Category: Middle Grade

The List by Patricia Forde

The List by Patricia Forde

A Thought-provoking, Dystopian World

ISBN: 1492647969

The List is a fascinating dystopian tale of a post-apocalyptic society in which language is limited to only 500 words. And falling. The leaders of Ark–a relatively save haven in the midst of chaos and wilderness–believe words are to blame for the cataclysmic Melting. Scientists and journalists used words to hide the impending global disasters behind pretty lies and false promises until it was too late.

Now, only the aging wordsmith and his young apprentice, Letta, are allowed to use words that are not on the List–collecting and protecting them until the day that humanity might once again deserve the full range of language and expression. When the wordsmith fails to return from a word collecting mission, Letta must take his place, only to discover that the promises of Ark itself are beginning to unravel.

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Prince in Disguise by  Stephanie Kate Strohm

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

An Adorable Holiday Slump-buster!

ISBN: 9781484768174

Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.


I was SO excited to be approved for this Disney-Hyperion title on Net Galley, and it did not disappoint!

If you’re in the mood for a fast, slump-buster read–whether to get you back into reading or to kick-start you into the holiday spirit–this is it! I loved Dylan immediately. She’s the awkward, self-conscious, shy younger sister of a beauty-pageant winner, dragged into a high-profile world she never wanted to be part of. When she ends up meeting a boy she might actually LIKE (for the first time, like, EVER), she’s forced to go through the roller coaster of first love on reality television. UGH, right???

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There’s a Stinky Goblin in the Shed by Andrea Kaczmarek; Illustrated by Eva Künzel

There’s a Stinky Goblin in the Shed by Andrea Kaczmarek; Illustrated by Eva Künzel

Surprising and Delightful

ISBN: 978-1542805629

When twins Jerry and Jacob visit their Gran, they end up with more than they bargained for.

More work—cleaning out her old shed.

More fun—turning that shed into a secret hideout.

And more trouble—thanks to Hob the Goblin.

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The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

A Quick, Colorful Read

ISBN: 978-0692508411

The Kingdom of Oceana is a classic story of sibling rivalry—a novel based on action and adventure that we’d recommend for readers twelve and up. Set in a fantasy version of a timeless Hawaii, it has fire walking and surfing and sharks and zombie fish… plenty of thrills to capture the imagination.

It also has magic, mystery, and a message of environmentalism weaving a natural thread throughout the story. Many books for younger readers attempt to merge entertainment with education, but few do it well. This one does.

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The Dragon Dreamer by J.S. Burke

The Dragon Dreamer by J.S. Burke

A Gentle, Utopian Tale of Science and Magic

ISBN: 978-0996042505

This is a gentle story, appropriate for young readers. The lessons about friendship are magnificent. The science is well within the understanding of a young mind and at the same time flies above and beyond anything ordinarily found in a child’s fictional tale. A+ for the author on both counts. Continue reading “The Dragon Dreamer by J.S. Burke”

Simon Cup’s Box by A.B. Syed

Simon Cup’s Box by A.B. Syed

Funny and Brilliant!

ISBN: 978-1477638804

(A note from Erin: I stole this one out of our in-box and never gave it back. Hey, you snooze, you lose. Middle-grade books go by middle-grade rules.)

This book wasn’t next up in my review list. I know. It wasn’t. So here’s what happened…

I got a review copy by email. Yay! Love those! I opened it–you know, just to make sure it would open. Then I read a paragraph or two because I’m a compulsive reader, and after all, it was right there in front of me. I can’t be blamed for that. It was clearly not my fault.

An hour later, I finished it. I couldn’t put it down, which was also not my fault. I blame A.B. Syed. And, obviously, I blame Simon Cup. (It’s okay. He’s used to it.) The book made me grin like a little kid. In several places it made me laugh out loud. People looked at me oddly, yes, but I laughed out loud anyway. It’s that kind of book. Continue reading “Simon Cup’s Box by A.B. Syed”