Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Spark

For Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, I’ve got a fantasy, Spark (Clarion Books, 2019) by Sarah Beth Durst, to recommend.

Quiet twelve-year-old Mina is anxiously waiting for her egg to hatch and find out which storm beast she’ll have. Will it be a rain, wind, or sun beast? Everyone knows she doesn’t have the temperament for a lightening beast. But when Pixit hatches everyone is surprised at the creature Mina is bonded with. Maybe she’s not meant to be a guardian. When Mina learns that their wonderful life in Alorria is hurting others, she has to decide whether to tell the truth or not.

I love that this novel shows quiet girls can be heroes too!

Sarah writes for kids, teens, and adults. Check out her website here where you can discover she’s authored 19 books!

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

A Wolf Called Wander

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

A Wolf Called Wander (Greenwillow Books, 2019) by Rosanne Parry was so good! It’s an illustrated novel with illustrations by Mónica Armiño. I love that this New York Times Bestselling novel it’s based on a true story.

Swift, wants to be as big as his brother Sharp. He also has two sisters, Pounce and Wag. But his favorite sibling is brother Warm, the only wild wolf pup who is smaller. They grow, learn to eat meat, hunt, and then another pack attacks and Swift is left alone. He wants his pack, and goes on journey looking for family. Along the way Swift renames himself Wander.

Published in the UK and the US, it is being published in 7 other languages, too. You can read about that here on the author’s site.

The illustrations are beautiful. Check out more of Mónica’s books here.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Boy Bites Bug

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Today I’m sharing a contemporary book, Boy Bites Bug (Abrams, 2018) by Rebecca Petruck. This is a story about friendship, prejudice, and learning about yourself. Plus there’s bug jokes and wrestling, which makes it fun.

Middle schooler Will Nolan tries to divert everyone’s attention from his best friend’s racial comment to Eloy, the new kid at school. Eating a bug gives Will notoriety and helps him come up with an unusual idea for a school project. But, he’ll need help from Eloy. Darryl’s already mad. Will this ruin their friendship?

Rebecca is also the author of the YA novel, Steering toward Normal. You can read about her here.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Last of the Name

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I’m continuing reading historical mg novels with the really good Last of the Name (Carolrhoda Books, 2019) by Rosanne Parry.

Twelve-year-old Daniel O’Carolan and his sixteen-year-old sister Kathleen have lost so much. First their father, then brothers and mother, and now Granny on their way from Ireland to America. To survive, Danny must pretend to be a girl and hire on with Kathleen as housemaids. But he has to be himself sometimes and slips away early mornings in his rightful clothes and sings and dances. Can he keep his secret? And the job? He and Kathleen have to stay together. But it seems their troubles in Ireland have followed them to America.

This book is set in 1863 New York City, during the Civil War, and the terribly sad draft riots. You’ll meet immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany, plus black freedmen, and everyone is trying to find or keep a job.

In the back of the book you’ll find book partners–other books from the time period. Read more about that here. I definitely understand some more of the issues than I did before (such as Irish Catholics and English Protestants.)

Go here to see what books Rosanne likes to read.

I’ve recommended several of her other books here as well: a YA and another mg.

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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.

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