Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
The Unteachables (Balzer & Bray, 2019) by Gordon Korman is an inspiring upper middle grade novel with big splashes of humor.
Unusually (for a middle grade) it’s told from multiple points of view, including adults. We get a look at the misfits and delinquents who are isolated from the rest of the student body and put in one class together. These are the kids no one knows what to do with. And this year, their teacher is burned out and only hanging in ’til retirement. But something unexpected happens.
Meet Kiana who doesn’t belong, Mr. Kermit who’s sure it is a conspiracy, Parker with his provisional driver’s license, Aldo who definitely has anger issues, Elaine rhymes with pain, and more. Here’s a book trailer.
Don’t miss this book!
Author Gordon Korman has written over 95 books! Click here to his main book page and then choose what category you’d like to see more of his books.
You can “meet” Gordon here as he talks about how he got started and his most recent novel Restart.
Looking for a hilarious read? Try How to Capture an Invisible Cat (Bloomsbury, 2016) by Paul Tobin and illustrated by Thierry Lafontaine. The hilarity starts on page one with:
Let’s just say the cat was bigger than a horse.
To be honest, the cat was nearly the size of an elephant, but that sounds too scary, so . . . let’s just say the cat was bigger than a horse.
Our narrator, sixth-grader Delphine Cooper, has been sentenced to stay after school. While sweeping, she witnesses Very Serious People “testing” genius and classmate Nate Bannister. She’s never really paid attention to him before. Then she sees Nate and his dog Bosper at the park and some amazing things happen. Are the two going to become friends? He thinks so. And friends help each other right? So that’s how Delphine gets involved helping Nate capture his invisible supersized cat.
Author Paul Tobin is an Eisner-award winning, New York Times-bestselling author of comic books and graphic novels. How to Capture an Invisible Cat is the first of five books in this Genious Factor series. Learn more about the series, his others books and about Paul himself at his website. Currently, Paul is on a Book Blog Tour that started today. Details here.
Read about illustrator Thierry Lafontaine here.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
If you like fun fantasy, you’ll like Castle Hangnail (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Ursula Vernon, who not only wrote the story, but did the illustrations.
The minions at Castle Hangnail are worried. If they don’t get a master soon, the castle will be decommissioned. The ravens say someone is on the way, but no one expects it to be the twelve-year-old girl who shows up. Can she really be a wicked witch? Molly, the “evil” twin, has to convince them she is.
I loved the humor in this book. How can one not enjoy lines like these that open the story? “It was a marvelously dark and dour twilight at the castle. Clouds the color of bruises lay across the hills.”
I also loved the characters from the nonhunchback guardian to the suit of armor and the minotaur cook to the doll made out of burlap, and, of course, Molly, the Wicked Witch, who is bad, er, good at being wicked.
Ursula Vernon is the author of the Dragonbreath books, too. Read more on her website: http://ursulavernon.com/.