Genre: Middle Grade


Apr 09
Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Author Top Ten Lists, Reviews 19 ★★★★★

So, lots of us in the book blogging community know Danielle Hammelef. She’s a regular presence in the comments section of so many of our blogs. And I’ve featured her here on FYFA on several occasions when she’s done dual reviews with me (after winning my Make Me Read It Giveaway). We all know that Danielle is a superstar. But did you know that Danielle is also an author? A while back Danielle mentioned to me that she wrote children’s nonfiction, and I was blown away by this revelation! This isn’t a genre that gets a lot of attention in the book blogging community, but ever since I found this out, I knew that I wanted to feature Danielle’s books here on the blog and give her a little bit of the attention she deserves. My first step was to check out all of her books that I could from… Read more »


Apr 05
Bite-Sized Reviews of Slayer, Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, Mera: Tidebreaker, and You’d Be Mine

Bite-Sized Reviews of Slayer, Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, Mera: Tidebreaker, and You’d Be Mine

Reviews 15

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA urban fantasy, a YA historical in verse, a MG graphic novel and a YA contemporary. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I honestly just want to randomly gush about this book because it’s a new installment in the Buffy-verse and it lives up to the brand!! I was both delighted and terrified to read this book. Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out when I was in college, and I was an avid fan. I waited desperately for every episode (I own the whole series on DVD now). Buffy is the only TV show I’ve ever been truly obsessed with. So, the idea of a new series set in that world was exciting, but I was also worried it couldn’t live up to the name (I’ve never read any of the random books based on the… Read more »


Mar 29
Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6

This first book in the Samantha Spinner Series introduces us to Samantha and her wacky family. Her dad is a lightbulb expert, her mom is a lizard veterinarian, her older sister Buffy is a fashion-obsessed shopping machine, and her little brother Nipper is just an annoying little brother–who loses stuff a lot (and knows a lot of random facts). But strangest of all is Uncle Paul, who goes missing at the very beginning of the book. He leaves behind amazing presents for Buffy and Nipper–and a red umbrella for Samantha. As you can imagine, Samantha’s pretty sure she got a raw deal. Until she discovers that the umbrella is actually a map that leads to a super secret transportation system … and a whole lot of adventure. The book is zany in so many over-the-top ways. Sometimes it’s a bit nonsensical, but it’s always fun. Ginns’ creativity knows no bounds, and… Read more »


Mar 21
Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger: Review & Scheerger’s Top Ten Addictions

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger: Review & Scheerger’s Top Ten Addictions

Author Top Ten Lists, Reviews 6 ★★★★★

Operation Frog Effect is a story told in journal form–with eight (diverse) kids who are writing their experiences as the school year progresses. The kids use multiple formats. For instance, one writes mostly in verse while another does his journaling in graphic novel format. These different formats are sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers. Right from the start, I could tell that the characters were going to be incredibly relatable: the story starts with Emily, who’s confused by the fact that her two best friends didn’t sit with her on the first day of school. She’s sure it’s a mistake. Well, pretty sure. That beginning set just the right tone and let me know that this book was going to tug at my heartstrings and address situations that middle school kids face every day. It also tackles some tougher topics as well, like learning disabilities, immigration and homelessness…. Read more »


Mar 19
Bite-Sized Reviews of Geekerella, Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, and The Crossover and Rebound

Bite-Sized Reviews of Geekerella, Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, and The Crossover and Rebound

Reviews 12

I’ve got three reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a MG fantasy, and two MG verse novels in a series. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I’ve been meaning to read this book for forever because so many of my blogger friends love it. A book about fandoms is pretty much guaranteed to be a win because so many of us have been in that place of adoring a book series or movie or TV show so much that we just can’t bear to see anyone ruin the story for us! Think of all those book to movie adaptations and all the fans who are just begging the producers to be gentle with their favorite story! I loved the focus on geekdom, of course–the title pretty much tells you what you’re getting into. These are people who LOVE their show and they’re not afraid… Read more »


Mar 09
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Revenge of Magic, Hey, Kiddo, and Born a Crime

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Revenge of Magic, Hey, Kiddo, and Born a Crime

Reviews 24

I’ve got three reviews for you today: a Middle Grade fantasy, a MG/YA graphic novel, and a YA memoir audiobook. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is filled with action and adventure right from the very start, and I flew through it! The story follows Fort, who witnesses his father’s death when a giant claw reaches up through the ground and pulls him under. When he’s offered the chance to learn magic and get revenge on those responsible, he jumps at it. But he soon discovers that things aren’t as simple as they seem and there are lots of people at his new school hoping he’ll fail. And, of course, that makes us root for him even harder, knowing that his teachers have put him up against practically impossible odds. Throughout the story, we get clues about the mysterious voice in… Read more »


Mar 06
Bite-Sized Reviews of Song for a Whale, A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean, The Color of Lies, and The Lunar Chronicles

Bite-Sized Reviews of Song for a Whale, A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean, The Color of Lies, and The Lunar Chronicles

Reviews 18

I’ve got four reviews for you today: two Middle Grades, a YA, and a YA series . I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This is one of those books that takes you into the heart and mind of a character whose experiences you might not be able to completely relate to—and you come out all the richer for it in the end. The story focuses on Iris, a Deaf girl who struggles to communicate with many of the people around her and to find her place in a world that doesn’t seem to know how to define her. When she learns of a whale with a similar issue, Blue 55, who can’t communicate with other whales, she makes it her mission in life to let him know there’s someone out there who understands him. I connected to Iris right away, even when I… Read more »


Feb 15
Bite-Sized Reviews of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, The Simple Art of Flying, and The Language Inside

Bite-Sized Reviews of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, The Simple Art of Flying, and The Language Inside

Reviews 32

I’ve got three reviews for you today: a YA fantasy retelling, a MG contemporary(ish), and a YA novel in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book! So much perfection! Lately I’ve honestly been slogging through a lot of my reading. I’ve been tired and unmotivated and most of the books I’ve read have felt really long. I don’t think it’s been the books’ fault—it’s just the state of mind I’m in. And then I picked up this book. And I flew through it. Every time I put the book down, I was just waiting for the moment I could pick it back up. It was pure magic. It’s hard to imagine a fresh take on the Beauty and the Beast story, but this one has so many nuances: First off, there’s the heroine with cerebral palsy whose condition doesn’t define her in any way–it’s just a fact about… Read more »


Feb 06
Bite-Sized Reviews of Firestarter, The Lonely Ones, We Come Apart and The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up

Bite-Sized Reviews of Firestarter, The Lonely Ones, We Come Apart and The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up

Reviews 26

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA steampunk, two YA verse novels (one of them is borderline YA/MG), and a manga. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! (Check out my review of the first two books in this series and Sim’s Top Ten Addictions!) What a fabulously wild ride! Though Timekeeper is still my favorite book in this series, the very end of Firestarter made the whole series journey more than worth it. Sim puts her characters through a lot in this book–it’s full of action, a whole lot of twists and turns, and brutal loss. Still, I’ll confess that it took me a long time to read the book, and there were times that it dragged a bit for me. Maybe that’s just because I wasn’t ever as invested in the newer characters as I was in Danny and Colton. But luckily, this book… Read more »


Jan 29
One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko: Review & Giveaway

One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 16 ★★★½

One-Third Nerd is a heartwarming middle grade story about a typically atypical family just trying to get by. I say typically atypical because, let’s face it, in today’s world very few families fit the standard nuclear family mold. Liam’s parents are divorced and they struggle financially. His youngest sister has Down’s Syndrome and his other little sis is brilliant (but maybe a bit of a handful). I think that Chodenko captured the family dynamic well. None of them are perfect, but they love each other and they’re doing their best. Liam is sometimes self-conscious about his apartment and his brainy sister’s antics (she’s 100% nerd—perfect for her, but not great as far as Liam’s concerned). He’s especially concerned about how he looks to the new kid, Moses, who he thinks has it all together (especially since Moses is a superstar at tennis, Liam’s sport). To top everything off, the family… Read more »