Recently in MG novels Category

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

MasonButtle.jpgThe Truth as Told by Mason Buttle (Katherine Tegen Books, 2018) by Leslie Connor has such a sympathetic character. I couldn't wait to find out what had happened.

Mason is the biggest, tallest kid in seventh grade. He also has a sweating problem. And writing is extremely difficult for him. Of course, that means he's bullied. But Ms. Blinny believes he has stories in him and lets him use a computer that translates his spoken words into text. Maybe Lieutenant Baird can read those printouts and will believe Mason's oft-told story of what he knows about his friend Benny's death.

Life gets better with a new funny friend, Calvin. But when Calvin goes missing, the Lieutenant suspects Mason for this too.

The book is a National Book Award Finalist and is on a number of "Best Book" lists for 2018.

Read more about the author here.

I've recommended another of her books here.

Somewhere Among

SomewhereAmong.jpgSomewhere Among (A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book, 2016) by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu is such a good book. It's told in verse and the sparse language works so well.

Ema has a Japanese father and an American mother. Usually, she gets to spend the end of the summer in California with her mom and Grandpa Bob and Nana. But this year, her mother is expecting a baby and needs rest, so beginning in June, she and Ema will stay with Jiichan and Obaachan in western Tokyo. And it's not going to be easy--especially with Papa working so far away. Then shortly after school starts, the whole world changes with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Listen to Ema herself:

At home
with Mom and Papa

I am
between

two cultures
two languages
two time zones
every day.

Everywhere I go
here or there
I am different.

Doesn't that just pull your heartstrings?

Read about the author and her family here.

The Wizard's Dog

wizard'sdog.jpgIf you like dogs, humor, and magic (or at least two of the three), then The Wizard's Dog (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017) by Eric Kahn Gale is the book for you.

The story is told from Nosewise's viewpoint. (He's the dog.) His master, the Wizard Merlin, and his pack mate Morgana, keep shutting him out of the study. He knows that Morgana is the favorite pet, but why is she allowed in when he isn't? One day Nosewise has had enough at being left out and barks and claws at the door. Morgana thinks it should be okay for him to be in the room, so Merlin gives in. Watching Morgana work on a spell, Nosewise wants to learn more tricks than sit! and stay!. When Merlin is kidnapped, it's a good thing Nosewise is not only interested in magic, but wants to get his master back.

The story made me laugh so often as I read and makes me smile just to think about it again. I also love the front cover and the spot illustrations by Dave Phillips.

You can watch a trailer for the book here.

This is the author's third book and was inspired by his own dog, Bowser. Read more about Eric and his other books here.

The Someday Birds

SomedayBirdscover.jpgThe Someday Birds (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2017) by Sally J. Pla is a moving and amazing story. I would have chosen this book as the Newbery winner if they'd let me.

Charlie likes routine. He's also fascinated by birds. His younger twin brothers and older sister are not so patient with his routines or interests. With Dad in the hospital and not able to speak due to a brain injury from his time as a war journalist in Afghanistan, Gram is staying with them. None of them like the fact that Charlie speaks too directly about Dad's condition. But life is about to change drastically for all of them, including a lady who might be a spy, a road trip, and of course for Charlie, birds.

I love how the chapter headings are related to birds in some way. I also love this story being in Charlie's viewpoint and how he deals with his OCD/sensitivity/autism spectrum issues.

This award-winning book is the author's debut. Read more about her here and about her other books here. And you should definitely read this blog post about what it was like for her as a child and how a teacher made a difference.

Roller Girl

RollerGirl.jpgRoller Girl (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Victoria Jamieson is such a delightful story of hard work, heart, old and new friends, and roller derby! The drawings are fun and really bring the story to life. If you've never read a graphic novel, this is the perfect one to start with. Really!

Twelve-year-old Astrid is at that age where friends are having diverging interests. Girls interested in fashion and the mall think those who are not are babies. Which makes Astrid very unhappy. And then she goes to her first roller derby. Her new hero is now Rainbow Bite. But unfortunately Astrid gets herself in trouble with assumptions and by hiding the truth. Will she make her new dream come true?

Roller Girl was a Newbery honor book in 2016! And it became a bestseller. If you go here, you can learn about the making of the book.

And go here to learn about author/illustrator Victoria Jamieson's other books.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Somewhere Among

The Wizard's Dog

The Someday Birds

Roller Girl

Hello, Universe

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Chasing Secrets

Is It Night or Day?

Shadow Magic

Lucky Broken Girl

Wonderling

Foxheart

A Face Like Glass

The Someday Suitcase

The First Last Day

Cloud and Wallfish

Rules for Thieves

Prisoner of Ice and Snow

Monster, Human, Other

Carrying Mason

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

Jelly Bean Summer

The Only Road

The Wolf's Boy

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Dying to Meet You

Iron Hearted Violet

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Dead Boy

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Towers Falling

Echo

The Seventh Wish

All Four Stars

Just My Luck

The Thief of Mirrors

The Inn Between

Booked

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Counting Thyme

The Crossover

Sweet Home Alaska

Mouseheart

How to Capture an Invisible Cat

The Year We Sailed the Sun

The Wrinkled Crown

Circus Mirandus

Dragon Slippers

Prisoner 88

Tuesdays at the Castle

Fuzzy Mud

Rhyme Schemer

Switch

The Last Child of Hamelin

The Cabinet of Earths

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Castle Hangnail

Moonpenny Island

Waiting for Unicorns

Loved It! - Fish in a Tree

Not Easy - The Truth about Twinkie Pie

Argh, Mateys - Hook's Revenge

Payback - Nickel Bay Nick

Saved by the Milk - Fortunately, The Milk

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

A Butt-kicking Novel - 33 Minutes

Looking for Magic? - A Snicker of Magic

MG Mystery - Three Times Lucky

A Boy and an Elephant - Chained

Charming, Literally - Rose

Secret Agents - Junior Style - Double Vision

A Dark Story - Wooden Bones

Contemporary Fantasy or Magical Realism - Drizzle

Heartbreaker - The One and Only Ivan

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

Good and Creepy - The Cabinet of Wonders

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Just love this kid! - Okay for Now

A book with heart - Heart of a Shepherd

Really good story - Grounded

Wild Things

Family Story with Photographs - Finding Family

Halley's Comet and Hope - Selling Hope

One Strong Girl! - One Crazy Summer

Phew - almost missed this goodie - Schooled

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

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

Incredible Story - out of my mind

Funny! - Fiona Finkelstein Meets Her Match

Shortlisted? - Mockingbird

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

Must Read Book - Escaping the Tiger

7th Grade - no laughing matter - Mackenzie Blue

Great First Line - How to Steal a Dog

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Newbery honor book - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Coming Out This Month! - Boys without Names

Great opening scene - The Middle of Somewhere

You thought you had it tough? - Sweetgrass Basket

Got voice? - Penny from Heaven & Elijah of Buxton

Sympathetic character - Ethan, Suspended

2009 Newbery Winner - The Graveyard Book

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

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

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

Arriving in March - Reaching for the Sun

Graphic Novel - Here Be Monsters

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

prepare to be amused - The Wee Free Men

The Sea of Trolls

The Schwa Was Here

LOL - Ruby Holler