Category Archives: #amreading

#amreading Variously

Salt is a novel in verse set during a time when the Native Americans and the colonists are headed toward war. Despite tensions, two boys become friends. The Thing About Georgie is a contemporary story about a kid who has troubles at home (because there’s a new baby on the way) and troubles at school (because of friends & an upcoming school play). Oh, and Georgie is a boy with dwarfism. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a story full of stories, because Minli loves the tales her father tells, about the Old Man in the Moon and the Jade Dragon. A Chinese quest with lovely illustrations.

Are you following me on GoodReads? >>

#amreading Whimsically

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle is a quirky story that sends Bicycle and a bike with personality on a cross-country road trip. She makes many friends along the way. Un Lun Dun is a fantasy that works very hard to contradict the usual tropes in fantasies with a “chosen one.” Lots of whimsy as Zanna navigates through a world populated by London’s lost and broken things. In Dreamwood, Lucy runs away from boarding school in order to find her father, who’s gone missing. This one’s kind of an alternate history, and the world-building is fascinating.

Are you following me on GoodReads? >>

#amreading Communities

Three Times Lucky is the first of the Mo & Dale Mysteries, set in the small town of Tupelo Landing. It’s smart and funny. I’m looking forward to picking up the rest of the series. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is a neighborhood story. The Vanderbeekers are a big family (five kids), who might lose their home because their grouchy landlord won’t renew their lease. Dragon Slippers reminded me a lot of Dealing with Dragons. Creel is sacrificed to a dragon in the hopes that she’ll be married off to the knight who rescues her. But she befriends the dragon instead.

Are you following me on GoodReads? >>

#amreading Precariously

Enter the Core wraps up the Max Tilt trilogy. Still following in the footsteps of their ancestor Jules Verne, Max & Co. seek the truth behind Journey to the Center of the Earth. Action-packed adventure with literary tie-ins. Beastkeeper was an odd one. Things are changing and Sarah doesn’t like any of it. Her mother runs away, and her father is getting stranger (and scarier) by the day. When he shuffles her off to her grandmother’s house (a dilapidated tower in the middle of nowhere), it becomes increasingly clear that her family has never been normal. Indeed, they must be cursed. (It’s a contemporary/magical realism fairy tale that never really even tries to be happy.) And then there’s the classic The Voyage of the Frog. Fourteen-year-old David finds himself alone and adrift. A survival story at sea.

Are you following me on GoodReads? >>

#amreading Daringly

George by Alex Gino, will soon be re-releasing as Melissa. Even if nobody else realizes it, George knows she’s a girl. Hiding it is hard. Speaking up is harder. But when she tries out for the part of Charlotte in their grade’s production of Charlotte’s Web, the grown-ups around her begin to take note. In Arlo Finch and the Valley of Fire, Arlo’s family moves back to his mom’s hometown, a tiny place up in the Colorado mountains where things are a little on the strange side. When he joins the Rangers, since all the kids in town do, he finds out that supernatural stuff is real … and full of risks. (Hoping to finish the trilogy this year. It’s really good.) And in Wildwood, Prue crosses a bridge and finds a whole world that’s hidden away in the woods.

Are you following me on GoodReads? >>

Lock & Key Books

We’re halfway through the month already. Here are my book finds for the themes we set for May.

Day 01 – Key in the Title – There are dozens and dozens of possibilities. I just picked a few that I hadn’t featured anytime recently.

Day 02 – A Door on the Cover – Again, doors are a big deal in middle grade stories. I mean, hey! Portal Fantasy is a huge sub-genre. These are just a few. Look around! There are many, many more.

Day 03 – Inspired by Sherlock Holmes – I see we’re already getting creative with the them. Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite literary characters, so I’m always reaching for books inspired by the great detective.

Day 04 – Main Character is a Thief – another very popular theme in middle grade.

Day 05 – Gates on the Cover – Nearly as popular as doors, and always opening a way into intriguing places.

Continue reading Lock & Key Books

#MGCarousel Monthly Theme

Every month, Elza and I pick a theme around which to plan our posts. For May, we went with Lock & Key.

And because I enjoy little challenges, we created a list that embraces the theme in more specific ways. We definitely have fun trying to apply the theme to middle grade books. Piano keys. Locks of hair. Safes & thieves. I share my book finds on Twitter, but I’ll be doing a sort of summary post here, too.

You’re welcome to play along. Just use the #MGCarousel tag when you tweet.

CJ on Twitter >>

MGCarousel on Twitter >>