Posted in MG Novels

Wild Things

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

wildthings.jpgThe title of the book Wild Things (Boyd’s Mills Press, 2009) by Clay Carmichael fits in so many ways: a wild main character, a wild cat, and other things you’ll have to read to discover yourself.
11-year-old Zoe has basically raised herself, but now she’s been sent to live with her Uncle Henry, whom she’s never met. She expects him to fail her as everyone in her life has done before, including her now deceased mother and all her various boyfriends. Henry doesn’t believe her when she tells him there’s a cat hanging around his place, but not only is Zoe right about him, but she senses the presence of others, too. And the cat knows more than he can tell. I love how the cat and girl viewpoints work together to tell the story.
Don’t miss the “Story Behind the Story” on the author’s website. And, take note, the author illustrated the cover herself, plus did the drawings inside the book!

Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Across the Universe

across-the-universe.jpgStep on board the spaceship, Godspeed, after you’ve experienced the horror of the freezing process with 17-year-old Amy in the best selling debut book Across the Universe (Penguin/Razorbill , 2011) by Beth Revis. The first in a trilogy, not only is it scifi, but there’s mystery and romance.
Amy, and her parents, should wake in 300 years, however, she’s been awakened 50 years early. It’s not an accident or a malfunction. Could someone have meant to kill her? And will they kill her parents? She has to protect them as she learns about this odd shipboard society where she’s a misfit simply for her red hair.
You’ll also get to walk with the lone teen, Elder, who is being trained to take over the leadership from Eldest. He’s attracted to this strange girl Amy, and he’s finding out very disturbing things about Eldest and the ship.
Then after you read the book, you can explore the ship on the website and explore the author’s site where you can find out about the making of the book and more.
Beth Revis has created a fascinating society. I’m really looking forward to the next book from this imaginative author!

Posted in Award Winners, Chapter Books, Read-aloud, So Many Good Books

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy

A Dog Detective
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy (Albert Whitman, 2010) by Dori Hillestad Butler is so much fun! I love the voice of the dog. It’s a quick read–perfect for the child just starting to read on his own, but entertaining enough for an adult to read aloud. I must read more in the series. (And buy for middle grandson . . . shh, don’t tell him!)
King is at the P-O-U-N-D because his people are missing. He’s got to get back to his neighborhood to find them. When King gets adopted by a new family, they rename him Buddy. Then, his new boy, Connor, disappears! King/Buddy must solve the case!
After you are entertained with this story, go to Dori’s site to see the dog that owns her! You’ll also see what other books this award-winning author has written.
P.S. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting Dori–besides being a good writer, she’s a great person too!

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

The Books of Elsewhere

Delightfully Dangerous!

Elsewhere_FINALThe Books of Elsewhere (The Shadows, Volume 1, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010) by JacquelineWest is one on those hard-to-put-down books. I felt sympathy right away for Olive in this wonderful story.

Here’s a brief summary, without of course revealing the end:

11-year-old Olive and her parents visit the creepy old McMartin house. Her mathematic parents are thrilled when they see the library and buy the house right then and there. Olive, who doesn’t take after her parents in math–she’s a creative person–senses that there’s something strange going on in this house. After they move in, she discovers a pair of old spectacles that allow her to go into the paintings in the house. Olive also meets a talking cat who warns her about dangers. And, yes, she’s going to be in danger!

BooksOfElsewhereVol2I’m looking forward to more by this author! Volume Two: Spellbound will be released on July 12, 2011. You can watch a talk about the books on Jacqueline’s site.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity

brixton_brothers_large.jpgThe Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Simon and Schuster, 2009) by Mac Barnett illustrated by Adam Rex is one funny mystery. The story is modeled after the old time kid detective novels, so expect some corn.
12-year-old Steve Brixton is enamored of the old mystery books about the Bailey brothers and himself gets mistaken for a detective by the Librarians (under cover agents) when he checks out a book on quilts at the library. He’s on the run from the police, including Jerk Rick who’s dating Steve’s mom. The only way to prove himself innocent is to solve the case.
Author Mac Barnett bills himself as “writer and strongman-for-hire” on his website. Check out the piano keys for more details. Plus listen and watch this video clip of Mac talking about the first Brixton Brothers book.
But wait! There’s more. Ghostwriter_182_wideThe sequel Brixton Brothers 2: The Ghostwriter Secret came out last fall and is on my to-be-read list. The next in the series, It Happened on a Train, will come out this October.
Illustrator Adam Rex is the author/illustrator of The True Meaning of Smekday. What? You haven’t read it? Learn more here about that title and stuff about Adam on his site where Abraham Superlincoln tells you to “choose wisely.”