Mosquitoland – David Arnold

18718848Mosquitoland by David Arnold

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Viking Children’s
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary

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BLURB:

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane. Continue reading

Counting Thyme – Melanie Conklin

25938399Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Putnam
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family

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BLURB:

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home. Continue reading

The Best Man – Richard Peck

28251377The Best Man by Richard Peck

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, School, Contemporary,

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BLURB:

When Archer is in sixth grade, his beloved uncle Paul marries another man—Archer’s favorite student teacher. But that’s getting ahead of the story, and a wonderful story it is. In Archer’s sweetly naïve but observant voice, his life through elementary school is recounted: the outspoken, ever-loyal friends he makes, the teachers who blunder or inspire, and the family members who serve as his role models. From one exhilarating, unexpected episode to another, Archer’s story rolls along as he puzzles over the people in his life and the kind of person he wants to become…and manages to help his uncle become his best self as well. Continue reading

Escape from Mr.Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein

16054808Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Adventure, Games

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BLURB:

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. Continue reading

Counting by 7s – Holly Goldberg Sloan

15937108Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 29th, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st & 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Grief

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BLURB:

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life…until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. Continue reading

Roller Girl – Victoria Jamieson

22504701Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Sports, Graphic Novel, Friendship

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BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl. Continue reading

Kulti – Mariana Zapata

24044596Kulti by Mariana Zapata

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 20th, 2015
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

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BLURB:

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her. Continue reading