Archive for the ‘Middle Grade’ Category

Women in Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky

December 11, 2017

[SAM] Look, I am here for all things Rachel Ignotofsky. I loved her women in science art long before it ever became her awesome first book “Women in Science.” So I was pretty sure I was going to like her follow-up “Women in Sports.” Then I opened to the first page and found the story of Madge Syers. Now, I know the story of Madge Syers, but I suspect you dear reader might not. And believe me, you want to know the story of Madge Syers. It might just change your opinion of her entire sport.

Oh, also the rest of the book is very good. You know, just in case you happen to not be as obsessed with Madge Syers as I am (not that I understand why, but hey people like what they like I guess). Filled with fifty stories and illustrations of amazing athletes. Learn a bit more about the awesome lives of Serena Williams and Simone Biles, and discover who Julie Krone and Patti McGee are. With one page of text on each athlete accompanied by an illustration surrounded with fast facts, this book makes it super easy to discover a new story each day! It’s definitely one of my favorite books of 2017. A great book for the whole family.

 

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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

November 30, 2017

 

[SAM] November is family literacy month! One of my favorite new literary families is the Vanderbeekers! Siblings Jessie, Isa, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney find out five days before Christmas that their beloved old brownstone in Harlem will no longer be their home. The landlord, Mr. Beiderman, has refused to renew the family’s lease on their apartment. But to the Vanderbeekers kids this building is like a member of their family, and they won’t abandon it that easily. 

 

This is a great middle grade novel about family and the meaning of home. Chapters alternate perspective among all the siblings. You get very specific pictures of all five kids ranging in age from five to twelve. Their apartment and the neighbors around it are also lovingly described.

 

It’s not a Christmas book book per say, but has a little bit of Christmas in it, which makes it a fun family seasonal read! A perfect book for fans of The Penderwicks or The Silver Sisters series! Find it HERE

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer

September 11, 2017

[SAM]

“But this, dear unauthorized reader (or should I say intruder?) is a playbook. My ultimate playbook, in case you wanted clarification. It’s where I keep all my thoughts and ideas and strategies about how to win at life. Yeah but how is that different from a diary, you ask? Look, diaries are usually about what happened. Playbooks are about how you make things happen.”  

What I love about this book is Gabby’s confidence. She’s good at baseball, she knows it, and she’s proud of that. Even when things don’t work out her way, even when she’s a little over confident, even when she struggles, this story never punishes Gabby for being loud and proud.

The transition to a new school and finding her place on a new team are not as easy as Gabby assumed they’d be. But the skilled, confident Gabby we see in the book opening scene is the same Gabby we see at the end of the book. And along the way, she learns that no one succeeds alone, and no one is an all star all the time.

This book is super fun with appealing Diary of a Wimpy Kid style illustrations. A great chapter book for fans of realistic graphic novels like Roller Girl. Find it Here

Space Battle Lunchtime : lights, camera, snacktion! by Natalie Riess

May 9, 2017

[Sam] Have you ever watched Iron Chef and thought, this is great but I really wish the contestants were aliens? If you are currently shouting at your screen “YES, YES, I THINK THAT ALL THE TIME!!!” this graphic novel is so for you. Don’t read any further, just take my word for it and put it on hold,  Find it Here.

Now for the rest of you, who maybe don’t spend as much energy wishing extraterrestrials would invade your favorite reality show, don’t worry this book is also for you. In fact you may have a lot in come with the main character of this book. Peony was honestly very happy being an awesome baker in an adorable earth based coffee shop. But after unwittingly accepting an offer from a strange customer she finds herself the newest contestant on Space Battle Lunchtime, a super popular alien cooking competition broadcast all over the universe.

This graphic novel is just fun. The art is bright, the story is simple, but entertaining. A fun read for kids or adults! Check it out now and you’ll be all caught up when vol. 2 arrives this summer.

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

April 6, 2017

[Sam] Peppi Torres’ plan to survive her first day of middle school is to be boring and invisible. But that plan shatters when she trips over Jaime Thompson in the hallway and everyone starts calling her his “nerder girlfriend”. And how does Peppi react? She pushes Jamie and runs away. What a nightmare! So of course Peppi’s after-school art club finds itself at war with Jaime’s science club. Will Peppi ever overcome her embarrassment and apologize to Jamie? Will the feud between Art club and Science club destroy the school? Find it Here

This awesome graphic novel creates a vivid picture of the ups and downs of life in middle school. It’s funny and relatable. I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy Raina Telgemeier‘s graphic novels. And if you enjoy this book checkout Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

 

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

April 4, 2017

[Sam] This is a wonderful middle grade book that radiates hope and love even in the midst of trying circumstances.The main character Amina starts out as a shy girl who lives very much within her comfort zone. She loves music but refuses to sing in public. She enjoys Sunday school at her mosque but is embarrassed to recite Arabic in class. However, the arrival of a new family member, changes within her friend group, and a tragedy in her community might just bring out a whole new side to Amina. I loved how thoughtfully Amina’s family and community were described. I felt I learned new things about Pakistani-American culture, but also found a lot I could relate to within these characters. I highly recommend it.  Find it Here