Category Archives: New Book Reviews

July 31

A Splendid and Stunning Read: A Seed Is the Start by Melissa Stewart Review by Jennifer Sniadecki

I’ve been spending my summer getting back to nature as much as possible. While I love exploring my local vacation destinations, I also wonder about nature in other parts of the world. Melissa Stewart has given me a peek into plant life from all over the globe in her new book, A Seed is the […]

July 18

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden – Review by Tracy Murphy

Ann Braden’s forthcoming and debut middle grade novel, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, sank right into me. Set in Vermont, Braden has crafted a unique story that highlights the realities of living in poverty, being both child and caregiver, and the chaos involved in the day-to-day existence of being a middle school girl. The […]

July 11

Captain Superlative by J. S. Puller – Review by Jaymie Dieterle

Captain Superlative has taken Dearwood Park Middle School by storm with her swimsuit-and-tights costume, blue rubber gloves, wig, facemask and cape. You can’t miss her. She seems to know everyone and see everything. She helps injured kids get around the school, distributes peppermints to all the kids who have tests to take, and creates study […]

July 04

The Magic of Melwick Orchard by Rebecca Caprara – Review by Dana Dykiel

When I was younger, I was confused by the phrase wait until you get into the real world. It seemed to imply, somehow, that my world wasn’t real. Evidently, I knew adults had jobs, romances, different responsibilities – but were these experiences larger, or more important than my own? Did adults feel joy and sadness […]

June 28

AMERICAN PANDA BY GLORIA CHAO – REVIEW BY KRIS BARR PAQUETTE

Book Jacket Blurb From the Publisher: At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of […]

June 21

TAKEDOWN by Laura Shovan – Review by Bridget Hodder

It isn’t surprising that author Laura Shovan, who won several distinctions for her thoughtful novel-in-verse, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, has a new book out this week. However, fans of her last novel might be surprised to learn that the new one is about…wrestling.   So let’s begin this review by pointing out […]

May 13

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly – Book Review by Lynne R. Dorfman

“The stars tell us everything. It’s fate, Gen. Fate in the stars. There are no coincidences.” (p. 101)   The 2018 Newberry Award winner by Erin Entrada for middle schoolers will capture them in its honesty, its mystery, and its charm. The book is written in short, easy-to-read chapters in the perspectives of the four […]

March 22

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Review by Alexandra Cornejo

Mentally rich and decadent — this is how I would describe The Belles. I listened to The Belles on Audible with Rosie Jones (@rosiejonesactor) as the narrator. She did a wonderful job at her narration, which makes all the difference. Her English accent added such an elegant air to an exquisitely written book. However, I […]

March 13

THE TRAIN OF LOST THINGS by Ammi-Joan Paquette – Reviewed by: Bridget Hodder

  “Late at night, that’s when the magic was strongest. When stories swirled like fog and trembled like dreams made real.”   There’s a tender, shimmering enchantment to be found at the heart of Ammi-Joan Paquette’s new Middle Grade novel, THE TRAIN OF LOST THINGS.   In Middle Grade literature, it’s rare to find the […]

December 20

A Short History of the Girl Next Door, by Jared Reck – Review by Aileen Hower

I just had a new book break into my top ten favorite books of all time.   Seriously.   I had been hearing great things about the young adult novel, A Short History of the Girl Next Door. Because Mr. Reck teaches in a neighboring school district, I eagerly noticed the attention his debut book […]