Thursday, August 11, 2016

These are a few of my favorite things!- My favorites of 2016 are abundant. There have been so many great books I've read and so many in my TBR pile I am excited about. I feel full of book love! Here I include a nice assortment, (historical fiction; spooky; graphic novel; survival; realistic fiction) a little something for everyone! Enjoy these few of my favorite middle grade reads of 2016 and you can look forward to many more posts with lots of gushing!
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk- Betty Glengarry's arrival at a rural Pennsylvania school changes everything for Annabelle, age 12. Annabelle's biggest worry in her life to date has been the war(WWII) but Betty's presence has created a more immediate threat. Betty is a bully and not at all harmless, although its hard for adults to believe that this pretty little blonde girl is capable of violence. Instead, its easier to blame recent wrong doings on an odd WWI vet who roams the nearby Pennsylvania hills. Annabelle makes difficult choices with a child's eye making the story believable. I loved this book so much, I couldn't put it down, although sometimes I wanted to. It was gripping and emotionally complex and at points hard to bear. <3 Well done Lauren Wolk.
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor- Perry Cook has lived at the Blue River Correctional facility all of his life (12 years) with his mother, Jessica, who is a resident there. All is well until someone refuses to look the other way and Perry is forced into foster care. A look at prison life, what it means to have an incarcerated parent and a lesson in finding the goodness in life. SO well done. I loved every page. I think kids will eat this one up too.
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh- Mary Hayes is adopted from a deplorable orphanage only to learn that her new guardian, Madame Z (a Baba Yaga) is planning to eat her. Clever Mary, though, has a plan. Filled with magic and spookiness, this one should have broad appeal.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier- Telgemeier hits another one out of the park. Cat and her family are forced to move to a dismal (and ghost ridden) town in Northern California due to her little sister's cystic fibrosis. Cat wrestles with feelings of resentment towards her sister while still feeling fiercely protective of her. A great exploration of culture, family, death and sibling bonds. Totally realistic characters that lots of readers will identify with. I LOVED it!
The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence- A fast paced and exhilarating adventure/survival story that also explores some pretty weighty topics (i.e. grief). Two boys must learn to cooperate, despite their dislike for each other, when stranded in the Alaskan wild. Angry and sullen teen Frank and the younger (12) Chris, creative and patient must work together and forge a bond in order to survive. Kids who love Hatchet, Lost on a Mountain in Maine and My Side of the Mountain are going to eat this up. I could not put it down. Well written and solid.

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