Recently in So Many Good Books Category

Hello, Universe

hello universe.jpgHello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner and such a fun read. I loved the multiple viewpoints and how the characters are brought together despite their aloneness.

First, we meet shy Virgil Salinas, whose own family doesn't seem to understand his quietness. He feels "like unbuttered toast standing next to them." And they call him Turtle. Only his grandmother, newly from the Philippines, seems to get him.

Next up is Valencia Somerset who is struggling with a repetitive nightmare where she is all alone. She's adopted a dog who lives in the woods and sneaks off to feed him.

Then we meet Kaori Tanaka, with her powers of second sight and her younger sister, Gen, who helps her out preparing for clients.

And, of course, there's the bully--Chet Bullens--aka the Bull--who plays an important role in this story of young middle schoolers on summer break.

Each character was unique and interesting, and yet so identifiable. Except for the bully, of course.

This is Erin's third book. Go here to read about the rest of them.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

lifeofacactus.pngInsignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Sterling Children's Books, 2017) by Dusti Bowling was so good.

Thirteen-year-old Aven was born without arms, but loves making up stories about what happened to her arms. It's a fun joke with her friends, but when she and her family have to move because her dad lost his job and Aven has to go to a new school, she doesn't feel like joking. Or eating lunch in front of anyone. And the "looks" and stares are hard.

Her new home is a rundown Western theme park in Arizona which has some mysteries. Eventually she meets Connor who has his own struggles and they start investigating those mysteries plus create some excitement of their own. The two also ending up helping each other.

Aven is funny, interesting, and a good friend. I like her parents and how they've encouraged her.

This really is a sweet book, but not too sweet. ;-) Go here and read about all the awards and lists this book has been chosen for.

Dusti's second book, 24 Hours in Nowhere, comes out in September. Read about it here.

A Death-Struck Year

A_Death_Struck_Year.pngA Death-Struck Year (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) by Makiia Lucier is a wonderful historical set 100 years ago.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo Berry is temporarily staying at her school in Portland, Oregon while her guardians are on a trip to San Francisco. But then the Spanish influenza, which has been devastating the East Coast, hits Portland. Cleo is supposed to stay at her school but she sneaks out and goes home where she is alone. She ends up volunteering for the Red Cross and risks her life helping those who are stricken with flu.

Cleo is a strong character who grows during the story to understand much more about life, and death, than she ever has before. I love how this wealthy girl who knows so little about practical things in the real world learns what's really important.

This was author Makiia Lucier's debut novel. The book was named an ABC Best Books for Children Selection by the American Booksellers Association. Oh, and a bonus on the author's site is pictures of what Portland was like in 1918. See them here.

Makiia's next book is a fantasy that came out in April. Read about it here.

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse

Perfect Picture Book Friday

wolf-duck-mouse.jpgThe Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse (Candlewick Press, 2017) by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is a humorous picture book (no surprise if you are familiar with the author or illustrator).

Mouse meets a wolf and gets swallowed. In the wolf's stomach he meets a duck who actually enjoys his life there. With advice from the duck, they live happily, but the wolf . . . not so much.

I like the classical feel of this story. The illustrations add to the humor.

Read about Mac and his other books on his website. While there you can see all the awards the book has won. Also check out Jon's illustrations on tumbler.


Bernice Gets Carried Away

Perfect Picture Book Friday

bernice.jpgBernice Gets Carried Away (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Hannah E. Harrison is one of those fun picture books where the title has multiple meanings.

Bernice is not in a good mood. (Look at that face!) Everyone at the birthday party is getting good things, except Bernice. So when balloons were going to be handed out, "she didn't take any chances."

I love how perspective turns Bernice's mood around, and that it can do the same for us.

This book is an Oklahoma Book Awards Finalist in both Illustration and Children/Young Adult categories.

Author/Illustrator Hannah E. Harrison has a number of books out that relate to friendship. Read more on her website.

Hello, Universe

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

A Death-Struck Year

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse

Bernice Gets Carried Away

The Traitor's Kiss

Chasing Secrets

Is It Night or Day?

Tempests and Slaughter

Infinity

To Catch a Killer

The One Memory of Flora Banks

My Lady Jane

Shadow Magic

Lucky Broken Girl

Grandma's Purse

Dad and the Dinosaur

Strange the Dreamer

Wonderling

What Goes Up - a picture book

Insignia

The Sun Is Also a Star

Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

Six of Crows

Foxheart

A Face Like Glass

What Goes Up

Daughter of the Burning City

Before She Ignites

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

The Black Witch

The Someday Suitcase

The First Last Day

The Seventh Bride

The PROBLEM with FOREVER

Red Queen

The Reader (Book One of Sea of Ink and Gold)

Hoot & Honk Just Can't Sleep

Cloud and Wallfish

Rules for Thieves

Heartless

Prisoner of Ice and Snow

Just a Normal Tuesday

Defy the Stars

Given to the Sea

Monster, Human, Other

Carrying Mason

Holding Up the Universe

The Passion of Dolssa

Bob and Joss Get Lost!

Night Animals

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

The Diabolic

Jelly Bean Summer

Leave Me Alone!

Wolfie the Bunny

The Only Road

The Wolf's Boy

The Water Princess

Who Wants a Tortoise?

The Secret of a Heart Note

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3

Pug Meets Pig

Normal Norman

Mother Bruce

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Enchantress Sacrifice

Shadows

One for the Murphys

A Time to Dance

Dying to Meet You

Iron Hearted Violet

Let Me Finish!

Scythe

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Scourge

Written in the Stars

Dead Boy

Poppy

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Towers Falling

Echo

The Seventh Wish

All Four Stars

the impossible knife of memory

Just My Luck

The Thief of Mirrors

Snoring Beauty

The Inn Between

Bottled

Booked

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Counting Thyme

In the time of the Dragon Moon

The Chance You Won't Return

The Fire Sermon

The Crossover

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals

Sweet Home Alaska

Mouseheart

How to Capture an Invisible Cat

The Year We Sailed the Sun

The Wrinkled Crown

Ship Breaker

Uprooted

Circus Mirandus

Dragon Slippers

Mr. Pusskins: a Love Story

Prisoner 88

Tuesdays at the Castle

Not in the Script

All the Bright Places

Fuzzy Mud

Rhyme Schemer

Switch

El Deafo

Nightsong

On My Way to Buy Eggs

The Last Child of Hamelin

The Cabinet of Earths

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Castle Hangnail

Moonpenny Island

Waiting for Unicorns

This Girl Is Different

An Ember in the Ashes

Tunnel Vision

How It Went Down

Loved It! - Fish in a Tree

Not Easy - The Truth about Twinkie Pie

Argh, Mateys - Hook's Revenge

Thrills and Chills - The Third Twin

Payback - Nickel Bay Nick

Eerie - Sorrow's Knot

Quick and Cute - Number One Sam

Saved by the Milk - Fortunately, The Milk

Dory Fantasmagory

Born to Succeed - Every Day After

Captured by the Title - Also Known as Elvis

MG Adventure in Verse - May B.

Absolutely Almost

Out-of-this-World Adventure - Space Case

Discoveries and Escapes - Rooftoppers

A Wow Adventure

Dangerous Adventure - Badger Knight

Draw or Die - The Rithmatist

An Eggstraordinary Story - Under the Egg

Looking for Magic? - A Snicker of Magic

MG Mystery - Three Times Lucky

Not just a Mystery Weekend - Suspect

Dangerous Impersonation - The False Prince

A Boy and an Elephant - Chained

Charming, Literally - Rose

Girl in Trouble - The Rules for Disappearing

Shaping Her Own Fate - Passion Blue

Fated to be Useless? - Firstborn

Secrets! - The Pledge

Ultimate Fractured Fairytale - Enchanted

Deliciously Funny - Monsters Eat Whiny Children

Hilariously Creepy - Creepy Carrots

Moving Story - The Stamp Collector

Cute Grandma Story - Silly Frilly Grandma Tilly

A Cat Lover's Novel - Cat Girl's Day Off

Secret Agents - Junior Style - Double Vision

A Dark Story - Wooden Bones

Contemporary Fantasy or Magical Realism - Drizzle

Heartbreaker - The One and Only Ivan

Fantasy AND Humor - The Last Dragon Slayer

The amazing Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Eye-opening Historical - Jepp, Who Defied the Stars

Amazing Story - Wonder

Unexpected - The Hop

Anything But Typical

Words in the Dust, an amazing story

Historical MG in Verse - Inside Out and Back Again

Hysterically Funny - Fetching

Light-hearted Story - The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

Not Your Average Greek Myth - King of Ithaca

Amazing Historical - The Year We Were Famous

Fascinating Premise - Wake

Good and Creepy - The Cabinet of Wonders

Fascinating problem - Flip

Whose life? - How to save a life

Historical YA Giveaway - Second Fiddle

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Another place - Island's End

Just love this kid! - Okay for Now

Powerful Story - After

Memorable Story - Tell Me A Secret

Twist after twist - White Cat

A book with heart - Heart of a Shepherd

Really good story - Grounded

Family Story with Photographs - Finding Family

Halley's Comet and Hope - Selling Hope

One Strong Girl! - One Crazy Summer

Distinct voices - Blink & Caution

Great first line - Split

Phew - almost missed this goodie - Schooled

Very Very Good! - Crunch

Very Interesting - The Everafter

Real or not real? - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Sympathetic Character - Windblowne

Humorous sheep and more - The Quest of the Warrior Sheep

Funny pet story - Guinea Dog

Hard to put down! - Divergent

Murder in Space? - Across the Universe

What Happened?! - No Passengers Beyond This Point

More History - The Fences Between Us

Historical for Boys - The Walls of Cartagena

Grown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups - Cosmic

Something a bit different - Ashes

Fearful stuff - Countdown

Humor and Heart - How to Survive Middle School

Love the opening - Ratfink

More Humor Mixed with Mystery - Belly Up

What a sweet winner! - Moon Over Manifest

All that jazz - The Little Piano Girl

Sweet Sibling Rivalry - Flora's Very Windy Day

Another great heroine - Girl, Stolen

Incredible Story - out of my mind

Funny! - Fiona Finkelstein Meets Her Match

Another Very Good Book - Absolutely Maybe

Bedtime Bible and more - Read and Share Bible

Unputdownable Fantasy - The Demon King

Humorous SciFi - The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Shortlisted? - Mockingbird

Historical Fantasy - Plain Kate

Facts just slip into your mind - The Red Umbrella

How could you not care?

Novel in Verse . . . for boys - Hate That Cat

Must Read Book - Escaping the Tiger

7th Grade - no laughing matter - Mackenzie Blue

Focus, shoot! - Flash Burnout & hold still

Book just came out - God's promises...for boys...

Aren't they cute? - Poodle and Hound

Book Felt SO Real - memoirs of a teenage amnesiac

Great First Line - How to Steal a Dog

Book Plus - Invisible i - The Amanda Project

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Book 1 - glad more is coming - Shiver

Steampunk and Darwin - Leviathan

Newbery honor book - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Emotional Book - Rubber Houses

Modern Fantasy - The Demon's Lexicon

Coming Out This Month! - Boys without Names

Great opening scene - The Middle of Somewhere

You thought you had it tough? - Sweetgrass Basket

Powerful Book - Hate List

Please let me slap the father! - Candor

Unforgettable - Unwind

Parental Discretion Advised - Jumping Off Swings

Companion Book - Eternal

Character Growth - Red Glass & Mexican WhiteBoy

Modern-day Retelling - Beastly

Powerful story - Right Behind You

Must read - The Hunger Games

More Author Interviews

Got voice? - Penny from Heaven & Elijah of Buxton

Sympathetic character - Ethan, Suspended

2009 Newbery Winner - The Graveyard Book

Fantasy to Love - Graceling

"we become what we have to be" - Nation

Calling Baseball Fans and others! - Keeping Score

Memorable story - Ways to Live Forever

Mystery to Solve - The Postcard

Wow! Really moving story! - The Mailbox

A 2009 Newbery honor book - Savvy

Don't miss this award winner! - Home of the Brave

Catching Up on Reading - Book of a Thousand Days

Makes me smile - A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Puns galore - Punished!

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee

Love this character! - Beka Cooper, Terrier

Murder Mystery, yet so much more - Perfect Shot

Couldn't Stop Reading - Elsewhere

Prepare for fun - Once Upon a Marigold

Make me laugh! Thor's Wedding Day & Queen Sophie Hartley

Arriving in March - Reaching for the Sun

Science Fantasy - Enchantress from the Stars

Twist, twist, twist - Carmine, A Little More Red

Graphic Novel - Here Be Monsters

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

prepare to be amused - The Wee Free Men

Limits not reached - Downsiders

Hooked by Voice - Stuck in Neutral

Delightful book - Sylvia Jean, Drama Queen

The Sea of Trolls

The Schwa Was Here

LOL - Ruby Holler