Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Star That Always Stays

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Star That Always Stays (Holiday House, 2022) by Anna Rose Johnson is a fascinating historical novel set after the turn of the twentieth century. It’s based on the author’s ancestors and the book includes their photographs at the end.

Norvia Nelson had to leave her home on Beaver Island and move to the city. And now with her mother remarrying she must not tell anyone she’s part Indian. Her dream is to go to high school. Will she fit in? Especially when people discover her parents are divorced? But more importantly, will she ever be happy?

What an interesting look at the culture of the times. I love the stories Grand-père and the two Marys tell of Norvia’s Obijwe heritage, and how the Ward family encourages Norvia in her Christian faith. There are great themes in this story–adapting to a blending family, prejudice, friendship, love. The novel has chapters set in previous times in Norvia’s life to show what has happened in the past.

This is the author’s first book–Wow! Anna Rose Johnson is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Learn more about her here and check out the awards, lists, etc. for Anna’s debut book here.

Posted in PB, Read-aloud, So Many Good Books

I’m Not Scared, YOU’RE Scared!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

I’m Not Scared, YOU’RE Scared! (Flamingo Books, 2022) by Seth Meyers and illustrated by Rob Sayegh is funny, absurd, and sweet. I think kids will find it very relatable.

Bear is easily scared. He’s even scared of his own reflection, which is why he won’t brush his teeth. Fortunately, his friend Rabbit challenges him with an adventure. When Rabbit asks, “Bear, are you scared?” He replies with “I’m not scared, you’re scared!” and steps forward into whatever frightens him. But when Rabbit is in trouble Bear’s fear for Rabbit is stronger than his fears of everything else and he acts to save his friend.

Seth Meyers is an Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian known for his work on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Often, celebrity books only work because of who wrote them. So nice to find an exception.

Rob Sayegh is an author and illustrator. On Rob’s website, you can read about him, see his books, and see samples of his varied styles of art.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Clackity

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Clackity (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2022) by Lora Senf is an eerily spooky book.

Twelve-year-old Evie Von Rathe is used to ghosts and strange things. After all, she lives with Aunt Desdemona, the paranormal expert in Blight Harbor, the seventh most haunted town in America. But when her aunt goes missing in the abandoned slaughterhouse, it’s up to Evie to save her. The strange creature The Clackity gives her a set of rules–she must go through seven houses in order and bring him/it the ghost of John Jeffrey Pope a serial killer. Will she be brave enough to get through all the houses without being caught by Pope or tricked by The Clackity and save Aunt Desdemona?

This is a compelling read–I just don’t want to see a movie if it’s made as it would be too scary for me.

Lora Senf says, “I write for kids who like their books a little dark and a little scary – and for the adults they grew up to be. But dark and scary is no fun without some light and hope as well, so you’ll find them both in my stories.” This book is the first in a planned series set in Blight Harbor. Read more about the author here.