Middle Grade Book Review: Wish by Barbara O’Connor – 4.5 stars

Some people just have an amazing grasp on what it means to be genuine and to be human. Barbara O’Connor is one of those people. Wish is the story of Charlie, an 11-year old girl from Raleigh, NC, whose father is in a ‘correctional facility’ and whose mother is having trouble ‘getting back on her […]

Book Review: The Jumble Sale (Adventures of the Misfit Monsters Book 1) by Lily Rose – 3 stars

The Jumble Sale, by Lily Rose is the sweet story of a number of misfit monsters who find themselves in a predicament. The protagonist, Zadi (who is part fairy, part zombie and a little bit robot) leads the charge to help them overcome their struggle: they depend upon deliveries to the junkyard for their survival […]

Book Review: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – 5 stars

I’m not sure how I’ve gotten so far in my life without reading this book, but I was definitely missing out. My son read this one for school and really enjoyed it so I decided to give it a spin! I was really glad I did. Written as a Middle Grade read, I found this […]

Book Review: York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby – 4 stars

I had heard such wonderful things about Laura Ruby’s York: The Shadow Cipher! And, knowing that the 2nd book in the series, York: The Clockwork Ghost was releasing on May 14th, I just had to dig into it and find out what all the fuss was about! I really was not disappointed! This book was […]

2nd Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club Selection: All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil!

Thank you to everyone who voted in my poll for our next read! It was close but All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil is our selection. Don’t forget to dial in to discuss this terrific YA read on July 15th at 8:00pm! More details to come! To get your copy of the […]

Book Review: The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow – 3.5 stars

Boy…if you think your family puts the ‘fun in dysfunctional,’ you haven’t seen anything until you read The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow! This book is the second one I’ve read this year (the first being Tara Westover’s Educated) that has left me speechless about just how broken and toxic families can be! Well-written and […]

Book Review: The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict – 3 stars

Since the inaugural Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club meeting has come and gone and we had the opportunity to discuss The Only Woman in the Room as a group, I thought I’d follow up with my personal review of the book now. I added The Only Woman in the Room to the list of […]

VOTE NOW!! Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club – 2nd Meeting! Help pick the book!!!

Our last Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club pick was The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict and, whole the meeting was sparsely attended, it was a lot of fun! I’d love to have more of you join us this time…so I need your help picking the book!Since this blog focuses on Middle […]

Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White – 3.5 stars

As always, I’ll be completely straight with you and admit: I struggled with this book. I almost gave up on it twice early on: I found the plot a little too ‘convenient’ and formulaic. The voice that Claypole White gives to mental illness (particularly OCD) however, reeled me in and kept me reading. I had […]

Book Review: Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith – 4.5 stars

This book is beautiful, lyrical, sad and hopeful. It’s one that has stuck with me for many days after I finished reading it. Delivered in verse, (Thank you Kwame Alexander for teaching me to appreciate books in verse!) Ebb and Flow packs a punch without flowery or abundant language. Smith’s book is the story of […]