Here are some shorter musings on some recent MG reads.
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
This is a story of a young orphan adopted and moved to a village where strange things happen and her guardian warns of tricksters. After making a new friend, Mary begins to wonder if she can trust her new guardian and what exactly is happening in the strange small village she now calls home. This is a lovely story reminiscent of many that have come before it, but that has its own special tone and feel. The characters are delightful and bring the tale to vibrant life. This is a great addition for any elementary classroom or library.
The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
This is an incredibly well done story about a girl who falls into an old well during a mean club initiation orchestrated by girls at her new school. Once Kammie is in the well, she has a lot of time to think about her life, and Rivers balances what is happening in the now with flashbacks Kammie has to what brought her to the place she now finds herself. The plot is definitely not linear and jumps around a lot. This could be confusing but it should be because it is a perfect reflection of Kammie's turmoil as she waits for a rescue that may not come. It is a short read and I think it will be an easy sell with its target audience.
Sophie Quire and the Last Story Guard by Jonathan Auxier
Fans of Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes will most likely enjoy this companion novel. Full of Auxier's whimsical fun prose and adventures, the is a wonderful follow-up to the original story. Focusing on a new character, it still has plenty of familiar faces and fits into the world Auxier created in his first novel nicely. It is a tad too long which is not something I remember thinking when I was reading the first book. I think this could have been cut down a good 100 pages and been truly excellent.