Recently in MG novels Category

Prisoner of Ice and Snow

PrisonerIceSnow.jpgPrisoner of Ice and Snow (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2017) by Ruth Lauren is a compelling fantasy that I found difficult to put down.

Thirteen-year-old Valor wants to go to prison. It's the only way she can save her twin sister, Sasha. So Valor does the only thing she can think of--shoots at the royal prince during a parade. She misses, but is sentenced to life in prison for threatening a royal's life. Once in prison, however, she can't find her sister. How can Valor and her sister escape if she can't even find Sasha?

The book is a Junior Library Guild selection.

This is Ruth Lauren's debut book. You can read about her on her website and see the UK cover, which I actually like better than the US cover. Her next book, Seeker of the Crown, comes out in 2018.

Monster, Human, Other

Monster Human Other cover.jpgYou definitely have to pick up Monster, Human, Other (Random House Children's Books, September 2017) by Laurel Gale when it comes out. I was fortunate enough to get to read an ARC and loved this book.

It starts out with Isaac Read, whose family has moved once again, because he's changing from his winter look to his summer look. Yep, Isaac isn't human--he's a clepsit--in the ambassador exchange program living with human parents. He has to tape down his tail when he goes out among humans and is always having to make new friends because of the moves.

Mr. and Mrs. Read's child Wren lives with a clepsit family in their burrow. Her clepsit parents love her, but the extended family, not so much. Wren doesn't have the sense of smell that the rest of the family does and often has trouble finding her way back to the burrow. She's picked on by her cousins; distrusted by her aunt and uncle, the head clepsits. Thank goodness her brother Coney tries to protect her.

Add the voracans who want to take over the world. With relations between the human and clepsit cultures growing more tense, how can two kids help? But Isaac and Wren don't have any choice but to get involved when the voracans show up in their world.

This book is fun and with enough scare to keep it interesting. The new world is believable and relatable. I'm sure kids will also love this book.

This is author Laurel Gale's second book. Read more about what she's up to on her website. I also recommended her first book Dead Boy here.


Carrying Mason

carryingmason.jpgCarrying Mason (ZonderKidz, 2011) by Joyce Magnin was a touching story with a strong female lead. It's also a historical novel set in the late 1950s.

Thirteen-year-old Luna has lost her best friend Mason. She really wants to help carry his casket, despite her daddy saying only men are pall bearers. After the funeral, Luna realizes more needs carrying--Mason's mother. Luna is brave, caring, and fortunately, stubborn enough to resist Aunt Sapphire.

I love what Joyce says about this book on her website: "I wrote Carrying Mason because I wanted to deal with a child who needed and wanted to be challenged and to go against conventional wisdom in order to discover just how strong she really was. Carrying Mason deals with death and loss but that is not the focal point of the story. Luna's journey to adulthood is the point."

Booklist said about this book, "Delivers a positive message about standing up for those who cannot advocate for themselves." Don't miss it.

I recommended another of Joyce's books here.


The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

Kit-Donovan_CVR.jpgI really enjoyed The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan (Albert Whitman & Company, 2017) by Patricia Bailey.

It's 1905 in a Nevada mining town and just turned thirteen-year-old Kit has lost her mother, who made her promise to be a proper lady. It's tough being one when she's worried about Papa and the dangers in the mine, when the kids and teacher at school don't like her, and because she's responsible for her mother's death. Well, indirectly, she'll admit.

Kit is a character to love.

Here are the opening lines of the book: "I killed my mother. Twice, if I am to be completely honest--though she only died the one time." How could you not read on? And when you do, you'll find adventure, danger, friendships, and more.

This is Patricia Bailey's debut novel--I hope she writes many more. However, meanwhile you can read some of her short stories and articles on her website here.


Jelly Bean Summer

jellybeansummer.jpgJelly Bean Summer (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017) by Joyce Magnin is one of those pull-you-through reads. Once I got started with this historical middle grade novel, I didn't want to put it down.

It's 1968 and Joyce Anne and her sister Elaine are not getting along. In fact, Joyce is so desperate to get out of their shared bedroom, and out of the house where everyone shares the grief over brother Bud being missing in Vietnam, she moves up to the roof. From the roof she meets an older boy and finds something to occupy her summer away from crazy UFO-believer Elaine and her squealing guinea pig.

The book has humor, pathos, and a satisfying ending.

Author Joyce has two other middle grade novels out and also writes for adults. You can read all about her here.

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