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

Sierra Blue

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Although Sierra Blue by Suzanne Morgan Williams (2023) is aimed at early young adults, it’s definitely appropriate for upper middle grade readers. It has fun and interesting magical realism. And a cool cover.

Magic’s best friend reveals her secret–she can see the auras of animals. To get away from the teasing she is sent to her aunt’s ranch the summer between 8th grade and 9th. There, because of her psychic ability, she pleads for the life of a race horse that would be put down. Magic and Sierra Blue bond, but of course, the horse isn’t hers.

Suzanne writes fiction and nonfiction. Read about her here and read about her other books here. And here’s an interview!

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Night Raven

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Night Raven – Moonwind Mysteries #1 (Amazon Crossing Kids, 2023) by Johan Rundberg and translated by A.A. Prime was an interesting historical, especially if you are a fan of Victorian mystery writer Anne Perry, which I am. It has a similar feel except directed at young readers. The story is set in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1880.

Twelve-year-old Mika knows this harsh winter means death for many. One night she takes in a newborn to the orphanage where she lives and hears a reference to the “Dark Angel.” When the police come to her for questioning, this could be her chance to matter.

Here‘s some great backstory on this novel and information on the author. The book was originally published in Sweden, but thanks to A.A. Prime we can read it too. I’m looking forward to more of these books. You can see all of Johan’s books here but this is the only one in English.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

When Sea Becomes Sky

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

When Sea Becomes Sky (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2023) by Gillian McDunn is super good. I don’t think I’ve fallen in love with a middle grade book so much as this one. And been so surprised.

It’s summer and siblings Bex and Davey are spending time in the salt marsh and discover an underwater hand. It’s part of a statue, but development may destroy not only their favorite place, but this amazing piece of artwork, so the two have to do something.

The book is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, a Kids Indie Next List Pick (March/April 2023), an Amazon Best Books March 2023 and Editors’ Pick, plus a Southern Book Prize Finalist.

Learn about Gillian here and check out her five other books here.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

By the Light of Fireflies

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

By the Light of Gireflies : a novel of war hero Sybil Ludington (Wyatt-McKenzie Publishing, 2021) by Jenni L. Walsh is a fun historical about a little known heroine. (And has such a gorgeous cover.)

Sybil is the oldest of eight children and dearly wants to be more than a farmer’s wife. When her papa and his men need help to fight the Loyalists (loyal to King George), Sybil and her sister help the spy ring and Sybil makes a night ride longer and farther than her hero Paul Revere.

This is a fascinating story that builds on the basics known about Sybil. The novel is a Publishers Weekly BookLife Editors Pick.

Jenni is a storyteller of women throughout history. She writes for adults and middle grade readers. Read about her here and check out her other books here.

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

I Can Make this Promise

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

To start out the year I have the wonderful I Can Make this Promise (Heartdrum, 2019) by Christine Day. I was hooked right from the beginning. Plus I learned some horrible practices that happened in the past.

12-year-old Edie always gets questions such as “What are you? Where are you from?” She has no good answer. She knows her mother is Native American but due to an adoption by a white family doesn’t know from where or what tribe. And her father’s white American. One day Edie and her friends find a box hidden in the attic that has an old photo of a woman who looks just like Edie. There are letters too. Why have her parents been keeping her ancestry a secret?

This book is an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book and has been chosen for a number of lists. It was also the author’s debut novel.

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