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.

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

Where the World Ends

Where the World Ends (Flatiron Books, 2019) by Geraldine McCaughrean is an amazing historical novel of survival. It’s a 2020 Michael L Printz Honor book, a winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal (published in the UK by Usborne in 2017) and is on many other lists.

Every summer, men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stack to harvest birds, eggs, feathers, and oil. But this year, for Quill and his friends, no boat comes to get them. What does it mean that no one came? Is it the end of the world? And how can they survive the winter?

Right from the first line, “His mother gave him a new pair of socks, a puffin to eat on the voyage and a kiss on the cheek.,” we know we are in a different setting. You’ll meet John who has been hiding a secret and learn about all kinds of birds as Quill endures abandonment and struggles to survive.

Geraldine writes for children and adults–she’s one prolific author! Read about her here and check out all her books here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Giraffe Is Too Tall for This Book

Perfect Picture Book Friday

I haven’t been reading many picture books lately–I need to get back to it. So first up is Giraffe Is Too Tall for This Book (Page Street Kids, 2023) by DK Ryland. It reminds me a bit of the old The Monster at the End of this Book. I think kids will get a kick out of it.

Giraffe is too tall for the book and his other animal friends are trying to help, but nothing is quite working. In the end, with the help of the reader, Giraffe solves the problem.

DK is an author/illustrator and this is her first picture book, but she already has others coming soon. Read about them here and read about her here.