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

Beyond the Bright Sea

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

So glad I didn’t miss Beyond the Bright Sea (Dutton Children’s Books, 2017) by Lauren Wolk. This award winning book was fascinating.

Twelve-year-old Crow lives on a small island in Massachusetts with Osh, the man who found her floating in a boat when she was a newborn baby. Crow is curious about her past. Where did she come from? What did her parents name her? Who had decided to give her to the tide? And why? And why are the other islanders besides Miss Maggie afraid of her? As she says, “I had a nagging need to know what I didn’t know.” Adventure with Crow and find out the answers when she learns them.

You can see the awards this book won here where you can also read about the author’s other books and their awards. Here’s an interview with her that talks about Beyond the Bright Sea. Laura is a Newbery honor winner for her debut book Wolf Hollow. Read more about Laura here and check out her art here. She’s also a poet.

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

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

“Strange: adj, extraordinary, remarkable, singular”

Emma J cvrI don’t know how I managed to miss this Golden Kite Honor book in 2008, but I’m glad I’ve caught up with this award winning book. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (Dial, 2007) by Lauren Tarshis is told in two different viewpoints. And like Emma-Jean the 2nd definition of strange fits this delightful book.
Emma-Jean is the smartest girl in 7th grade and has been observing her class mates for a long time so knows all about their lives, even if she doesn’t really understand them. But when Colleen Pomerantz asks for help because Laura Gilroy is trying to steal her best friend Kaitlyn, Emma-Jean decides to get involved in their messy lives.
Colleen cares very much what others think of her and wishes she could be more like Emma-Jean who doesn’t care that others think she’s strange (definition 1, not 2). But when Laura cancels the ski trip with Kaitlyn, Colleen is suddenly afraid that Emma-Jean had a hand in it.
emma-jean.jpgThen there’s the companion book, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love (Dial, 2009), which I need to get a hold of next. Though I might have to hide it from my husband so he doesn’t get it first–he definitely enjoyed Emma-Jean.
There’s an interview with author Lauren Tarshis here where she talks about her process. On her website, not only can you learn about her other books, but learn about her magazine editor job.