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 Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Prisoner 88

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
Prisoner88Prisoner 88 (Charlesbridge, 2013) by Leah Pileggi is an amazing story of a boy put in prison for murder. This historical novel was inspired by an actual ten-year-old prisoner who was held in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary.
Ten-year-old Jake Oliver Evans figures he can pretty much take care of himself. He’s not happy about being named Prisoner 88, as if he’s just a number. But when he finds out he’ll get to eat a big meal every single day, he can hardly believe it. He wonders if he’s in heaven, not prison. Of course, a punishment of bread and water soon make that clear. And so does having to learn to read and write.
Leah Pileggi has taken what could be an unsympathetic character and made me care about him. At first, all I knew was that Jake had shot someone, but as I read on what happened is revealed bit by bit until . . . But I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone else.
This book had won a number of awards–read about them on the author’s site.