The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

20912424The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 8th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Historical Fiction, WWII, Disability

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BLURB:

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? Continue reading

Fish In a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

22402972Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 5th, 2015
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Learning Disabilities, Bullying, Education

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BLURB:

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. Continue reading

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

32623542Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Historical Fiction

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BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger. Continue reading

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

26026063Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, WWII, Bullying

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BLURB:

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount. Continue reading

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

28110143Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Magic, Alice in Wonderland

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BLURB:

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss Continue reading

Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

25753099Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Animals, Environment, Friendship

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BLURB:

Obe Devlin has problems. His family’s farmland has been taken over by developers. His best friend Tommy abandoned him for the development kids. And he keeps getting nosebleeds, because of that thing he doesn’t like to talk about. So Obe hangs out at the creek by his house, in the last wild patch left, picking up litter and looking for animal tracks.

One day, he sees a creature that looks kind of like a large dog, or maybe a small boar. And as he watches it, he realizes it eats plastic. Only plastic. Water bottles, shopping bags… No one has ever seen a creature like this before, because there’s never been a creature like this before. The animal–Marvin Gardens–soon becomes Obe’s best friend and biggest secret. But to keep him safe from the developers and Tommy and his friends, Obe must make a decision that might change everything. Continue reading

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

33282947See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Contemporary, Science

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BLURB:

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew. Continue reading