Genre: Middle Grade


Mar 30
In the Red by Christopher Swiedler: A Stunning Survival Story Set on Mars!

In the Red by Christopher Swiedler: A Stunning Survival Story Set on Mars!

Reviews 8 ★★★★★

Get a SIGNED (can be personalized) copy of the book from Florey’s Books. You know those awesome survival books where someone gets stuck on a mountain somewhere and barely makes it out alive? Well, this is that, but on MARS! If that doesn’t sound cool to you, you’re obviously not reading it right. Go back and try again. (I was going to write a bite-sized review for this, but I just had too many things to say!) Seriously, though, this book was fantastic! I loved every heart-stopping moment of action. Lately, I’ve been struggling to read, but I absolutely flew through this book. Not only does the adventure aspect of the book keep you on your toes, but Michael’s personal story is also incredibly compelling and makes you want to keep reading. Michael suffers from panic attacks, which have kept him from his dream of following in his father’s and brother’s… Read more »


Mar 18
Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Reviews 16 ★★★★

Don’t Check Out This Book! is a fun, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the serious issue of censorship. The story is told in an epistolary format, completely through emails, newspaper articles, notes, etc. It follows the travails of the new school librarian at a tiny school (in my home state of Illinois). Rita B. Danjerous (yep, all the names in this book are puns—it’s quite fun) has some wild ideas about books, mainly that kids should have free and easy access to them, even to those books that might be about more embarrassing topics kids are curious about but may not necessarily want to openly talk about. But she comes up against a whole lot of opposition, especially in the form of the new school board president (Ivana Beprawpa—read it fast. Hint, she’s very concerned with raising up kids who are “proper”). But Ms. Danjerous starts to win people over in her… Read more »


Mar 13
Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Reviews 13

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA paranormal, a YA fantasy, and two MG reads. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This is one of those books that’s just plain fun to read (or listen to, as I ended up doing). It takes the basic Freaky Friday premise and gives it a modern twist by making it about two cousins who couldn’t be more different. Ricki is a horror film buff who desperately wants to save her local drive-in theater—and share a perfect first kiss during the drive-in’s big night. Lana, on the other hand, is a blossoming beauty YouTube star who cares much more about her follower count than anything going on IRL—or at least that’s what Ricki thinks. When the two switch places and Ricki has to live Lana’s life for a day, she realizes that there’s a… Read more »


Mar 03
If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith

If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith

Current Giveaways, Reviews 17 ★★★★★

Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org This book is utterly wonderful! When you were a kid, did y0u ever imagine people living up in the trees or in the base of a volcano or some other place tucked away, hidden by nature? I know I did. Well, the authors of this book take that concept of hidden societies and imagine, what if those hidden worlds were in danger? Kirra’s home has always been safe and peaceful, tucked away in a volcano. Her father’s stories of volcano demons have ensured that no one will find them. Until, one day, someone does. Takers come, and they destroy everything Kirra has ever known. She escapes to a society where everyone lives in the trees, and she blocks out everything from her past life, but nowhere is safe forever. There is so much to love about this book—setting is incredibly important, and it’s imagined so… Read more »


Feb 14
Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 12 ★★★★½

You can purchase Pippa Park Raises Her Game at the following Retailers:   To sum this book up, it’s Mean Girls for middle graders with the addition of basketball and a big lie that threatens to blow up everything! I know this is a Great Expectations retelling, but honestly, as I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls often—it just has that vibe (I guess I’d forgotten most of GA, which I read in my high school days, but that didn’t cut down on my enjoyment of the book). Pippa has just transferred to a private school from the local public school, and she feels like a fish out of water. She wants so much to fit in, but she isn’t really sure how. All of the kids in her class come from money, and they seem to have a bunch of expectations that she has no idea… Read more »


Feb 11
Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Reviews 38 ★★★★

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy, a graphic novel (adult, I suppose, though it’s appropriate for YA), and a MG fantasy. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I was incredibly excited to read Eric Smith’s newest, just because he is such an amazing presence on Twitter. I figured if half of his Twitter wit and intelligence showed up in his book, I’d be happy. Don’t Read the Comments is an astute commentary on the joys and very real dangers that come with being a major online presence. It also tackles topics like sexism and racism (in the online gaming world, but also in the “real world”) in a very realistic way. I think that teenagers today will easily be able to see their favorite You-Tube stars in Divya. She is charismatic in her gaming videos,… Read more »


Jan 15
Bite-Sized Reviews of Every Other Weekend, Storm and Fury, The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and All of Me

Bite-Sized Reviews of Every Other Weekend, Storm and Fury, The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and All of Me

Reviews 30 ★★★★

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, two YA paranormals, and a MG book contemporary in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I had no idea this was going to be such an emotional read! I’ll confess that at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like these characters: Jolene is rebellious(ish) purely for the sake of aggravating her stepmom (who I really sort of felt sorry for) and Adam comes off as a bit holier than thou and is horrible to his dad. If you’ve been around the blog for long, you know that I sometimes have trouble with “unlikeable” (to me) protagonists. There’s even a hint of almost-cheating involved in the story. So, it’s a testament to Abigail Johnson’s writing ability that she soon had me wrapped up in these characters’ lives and wrapped around… Read more »


Jan 09
Cub by Cindy Copeland: Graphic Novel Review

Cub by Cindy Copeland: Graphic Novel Review

Reviews 14 ★★★★★

I’m guessing this graphic novel will be a big hit with middle graders! It’s perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s books because it’s very similar to her books in style (and some of the themes). I especially loved that Copeland included empowering messages about young girls without hitting us over the head with them. She shows the ways that she was treated unequally without having a graphic novel that constantly decries those injustices. For instance, there was the fact that her father had high expectations of her brothers but not really of her—but then he was very supportive when she took initiative and started accomplishing things on her own. The reporter that Cindy worked with was very blatantly the only woman in the news office and she wasn’t getting great assignments (at least at first)—but the book showed her taking action about that (and getting what she wanted). Cindy has a boyfriend… Read more »


Dec 31
The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson: A Dual Review with Marilla

The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson: A Dual Review with Marilla

Dual Reviews, Reviews 2 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. This is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Marilla was a recent winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson. I got this book as a gift at an event I went to featuring Johnson’s agent, Sara Megibow (I learned LOTS about the business side of publishing from her). I’m so glad Marilla made me read this book! Read on to see what we thought of the book… An engrossing middle grade fantasy that explores themes of friendship and belonging. What Fed Our Addiction: MARILLA SAYS: I loved the strong friendship between Drift and Rook and later how they formed a relationship with Fox, and I love the found family aspect of both the three of them and then later on with… Read more »


Nov 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Reviews 12 ★★★★½

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG book of contemporary short stories, a picture book and a non-fiction kids’ book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book shines a (glaring) spotlight on ableism. The main characters, Isabel and Sasha both have chronic illnesses that aren’t life-threatening (at least not directly) but are serious. Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis and lives in near-constant pain. She decided long ago that she didn’t want to be in a relationship—her life is just too complicated, and she knows darn well that she’s not always the most cheerful companion. But when she meets Sasha, her feelings start to change. Sasha has Gaucher Disease, an illness that puts him in the hospital often. Isabel relates to Sasha in a way she hasn’t with anyone else—he understands her, and he understands the challenges of… Read more »