Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Library of Ever

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Library of Ever (Imprint, 2019) by Zeno Alexander is a blast of a read. In some ways it makes me think of the Thursday Next novels, but written for children instead of adults. Or is it a cross between that and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Prepare for robots, time machines, tardigrades, bowler hats, forces of darkness, and even a kitten.

Lenora is an unhappy rich girl and is BORED, BORED, BORED. But then her nanny takes her to the library where she escapes and discovers a secret archway into the ultimate library. She enters and a librarian tells her she’s not allowed in because she doesn’t work there. An unusual interview follows and Lenora is hired. In her work and adventures, and promotions, she discovers she must save the library.

The book was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and the exciting part is there’s a sequel, Rebel in the Library of Ever, coming out in April.

Read about the author here.

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

Allies

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Allies (Scholastic Press, 2019) by Alan Gratz is an amazing story of diverse parts of D-Day over the course of 24-hours through the eyes of seven different characters. Soldiers, paratroopers, medics, resistance fighters, a girl retrieving a forgotten bathing suit–so many in an impossible situation. Somehow the author fits it all together.

The story starts with sixteen-year-old Dee, a US soldier, who has a secret–one he can’t let his best friend discover. Will he survive the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944? Will the others we meet?

Bestselling author Alan Gratz has written many books for young readers, including four more set in this time period–Grenade, Refugee, Projekt 1065, Prisoner B-3087. Read about all his books here. Read about the author here.

Read more about Allies, including awards, here.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Ogre Enchanted

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

If you’ve read Newbery Honor Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, you’ll know you’re in for a treat with Ogre Enchanted (Harper, 2018). (And if you haven’t read Ella, you should.)

This is a gender reversed Beauty and the Beast inspired story. Read more what the author has to say about that here.

Fifteen-year-old Evie is enchanted when she turns down a marriage proposal from her best friend, Wormy. Now she has 62 days to accept a new marriage proposal or remain an ogre for ever. What will all her patients do?

The book is funny and keeps one guessing. Is that tingle because Evie the ogre loves the guy or that she thinks he’ll taste good? The countdown of days adds to the tension.

Read about Gail Carson Levine here and check out her other books here.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy (Roaring Brook Press, 2018) by Katherine Marsh is a fascinating tale of two boys whose lives intersect in Brussels, Belgium. Ahmed is fourteen and from Syria, and all alone. Max is thirteen and from America. From different cultures and struggling with both sides of the refugee question, the boys form a bond of friendship.

Don’t pass this book up. It’s a 2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Book and a 2019 American Library Association Notable. See other praise here.

Read about author Katherine Marsh here. Katherine is not afraid to venture into difficult subjects in her books. I recommended one here. I need to read her other middle grade books, too.

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

Journey of the Pale Bear

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I always expect great stories from Susan Fletcher and was not disappointed with Journey of the Pale Bear (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2018), although I didn’t think the prologue was necessary.

The story starts in spring of 1252 in Norway, when young hungry Arthur steals a rabbit haunch. The runaway gets shoved into a cage with an ice bear and squeezes out safely after giving the rabbit to the bear. This experience causes Arthur to be drafted to take care of the deadly bear on a ship to England. Arthur wants to reach his father’s people in Wales, so despite his fear of the bear, he agrees. But many dangers await the boy.

The book is an SCBWI Golden Kite honor book. Read about the author here and all her books here. I love, love her dragon series.

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