Genre: Middle Grade


Nov 12
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 7 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta. I’d bought this book at a Scholastic Book Fair awhile back because it looked like such a fun MG fantasy. I’m so glad she made me read it! Read on to see what we thought of the book… An imaginative middle grade fantasy that weaves Bengali folklore into the life of an everyday sixth grader!  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: The Bengali folklore! If you’ve been around my blog for long, you know that I’m a fan of books that focus on cultures that haven’t been in the mainstream a whole lot. This book definitely fits the bill. I hadn’t heard… Read more »


Nov 08
Bite-Sized Reviews of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, Becoming RBG, Friend or Fiction, and Catwad

Bite-Sized Reviews of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, Becoming RBG, Friend or Fiction, and Catwad

Reviews 9

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: a MG sci-fi, a MG contemporary fantasy, and three MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is absolutely perfect for fans of The Amazing Race!! Of course, you don’t have to be familiar with the show to enjoy the book, but if you are, you’ll get that extra layer of enjoyment. I actually hadn’t read the blurb before reading the book, so I hadn’t expected the comparison—but I immediately found myself thinking, “This is a middle grade Amazing Race with a teleportation twist!” Everything I used to love about that show is in here: the interesting puzzles (which readers can try to solve right along with the characters), the travel to new sites, the race to the finish line, and even the backstabbing competitors. 🙂 (I actually didn’t realize that the show is… Read more »


Oct 30
The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Review & My Sestina Poem About the Book!

The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Review & My Sestina Poem About the Book!

Poetry, Reviews 7 ★★★★

In this fun follow-up to The Storm Runner, Zane finds himself in a whole new predicament—not only does he have to save his father, he’s also got to save a whole host of godborns who he endangered in the first place! When Zane wrote the original book, he sent it out into the world as a call to the other godborns (only a godborn should have been able to read it—which I thought was a clever way to get the reader engaged with the story—as if they must, in fact, be godborn too if they were reading the book). Only it turns out that his battle cry backfired and revealed all the godborns to the gods, thus putting them in danger. Oops! This book explores shifting relationships: from friends who might be more, to absentee parents who have the chance to become involved in their kids’ lives, to new friendships, to enemies who could… Read more »


Oct 21
The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Spotlight & Giveaway (Plus a Link to My Review & Poem!)

The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Spotlight & Giveaway (Plus a Link to My Review & Poem!)

Giveaways (Ended) 14

Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD Check out my review of the book, along with a fun sestina poem that I wrote to go along with it!! This series focuses on Mayan mythology, which is a fascinating mythological system we rarely encounter in books! I really enjoyed the first book—check out my review of STORM RUNNER!  About the Author J.C. Cervantes is the New York Times best-selling author of The Storm Runner, The Fire Keeper, and Tortilla Sun. Her books have appeared on national lists, including the American Booksellers Association New Voices, Barnes and Noble’s Best Young Reader Books, and Favorite MG Science Fiction/Fantasy Top Ten Books, as well as Amazon’s Best Books of the Month. She has earned multiple awards and recognitions, including the New Mexico Book Award, and the Zia Book Award. J.C. lives in New Mexico (otherwise known as the Land of Enchantment) can read, write, and talk backwards, always… Read more »


Oct 15
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 19 ★★★★★

Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD This book is absolutely packed with rich storytelling—both African and African American folklore that many middle graders have probably never encountered before. It’s difficult to even unpack how many different stories are rolled into this adventure and brought to life in a new way. (I’d actually love it if Rick Riordan Presents would do a companion that goes deeper into each individual tale, sort of like the Greek Gods companions that were done for the Percy Jackson Series). This book would be perfect to use in a classroom setting because I believe it will inspire kids to want to learn more about the folklore and mythology behind characters like Nyami, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, High John and Gum Baby. Tristan Strong is just getting over the sting of his first boxing match—and his first defeat. He feels like he’s let the adults in his life (who all have… Read more »


Oct 10
Mightier Than the Sword: Review & Giveaway of a Uniquely Interactive Middle Grade Fantasy

Mightier Than the Sword: Review & Giveaway of a Uniquely Interactive Middle Grade Fantasy

Current Giveaways, Reviews 28 ★★★★½

A uniquely interactive middle grade fantasy adventure that puts the reader right into the story! I’ve never read a book quite like this before, and I doubt you have either. First off, the book is told in second person POV—“you” are the star of the show. The book starts out with you waking up in a strange world. You (conveniently) have no memory of who you are and your goal is to regain your memories and return home—wherever that may be. Except this place you’ve ended up in is … strange. And thus begins your fantasy adventure! The book incorporates lots of interactive elements. You discover that you are an actual human in a world of stories, and you therefore have the ability to write or draw things into existence. Because of this, you often get to create your own aspects of the world via a Mad Libs type fill-in…. Read more »


Oct 03
Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Author Interview, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 28 ★★★★★

I decided to start reading this book before bed a few nights ago, and the next thing I knew it was midnight and I was finished. And I had shed tears. I was not expecting to have this reaction to this book. In fact, honestly, at the very beginning of the book I was feeling a tad bit skeptical. I was thinking, “Wait, is this going to be a book about a boy who squeezed a girl’s shoulder without asking?” But that’s sort of the beauty of the book. It starts off almost completely innocently—with Mila feeling a little bit uncomfortable in a relatively benign situation. The sort of situation that you could reasonably see people brushing off, including Mila herself. But then things start to spiral. The little shoulder squeeze turns into an unwanted hug, which turns into brushing up against her, and then the boys start making comments, and soon Mila realizes… Read more »


Sep 09
Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Reviews 20

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy a YA contemp, and two MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! First off, I didn’t realize when I started reading this that the series is a duology. So I was expecting perhaps a bit of middle-book syndrome and was surprised when the book didn’t feel sluggish in the least. In fact, I found myself eager to read this book every chance I got. The book starts out with Kazi very hurt and in captivity and then moves back a couple of weeks to show us how she got there. So, of course, I was eagerly reading to find out what happened and how she was separated from Jase. Surprisingly, it wasn’t one of those cases where it took us half the book to get back to where we’d started, though. No,… Read more »


Aug 30
Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Reviews 24

I’ve got four reviews for you today: one MG contemp and three MG science fiction books (or maybe one is fantasy? A superhero story with robots and … I’m just going with sci-fi). I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is hilarious!! I literally laughed through pretty much the whole book. (My mom can attest to this, as she was sitting next to me when I read it. I kept stopping to read her funny quotes.) There were also cute little footnotes like this one: Book safety disclaimer: This dangerous trick should only be attempted by professionally trained stunt babies. I mean, if a book needs disclaimers like that, you have to know some amusing stuff is happening. There were a few of the typical fart jokes and butt jokes (those aren’t my favorite), but they were overwhelmed by the just pure funny… Read more »


Aug 20
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 14 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. I’d bought this book since it was the 2018 Newbery Medal winner, and I was excited that Danielle chose it for us to read! Read on to see what we thought of the book… A quiet middle grade read about the connections between us and the mysterious ways that fate can bring us together.  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: Valencia’s experiences as a deaf child. I think my favorite character in this book was Valencia. She’s got a certain strength to her, even as she’s dealing with difficult situations (like her best friend ditching her when it gets too “hard” to communicate with… Read more »