarah like them enough to stay? In Missing May, Summer was an unwanted orphan until Uncle Ob and Aunt May take it into their heads to bring her home. It isn’t much, but it’s absolutely everything Summer craved. A loving home. But then Aunt May dies, and Uncle Ob doesn’t seem to know how to go on. Not unless he can get a word from May directly. So he and Summer and a quirky neighbor boy named Cletus set out to do just that.
Estranged: The Changeling King is a return to familiar places, where the Changeling and the Childe are doing their best to fit into the worlds they are each learning to call home. But something’s amiss, and a new adventure blurs those boundaries. The Accused is the third book in the Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer series. I really like how each book in the series builds upon those previous. And I can’t really tell you too much about Mighty Jack and Zita the Sapcegirl without spoiling either series. Suffice to say that world collide … in wonderful ways. I *adore* Hatke’s comics!
Plain Kate was one of my favorites. Kate is a woodcarver of incredible skill. Circumstances conspire to force her into a deal with a witch. A fascinating fantasy in a setting reminiscent of Russia, with folk lore and gypsy caravans and needing to learn the roamer way. I will always read Sherlock Holmes books. This one’s kinda … so-so. In Death Cloud, an adolescent Holmes must endure his winter holidays with relatives, but drear days are interrupted by 1) the discovery of a body, 2) the friendship of a streetwise orphan/river rat, 3) the assigning of an American tutor who teaches Holmes to apply his keen mind to deductive reasoning, and 4) said mentor’s plucky daughter. Hatchet is a classic. Brian is on his way to spend the summer with his dad in Alaska when the little two-seater plane’s pilot has a heart attack and it goes down in the midst of the Canadian wilderness. With nothing more than a hatchet, the thirteen year old has to figure out how to survive. As an aside, Brian’s also dealing with his parents’ recent divorce.
In Stargazing, which is a graphic novel, two girls navigate their differences to become friends. But it isn’t always easy. Out of My Mind tells the story of Melody, who is smart and amazing and hopeful and lonely. She has cerebral palsy, and she cannot talk. Based entirely on appearances, people (including her teachers and classmates) assume she’s mentally handicapped as well. Twilight of the Elves is the second book in series. Zed has the unique chance to learn more about the other half of his heritage, but the elves aren’t finding a warm welcome in Freestone. Meanwhile, Brock’s obligations are forcing him even further into the role of spy, right when Zed needs a friend more than ever. Good stuff!
In The Mystery of the Scarlet Rose, Sherlock, Lupin, and Irene are reunited. While in London together, the trio of friends unriddle a clue in the newspaper that allows them to predict the locations of a series of yet-to-come crimes. But Scotland Yard isn’t about to take advice from three children. In A Nest for Celeste, which is told from the point of view of a mouse. Celeste only wants a nice, safe home and enough food to eat, but when important guests come to the house in which she’s made a home, her life is changed by a gentle boy who treats her kindly. Set up against historical events surrounding the travels and artistry of Mr. Audubon, who is famous for his illustrations of North American birds. In the Fog Diver, Chess is the tether boy for a salvage crew who dives from a balloon-lofted raft into the nanite-ridden fog that’s swamped the entire planet. They’re little more than scroungers, barely getting by in the slums of a planet still suffering from the effects of science-gone-wrong. Fog Diver was one of my favorites. Highly recommended!