Katt vs. Dogg – James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein

Katt vs. DoggKatt vs. Dogg by James Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 1st, 2019
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Adventure, Animals, Humor


REVIEW:

You know, I didn’t expect to actually learn meaningful information about cats and dogs from this fiction book, but that’s my fault for underestimating a middle grade story as well as the great James Patterson himself. For example, I had no idea cats could climb up trees easily but had difficulty climbing down them. Continue reading

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No Fixed Address – Susin Nielsen

No Fixed AddressNo Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 11th, 2018
Publisher: Tundra Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Friendship, Family, Social Issues, Competition


REVIEW:

I admire the hell out of Susin Nielsen for tackling the topics she does. It isn’t easy to talk about controversial subjects like poverty and homelessness to a middle grade audience. And yet, Susin Nielsen tries… and, in my opinion, does a superb job of discussing them. Continue reading

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

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


BLURB:

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


BLURB:

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


BLURB:

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