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Tag Archives: middle school

Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack

JacketTitle: Calamity Jack
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Nathan Hale illustrator.
Series: N/A but “sequel” to Rapunzel’s revenge
Recommended for: 4-8th Grade
Pages: 144
Call Number/Link:  GN J HAL
Synopsis: Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler…maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk. With help from Rapunzel (and her trusty braids), a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people…while catapulting themselves and readers into another fantastical adventure.
Review: This is a great book, a fine sequel to Rapunzel’s revenge. This features a coming of age tale of a trickster hero realizing his potential. The art is magnificent and invoked a strange mix of steampunk and classic fairy tale styling. Add to it an element of mystery–“Who are the ants?” and you have a rollicking tale that is sure to impress.

 

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Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold

Title: Harold and the Purple Crayon
Author: Crockett Johnson
Series: N/A
Recommended for:
Pages: 239
Call Number/Link:  E JOHNS
Synopsis: One night Harold decides to take a walk in the moon light with his purple crayon. Go on an adventure with Harold and his purple crayon in this imagination filled classic.
Review:  Let Harold and his purple crayon take you on an adventure filled with dragons, hot air balloons and pie!  In a world of technological distractions this book is a great way to remind us all to have fun and use our imagination. There are quite a few books in this series that are just as fun as the original.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Bedtime, Picture Books

 

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Matched

matched

 

Title: Matched

Author: Allyson Braithwaite Condie

Series: Matched Trilogy

Recommended for: Grades Middle & High School

Pages: 512

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CONDIE

 

 

Synopsis:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

Thoughts: I really love this book I think as one reviewer said that this is very similar to the giver but more beautiful people.  I would also compare it to The Selection series as well.  The fans of both these books would love this trilogy.  It is fast paced and I just whizzed through the books since there are so many twists. They are available as an eBook, audio book and book form.  I started reading as paper copy then I finished listening to the eBook since I could not obtain a paper copy.

 
 

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Awkward

awkward cover

Title:   Awkward
Author:   Svetlana Chmakova
Series:   –
Recommended for:   kids in grades 4-7 who like realistic graphic novels (or graphic novels in general)
Pages:   210 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J CHMAKOVA, S.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After shunning Jaime, the school nerd, on her first day at a new middle school, Penelope Torres tries to blend in with her new friends in the art club, until the art club goes to war with the science club, of which Jaime is a member.

Comments:

I’m not a big graphic novel fan, and read this on a young patron’s recommendation.  I liked it pretty well, but will probably stick with Babymouse and Lunch Lady when I feel the urge to read a graphic novel.  That said, the author gave a pretty accurate, cringeworthy picture of what middle school can be like for outsiders – whether they are new kids or lonely kids that others like to victimize.  Some situations and characters are exaggerated to make more of an impact, but it still feels like middle school.

This is a good book to recommend to kids who enjoyed Smile and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Realistic

 

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Roller Girl

Roller Girl
Cover of the book Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Cover of the book Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Title: Roller Girl
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 4-8
Pages: 239
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAMIESON, V.
Synopsis: Astrid is an impressionable grade schooler about to transition to Middle School.  In the summer prior to the 6th grade, she attends a roller deby event and is inspired to be become a roller derby athlete. She attends a summer roller derby camp and learns a bit more about herself, even as she and her childhood friend begin to drift apart.
Review:  Roller girl is a clever take on the middle schooler coming of age story. I am a fan of roller derby and this book did not disappoint. The main character Astrid is realistic and feels like a preteen, figuring out her place in the world. . The lost of friendship as Astrid and her best friend grow apart feels very real with a lack of melodrama. The book is filled with subtle nuances of character and told with a light touch. While seemingly inspired by Raina Telgemeier, I found this book to be even better than Smile

The best part was the underlying message, not of “believe in yourself and you will win” but “work hard and do your best.” It lacked the clichés of most “sports” books, in terms of underdogs and sudden mastery of difficult skills. I enjoyed that Astrid was still somewhat unskilled at roller derby in the end—though better than the beginning. If this turns into a series, I will be quite happy.

 

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2015 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Realistic

 

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

kropp

 

Title: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: 1st book in a trilogy

Recommended for: Teenagers 13-17 years old

Pages: 339

 

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION YANCEY


Synopsis
Alfred Kropp is the last person you’d think could save the world. But when this oversized underachiever gets roped into a suspicious get-rich-quick scheme, his life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Little does Alfred know he has been tricked into stealing Excalibur–the legendary sword of King Arthur–and the most powerful weapon ever wielded by man.

With an ancient order of knights in hot cars, thugs on motorcycles, and a mysterious international organization following his every lumbering step, Alfred undertakes a modern-day quest to unravel a thousand-year-old mystery and return the sword to its rightful place.

My Thoughts: I loved this book because it was interesting and engaged the reader with twists and turns along the way. This would be a great book to recommend to fans of the Percy Jackson books because it involves magic in the English legends with an awkward teenager.  Kids would love this trilogy.

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Adventure, Fantasy, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Eight Keys

eight keysTitle: Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LeFleur
Series: n/a
Recommended for: Kids grades 4-6
Pages: 216
Call Number/Link: J LAF

Synopsis: Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise’s parents died when she was too young to remember them.  There’s always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish.  Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn. Elise receives the keys one by one and tries to discover why her father left her the things he did.
Review: This book is a story of two friends and how growing up can be hard.  This book is good for kids who are struggling with growing up, and the changes that middle school brings. It is not a sad book like LaFleur’s other book, Love, Aubrey, but is emotional just the same.  It can to appeal to both boys and girls because even though the story is about Elise, Franklin is a strong character.
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Juv, Realistic

 

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