Anya and the Dragon – Sofiya Pasternack

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Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Dragons, Magic, Friendship


REVIEW:

It should not be legal for a book that promises to be so exciting to end up being so… dull. I choose my Middle Grade reads wisely, because so few actually appeal to an older audience, even though I believe they should be for everyone, not just for children. Yet clearly I made a mistake this time by letting myself be wooed by the beautiful cover and the promise of an intriguing and entertaining plot. Continue reading

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Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes

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Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 17th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Police Brutality, History, Racism, Family, Friendship, Ghosts


REVIEW:

Some authors write 400-page books and never manage to successfully convey their intended message to their readers. Jewell Parker Rhodes here wrote a 200-page story that brims with strength, power and importance. Continue reading

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment
Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein & James Lancett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Little Brown, BFYR
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Science, Adventure, Knowledge


REVIEW:

This better be a six-book-series (or more) because Max Einstein kicks ass. It’s so important for kids to have positive male AND female role models and Max Einstein is one amazing young person to look up to and follow in the footsteps of. Continue reading

Twinchantment – Elise Allen

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Twinchantment by Elise Allen

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 9th, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Siblings, Magic, Family, Adventure


REVIEW:

I don’t remember the last time I gave a book a 2.5 rating but it feels appropriate in this case because this is a story that has a decent idea but a not-so-interesting execution.

It’s about two twins – Flissa and Sara – who live in a kingdom devoid of magical beings because once upon a time magic caused great harm to the kingdom. The Fantasy genre is usually dramatic like that. Continue reading

Super Jake & the King of Chaos – Naomi Milliner

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Super Jake & the King of Chaos by Naomi Milliner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Dreams, Magic


REVIEW:

If every Middle Grade book was as heart-warming, realistic and interesting as this one, I can tell you I would be reading them more often than once/twice a month. It’s pathetic really because I love the genre, I’m so happy it exists, but many simply don’t appeal to an older audience. Continue reading

Fairest of All (Whatever After, #1) – Sarah Mlynowski

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Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Magic, Adventure, Family, Humor


REVIEW:

This was a charming feminist retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for middle graders (or anyone who enjoys a story well told). Abby and her brother Jonah have found a magical mirror in their basement that can transport them from their mundane world to a fairytale one. Continue reading

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James – Ashley Herring Blake

37539698The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA+, Family Dynamics, Friendship, Love


REVIEW:

I have read and enjoyed everything else Ashley Herring Blake has written so of course I was beyond excited to dive into this copy. I am also so very happy this author is exploring LGBTQIA+ themes because her stories are realistic and important. Continue reading