It's been a while since I've shared the books I've been reading, but I've read some really great ones since my last post. I've definitely been focusing on middle grade but I'm hoping to dip into my growing list of adult titles soon.
As I've stated before, while I love writing my own stories, I'm terrible at writing reviews. Know that I loved all of these books! The summaries below are provided by the authors/publishers.
Middle Grade Books:
Fish out of Water by Joanne Levy
Twelve-year-old Fishel (Fish) Rosner doesn’t like regular “boy” things. But all his interests are considered “girly.” Fish doesn’t get why that’s a bad thing. He’s just interested in different things than other boys. Why does everyone else get to decide what Fish should or shouldn't do?
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley
When JJ Jacobson convinced his mom to accept a surprise invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway at the illustrious Barclay Hotel, he never imagined that he'd find himself in the midst of a murder mystery. He thought he was in for a run-of-the-mill weekend ghost hunting at the most haunted spot in town, but when he arrives at the Barclay Hotel and his mother is blamed for the hotel owner's death, he realizes his weekend is going to be anything but ordinary. Now, with the help of his new friends, Penny and Emma, JJ has to track down a killer, clear his mother's name, and maybe even meet a ghost or two along the way.
The Comeback by E. L. Shen
Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. Can she power her way to a comeback?
Miraculous by Jess Redman
Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. Then he meets Faye―a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing―and to miracles.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aiden S. by David Levithan
Aidan disappeared for six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to. His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But other people, including their parents, are saying that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?
One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
Rose Alice Anders is Little Luck. Lucky to be born into the Anders family. Lucky to be just as special and magical as her father. The whole town has been waiting for Rose to turn twelve, when she can become the person she was born to be. But when that special day finally comes, Rose barely captures one tiny jar of magic. Now Rose’s dad won’t talk to her anymore and her friendships have gotten all twisted and wrong. So when Rose hears whispers that there are people who aren’t meant for magic at all, she begins to wonder if that’s who she belongs with, what’s truly real in a world full of magic.
When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller
When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal--return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni's health--Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice...and the courage to face a tiger.
Bigger Than A Bread Box by Laurel Snyder
A magical breadbox that delivers whatever you wish for—as long as it fits inside? It's too good to be true! Twelve-year-old Rebecca is struggling with her parents' separation, as well as a sudden move to her gran's house in another state. For a while, the magic bread box, discovered in the attic, makes life away from home a little easier. Then suddenly it starts to make things much, much more difficult, and Rebecca is forced to decide not just where, but who she really wants to be.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler. Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.
Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau
In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane’s mother says. In a respectable house.
The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess. And even more troublesome the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job—helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in. Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.
If you're interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider purchasing a copy from your local independent bookstores. Indiebound.Org and Bookshop.Org are two great places to find local bookstores and shop indie.
I'm currently reading Linked by Gordon Korman .. stay tuned for details and more books coming soon! Drop me a line with your book recommendations.