Category Archives: #amreading

#amreading Heartwarmingly

The Stonekeeper’s Curse is volume 2 in the Amulet series of graphic novels. Walking houses. Elf kings. Clever foxes. Talking trees. And the dangers of trying to do everything on your own. Exciting installment! In the graphic novel Ghosts, Cat’s family moves from sunny Southern California to a foggy little town up the coast, where everyone seems to really love the traditions surrounding Mexico’s Day of the Dead. But all this talk of ghosts make Cat uncomfortable. Especially since her little sister has cystic fibrosis. In Wish, Charlie believes in making wishes. But her dad is in jail, her mom won’t get out of bed, and her big sister can’t take care of her on her own. So when Charlie is shipped off to live with her Aunt and Uncle in a teensy town tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, she makes good and sure to make her wish every day.

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#amreading Trials

Josh and Jordan, twin sons of a professional basketball player, are a couple of phenoms on the court. But as the twelve-year-olds get older, their synergy turns to friction. In The Crossover, the story unfolds in verse, with a patter and pounding and slide that fits young Josh’s voice.In the graphic novel Smile, Raina shares some of her middle school experiences, especially as they related to having (surviving) braces. Dental trauma, fitting in, and finding reasons to smile. In Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, Armani’s tenth birthday falls on the same day Hurricane Katrina hits Louisiana. Like many other families in the lower nines, they didn’t evacuate. And then the levies broke.

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#amreading Dramatically

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil L. Frankweiler is a classic. Sure that she’s unappreciated at home, Claudia makes a carefully detailed plan to run away from home, with her younger brother Jamie for company. They take the train to New York City and “move in” to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Marco Impossible, Stephen and Marco are best friends and fellow detectives, solving (admittedly silly) cases which they write up in their casebook. As middle school draws to an end, Marco plots one final scheme before they’re all off to different high schools. Addresses homophobia, hate crimes, cyber bullying, physical attacks, and the fear that comes with coming out … and falling out with your best friend. And in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo has always had a knack for clockworks, so after his inventor father passes away and his timekeeper uncle disappears, Hugo maintains the many clocks at the train station. Quietly. Alone. But petty theft gets him into serious trouble. Lavishly illustrated!

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#amreading Panels

Welcome to Berrybrook Middle School! Peppi, who loves to draw, regrets her first day of school, when she hastily distances herself from Jaime, a nerd from the science club. She was mean. He must hate her. Could anything be more Awkward? After the art club (his only friends at school) overlook Jensen, he begins spending more time with the newspaper club. But doing odd jobs for them isn’t really friendship. In Brave, Jensen’s beginning to realize that most of the stuff he puts up with on a daily basis is … bullying. Finally, Jorge has baseball, his friends, and his route. He patrols the halls between classes, making sure no one’s being picked on. (Love that some of the kids call him Sheriff.) It’s all good … until he’s blindsided by his first Crush.

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#amreading Intensity

In New Kid, Jordan is the new kid at a private school full of rich kids and lacking in diversity. His insights and asides are often the subject of the comics he creates. A graphic novel that blends humor and honesty. In Flush, Noah’s dad is in prison for sinking the Coral Queen, a pleasure ship which has (allegedly) been emptying its holding tanks straight into the ocean. But no one can prove it. So Noah and his sister decide to get the proof they need. And The Empty Grave follows close on the heels of the previous book, bringing Lockwood & Co. to its series finale. All I’m going to say is … perfect.

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#amreading Wholeheartedly

Book Report 65

In Takedown, Mikayla wrestles just like her two older brothers. It’s a Delgado family tradition. But the last thing Lev expected this season was being partnered with a girl. Tough choices & emotional depth. Loved it! Queen of the Bee is a straightforward lower middle grade chapter book, featuring Sophie’s family life & the challenges she faces at school. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King follows *immediately* on  the heels of Mighty Jack. The friends try to take back what they lost. Sewers and portals and pipes, with a dangling plot thread that is driving me crazy … and final page that made me very, very happy.

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#amreading Mightily

Book Report 64

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight is the final installment in the 7-book series. Loved watching the final pieces slide into place. Excellent series with a satisfying resolution. A Likely Place is a very short story about a boy who doesn’t fit in with his parents’ or teachers’ expectations of him. And then there’s Mighty Jack, the first in a new series of graphic novels by Ben Hatke. Jack trades the family car for some magic beans, and…. Okay, not really. But there is a shifty salesman, a police report, a single mom, a mute sister, a homeschooled neighbor, and a boxful of alien seed packets. Note: Best to read the three Zita the Spacegirl books first.

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