Clean Getaway – Nic Stone

46310069Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fiction, Family History, Road Trip, Humour


REVIEW:

My first 2020 release!

This is a fun middle grade novel about a naughty boy going on an adventurous road trip across the country with his effervescent and perhaps a little scheming grandma. William is on school suspension and his father is very mad at him. So of course he’s not going to ask his permission to leave with G’ma. Continue reading

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Shouting at the Rain – Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Friendship Dynamics, Summer


REVIEW:

I don’t typically dislike being in the minority because I can stand my ground, especially when it comes to book preferences, but I can’t help but be disappointed right now. This is an author that I have read twice before and both times she managed to impress me, plus this book was enjoyed by 98% of the people who have read it. Yet Shouting at the Rain is not as entertaining as Fish in a Tree or as moving as One for the Murphys. Actually, it’s somewhat annoying. Continue reading

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

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