The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake
Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel–perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly.
When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.
Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. When the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.
This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.
Continue reading “Review of The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake (physical copy)”
Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby
This debut novel—about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about growing up and coming out—will make its way straight into your heart.
Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig. Though she’s a science and math nerd, she tries taking an art class just to be closer to him, to experience life the way an artist does. But then Fig’s dad shows up at school, disoriented and desperately searching for Fig. Not only has the class not brought Fig closer to understanding him, it has brought social services to their door.
Diving into books about Van Gogh to understand the madness of artists, calling on her best friend for advice, and turning to a new neighbor for support, Fig continues to try everything she can think of to understand her father, to save him from himself, and to find space in her life to discover who she is even as the walls are falling down around her.
Nicole Melleby’s Hurricane Season is a stunning novel about a girl struggling to be a kid as pressing adult concerns weigh on her. It’s also about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about coming of age and coming out. And more than anything else, it is a story of the healing power of love—and the limits of that power.
Continue reading “Review of Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby (physical arc)”
There are quite a few middle grade books coming out in 2019 that sound really good. I thought I would share 16 of those with you. I’m not going to share covers for all of them because of storage space, but I’ll share a few cool ones.
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (no cover yet)
A seventh-grade girl and her brother, aided by various Navajo gods disguised as relatives, must stay one step ahead of a shape-shifting monster as they follow in the footsteps of the legendary Hero Twins to save their family.
Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokski
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Roshani Chokshi and her sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.
Continue reading “Anticipated 2019 Middle Grade Books”
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.
Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.
Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”
And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.
Continue reading “Review of Small Spaces by Katherine Arden”
The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs
When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even ‘cool kid’ Opal -rush to his rescue… only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below.
Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can’t quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they’ve never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable.
As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries – and their lives -begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened… and it knows their wishes and dreams – and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?
Continue reading “Review of The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs (digital arc) Plus a movie and tv show rec!”
October is going to be a crazy month for books. Just October 2nd alone is insane! I know this isn’t all the books coming out, but I tried to find a lot of the more anticipated ones. Always double check the release dates, too. I get most from Goodreads and I’ve found they’re not always 100% correct. There are a couple that are releasing on weird dates (October 1 and October 4). I just added those to October 2nd to make it easier.
*arc I have
&book I’ve read
+book I have preordered already (I will be adding more)
Continue reading “Anticipated October 2018 YA Releases (the month we will all be broke)”
The Complete Cookbook For Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen
Want to bake the most-awesome-ever cupcakes? Or surprise your family with breakfast tacos on Sunday morning? Looking for a quick snack after school? Or maybe something special for a sleepover? It’s all here. Learn to cook like a pro—it’s easier than you think.
For the first time ever, America’s Test Kitchen is bringing their scientific know-how, rigorous testing, and hands-on learning to KIDS in the kitchen!
Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created THE cookbook every kid chef needs on their shelf. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, or your family, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs has delicious recipes that will wow!
Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels—including recipes for breakfast, snacks and beverages, dinners, desserts, and more. Step-by-step photos of tips and techniques will help young chefs feel like pros in their own kitchen Testimonials (and even some product reviews!) from kid test cooks who worked alongside America’s Test Kitchen will encourage young chefs that they truly are learning the best recipes from the best cooks.
By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.
Continue reading “Cookbook review: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (digital arc)”