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

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (Henry Holt and Company, 2019) by Dan Gemeinhart was so good! The voice of 12-year-old Coyote is so real. I also love the mysteries that are revealed as I read and all the characters I met along the way.

Coyote lives in a converted school bus with Rodeo, her dad. “But don’t tell him that, okay?” she tells the brothers giving away kittens. She is tired of all the aloneness and secretly adopts the quietest kitten and names him Ivan. At the end of chapter one, Coyote says, “I had a kitten. Which definitely meant I had a problem. But, heck, I already had problems. And now I also had Ivan. And that sure seemed like an improvement either way.”

Don’t you want to know more?!

Dan is the author of six books (so far!). Read the book titles here. Read more about him here.

This book was a 2020 ILA Teachers’ Choice, 2019 Parents’ Choice Award Gold Medal Winner, Winner of the 2019 CYBILS Award for Middle Grade Fiction, and an Amazon Top 20 Children’s Book of 2019. A sequel, Coyote Lost and Found, is coming out in 2024. Read more about this one and Dan’s other books here.

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

BOB

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

BOB (Fiewel and Friends, 2018) by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is an unusual story with mystery and magic told in two points of view.

Ten-and-a-half-year-old Livy hasn’t visited her grandmother in Australia for five years and she feels bad she can’t remember anything about the house nor the three objects Gran says she used to love. Well, except for maybe a wrong chicken. And Mom’s leaving her here.

Bob has waited five years for Livy to return. It’s a long time to hang out in a closet.

But the more time Livy spends with Bob, whom others mysteriously can’t see, the more she begins to remember. Including her promise to get Bob home.

This is such a lovely story of friendship. I love how they both share lists.

The book also is a Chicago Tribune Best Children’s Books of the Year, a Booklist Editors’ Choice, won the Golden Cowbell Book Award (Switzerland) and Cartwheel Book Award for Best Non-human Character, plus has been nominated for fifteen state book awards.

About the Authors

Wendy is a NY Times bestselling author. Read about her here and see all her 29 books here! Not only is she prolific, but she writes in different categories and genres.

Check out Rebecca’s six books here and read about her here. She is a Newbery Medal Winner.

These co-authors have a new book coming out in August–read more here about The Lost Library.

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

A Wish in the Dark

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

A Wish in the Dark (Candlewick Press, 2020) by Christina Soontornvat is my favorite read so far this year!

Pong was born in Nomwan Prison. He and his best friend and Somkit stare at the lights of Chattana–the city that one man, the Governor, brought light to after the great fire. If only they could escape there.

Nok is the daughter of the prison warder. She and her family are at Nomwan because the Governor is coming to visit. To her shock the young Pong approaches the Governor.

Pong thinks that such a good man as the Governor will see how unfair it is for children born to prisoners to be imprisoned. But when the Governor doesn’t agree, all that’s left to Pong is to escape, which he does.

Nok’s father is blamed for Pong’s escape and she wants to capture him to restore her family’s name. But secrets she discovers in her quest make her question everything she’s ever known.

Who will win in this unfair world?

The story has many surprising twists and turns. This Thai-inspired fantasy is a 2021 Newbery Honor book–I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. Plus, it has won other awards and been put on many lists. See those here.

Christina has written a number of award winning books in a variety of categories–read more about her here and see all her books here.

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

Wish

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Wish (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016) by Barbara O’Connor pulls on the heart strings!

Charlie Reese has been sent away from her home in Raleigh to live with an aunt and uncle she doesn’t know in a “sorry excuse for a town” called Colby. And as her best friend, Alvina, told her, she’s going to school with hillbilly kids. Charlie doesn’t want to be here, doesn’t want to stay here, and definitely isn’t going to like it here. She wishes on everything. But an unexpected friend, a stray dog, and love make her change her wish.

This book was a New York Times Bestseller, Junior Library Guild Selection, American Booksellers Association Best Books of the Year, 2016 Parents Choice Gold Award, Nerdy Book Club Award 2016, and SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2017 winner.

Read about this award-winning author here and check out her current books here. I recommended her How to Steal a Dog book here.

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

The Last Cuentista

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Last Cuentista (Levine Querido, 2021) by Donna Barba Higuera is a scary and compelling story of survival in the future and the power of storytelling.

Twelve-year-old Petra Peña and her family are leaving earth before it is destroyed. But first she has to say good-bye to her abuelita (grandmother), who tells her cuentos (tall tales), and isn’t going on the trip to a new planet. Petra expects to sleep in a stasis pod for 380 years, but something has gone wrong. She’s not sleeping. And then when Petra does awake, it’s to a nightmare of changed people, The Collective, who have renamed her Zeta-1 and expect that she’ll serve them, or be purged.

This book won the 2022 Newbery award and the 2022 Pura Belpré Medal. I think it’s great that this sci-fi story has so much recognition.

Read about Donna here and check out her other books here.