The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher

The Christmasaurus
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 23rd, 2018 for this edition
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Christmas, Fantasy, Family, Friendship, Bullying


BLURB:

Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . . . A dinosaur! Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas: a dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection. Continue reading

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Louisiana’s Way Home – Kate DiCamillo

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Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Road Trip, Friendship


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When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.) Continue reading

Front Desk – Kelly Yang

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Front Desk by Kelly Yang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Based on True Events, Family, Friendship, Immigration


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Front Desk tells the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed! Continue reading

Sheets – Brenna Thummler

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Sheets by Brenna Thummler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comic Distributors
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Lion Forge
Recommended Age: 7+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Ghosts, Family, Friendship


BLURB:

Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world. When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain. Continue reading

The Science of Breakable Things – Tae Keller

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Mental Illness, Friendship


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An emotionally-charged new classic about the science of hope, love, and miracles! Natalie’s uplifting story of using the scientific process to “save” her mother from depression is sure to take root in readers’ hearts! Continue reading

The Night Diary – Veera Hiranandani

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The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Journey, Family, Siblings


BLURB:

It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Continue reading

Everlasting Nora – Marie Miranda Cruz

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Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Starscape Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow/Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Real Life Matters, Poverty


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After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today. When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone. With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places. Continue reading