Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Dog Driven

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Dog Driven (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2019) by Terry Lynn Johnson is quite the scary adventure.

It’s risky enough for any teen to participate in the Canadian Great Superior Mail Run dog race, but for fourteen-year-old McKenna, who has hidden her deteriorating sight from her family, it could mean death for her and her dogs. But she is determined to win this race to encourage her younger sister Emma in her battle with Stargardt, an eye disease. Afterwards, she’ll tell her parents about her vision problems. And maybe she can help eight-year-old Emma gain some independence, too.

The author puts you right on the trail with McKenna and her dogs so you hear and feel what’s going on. As I said above, it’s scary to see what McKenna risks, but her determination is believable. Plus there are letters from the late 1800s about this mail run that increase the tension of the story.

Earlier I recommended her award winning book, Ice Dogs. I missed reading Falcon Wild, which I need to catch up with. Her newest book, is Rescue at Lake Wild–coming soon. Read about Terry Lynn Johnson here.

Note: Dog Driven is aimed at ages ten to sixteen according to the publisher.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Space Case

spacecase.jpgSpace Case (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014) by Stuart Gibbs is literally out-of-this-world, like on the moon. This scifi adventure/mystery is chock full of humor despite the seriousness of the situation.
Main character, twelve-year-old Dash, is stuck on Moon Base Alpha, which doesn’t match up to the promotional brochures; in fact, it’s so boring, he looks forward to school. That all changes when scientist Dr. Holtz “walks” out an airlock in the middle of the night. Since Dash overheard Dr. Holtz talking excitedly the night before, he knows the scientist has to have been murdered. But no one on base will believe him. And he’s not allowed to share the news with anyone on earth. In fact, he’s not supposed to talk about it at all. But if Dash is right, there’s a killer loose on base.
It’s a fun read. And, I just love the cover, Art Directed by Lucy Cummins.
If you want to learn about author Stuart Gibbs or want to check out his other books, go to his website here and/or read an interview of him here.

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

Rooftoppers

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
rooftoppers.jpgRooftoppers (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013) by Katherine Rundell is a very fun read, although twelve-year-old Sophie has a very big problem. The National Childcare Agency says Charles, the bachelor who rescued her from the sea when she was one and floating in a cello case, can’t be allowed to keep raising her. What will Sophie do without her beloved Charles? The two escape to Paris to search for her Sophie’s long lost mother. On this adventure, when Sophie goes on the roof of her hotel, she makes some unusual friends.
A mix of historical and fantasy, the book is winning awards. Rooftoppers is the winner of the 2014 Blue Peter Book Award and the 2014 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal.
You can read about the author here or follow her on twitter here. She has another book out, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, that I need to check out.

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

Ice Dogs

ice-dogs-225.jpgIce Dogs (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2014) by Terry Lynn Johnson puts you right there with 14-year-old dogsledder Victoria Secord and her team of dogs. You’ll feel cold and hungry with her and her companion in this realistic story of how easy it is to be in danger in winter in the Alaskan bush. And, you’ll find yourself worrying about several of the dogs as well as the two teens. The book makes me think of Gary Paulsen’s survival stories, except this time with a girl main character!
Look at all the recognition this books is garnering:

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • American Booksellers Association (ABA) Best Children’s Books of 2014
  • A Scholastic Book Fairs Selection 2014
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids 2014

Ms. Johnson was a musher herself, so knows what life is like with sled dogs. Plus, she’s still involved in outdoor adventures and you can read about them on her blog. Read more about Terry on her website.

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

Badger Knight

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
badgerkBadger Knight (Scholastic Press, 2014) by Kathryn Erskin may be historical since it is sent in England 1346, but it definitely isn’t boring. I found the book hard to put down as I experienced life with the main character.
13-year-old Adrian isn’t content to be small and sickly–he’s going to be an archer. And help in the war against the Scots, or at least become an apprentice bowyer to his father. But no one–not his father or his friend Hugh and especially Good Aunt–think he’s much use beyond collecting goose feathers to fletch arrows. The village bullies call him Badger since he puts dirt under his eyes to dim the brightness of his white face when shooting arrows. Adrian claims the name Badger himself when he goes to help his friend Hugh in the war.
This book is a 2014 Junior Library Guild Selection–you won’t want to miss reading it! And isn’t the cover gorgeous?
Adrian isn’t the only traveler–so’s Kathryn. See her bio!
I have a review of another of Kathryn’s books here: Mockingbird.

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