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

The Last Cuentista

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Last Cuentista (Levine Querido, 2021) by Donna Barba Higuera is a scary and compelling story of survival in the future and the power of storytelling.

Twelve-year-old Petra Peña and her family are leaving earth before it is destroyed. But first she has to say good-bye to her abuelita (grandmother), who tells her cuentos (tall tales), and isn’t going on the trip to a new planet. Petra expects to sleep in a stasis pod for 380 years, but something has gone wrong. She’s not sleeping. And then when Petra does awake, it’s to a nightmare of changed people, The Collective, who have renamed her Zeta-1 and expect that she’ll serve them, or be purged.

This book won the 2022 Newbery award and the 2022 Pura Belpré Medal. I think it’s great that this sci-fi story has so much recognition.

Read about Donna here and check out her other books here.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books


cosmic.jpgGrown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups. At least that’s what 12-year-old Liam thinks. Everyone who sees him thinks he’s an adult because of his height . . . and the stubble. It’s fun when he can use this misunderstanding to his advantage. But now that he’s on this secret mission in a spaceship 239,000 miles from earth as the “adult” chaperone to a group of kids and they’re completely doomed . . . not so much.

Cosmic (Waldon Pond Press, 2008) by Frank Cottrell Boyce is a blast. Any kid who likes space, multiplayer online computer games such as Worlds of Warcraft, or imagining what it’d be like to get to adult things will love this humorous story.

Read more about this British author/screenwriter on the publisher’s site.