Two Book Reviews! The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – 4.5 stars!

Let me start off by saying that my experience has been that it’s fairly rare to find a book and its sequel that are equally well written and compelling. However, I’m happy to say that The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley are solid exceptions to […]

Backlist Middle Grade Book Review: The True Blue Scouts of the Sugar Man Swamp by Kathy Appelt – 5 stars!

I think it’s fair to say that my son and I read A TON of books together. That being said, it’s no small compliment to say that The True Blue Scouts of the Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt is our hands-down mutual favorite! This book is a frolicking romp through the swamp from two […]

Middle Grade Book Review: A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan – 4.5 stars

If you are a book nerd like me, you have to love a book that reads like love letter to libraries! Add in a quirky, lovable cadre of characters and a strong sense of what it means to be a middle schooler and you have the absolute winner that is A Kind of Paradise by […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

Middle Grade Book Review: The Wrong Shoes by Caryn Rivadeneira, Illustrated by Graham Ross – 4 stars

This book’s subtitle is ‘A Book About Money and Self-Esteem’ and that’s what I really liked about it: it covers topics of financial literacy and self-esteem in ways that are extremely accessible to its target audience (8-12 years old.)  Peppered with engaging, comedic illustrations from Ross, the book moves along at quick clip and will […]