Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Lifeboat 12

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood is based on a true story from WWII, and is very well done.

Thirteen-year-old Ken is being sent away from London to Canada to be safe from Nazi bombing. The SS City of Benares was a luxury cruise ship and the kids are amazed at the food and are having a wonderful time. Five days out, the adults relax as they are now out of danger. But then the ship is torpedoed. Ken and five other boys get into Lifeboat 12 to escape the sinking ship. Will they survive?

Lifeboat 12 has been named a 2019 ALSC Notable Book and a 2019 Bank Street Best Book of the Year.

This is author Susan Hood’s debut middle grade novel, although she’s written many others. Read about her here and read about her other picture books and early readers here.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Paperboy

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Paperboy (Delacorte Press, 2013) by Vince Vawter is a compelling read. Look at the first three lines: “I’m typing about the stabbing for a good reason. I can’t talk.
Without stuttering.”

This historical novel, set in 1959, is about an 11-year-old boy whose communication with others is difficult due to his stuttering problem, and so much more. Victor agrees to take on his friend’s paper route for the month of July. The throwing part will be fun. Talking to customers to collect, not so much. And he has no idea that giving his yellow-handle knife to the junkman to be sharpened is going to cause so much trouble.

This book was a 2014 Newbery Honor book. I’m so glad I didn’t miss reading it. There’s a sequel called Copyboy when Victor is older.

Read about the author here. And take a look at a blog post about other languages the book was published in here.

Posted in Award Winners, PB, So Many Good Books

The Rough Patch

Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Rough Patch (Greenwillow Books, 2018) by Brian Lies is a touching picture book. The title is appropriate physically and emotionally.

Evan and his dog do everything together. Especially in Evan’s garden. But when Evan loses his companion he hacks down and garden and lets it grow ugly. Eventually, a proper garden plant slips in and Evan begins to tend it like he should. And then . . .

I love how the story ends with hope. And I love the illustrations and how they show both good and bad times. The book is a Caldecott Honor Book and ALA Notable for 2019!

See all of Brian’s other books here. Learn about the author/illustrator here and how to pronounce his last name here–it’s not how it looks.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

SweepSweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster (Amulet Books, 2018) by Jonathan Auxier is a book to love and hate. I love the story; I love the main character. I hate the villains and the callous treatment of chimney sweeps in Victorian London.
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is employed by the cruel Wilkie Crudd as a chimney sweep. So far she’s managed to survive, but one day she gets stuck in a chimney, and a fire is lit beneath her to get her out. Somehow she wakes up in an attic. She and her new friend need a place to stay, away from Wilkie Crudd. Eventually they try to help all children who work as chimney sweeps, too.
This is a fantastic tale. I wish all would read this story about friendships and survival. The book won the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.
Read about the author’s other books here. Read about him here and watch his changing author picture. 😉 Check out the monster faces here.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Skylark and Wallcreeper

Skylark and WallcreeperI loved Skylark and Wallcreeper (Little Bee/Yellow Jacket Books, 2018) by Anne O’Brien Carelli so much!
Two historical events (at least to children) in one book. Two twelve-year-olds: Collette in France in 1944; Lily in Queens in 2012. One is helping the resistance against the Nazis and the collaborators. The other is helping her grandmother and others in the nursing home deal with Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath. But the best part is that Lily is Collette’s granddaughter and neither Lily, nor her mother, know about Collette’s past. That changes through a circumstances of events and Lily’s own determination.
The book is a CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary) AWARD Finalist and a Mighty Girl’s 2018 Best Book of the Year.
Read about Anne here. Follow her on Twitter here.
I’m hoping we hear about more books from her soon.