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Showing posts from January, 2017

MG Shorter Musings

Here are some shorter musings some recent MG reads.

Bounceby Megan Shull
This book is a fun spin on the old wish-for-a-different-life Christmas story. Frannie is having the worst Christmas ever when her parents decide to take off for the holiday and her brother and sister throw a major party in the house. Frannie wishes for a new family. When she wakes up, she's living someone else's life. And then it keeps happening. Christmas day over and over as someone else each time. The novel is fast paced and during her adventures Frannie faces her fears and becomes a little less afraid of the world. I think I would have liked this book more if I felt Frannie's character were better developed. I found myself far more invested in the girls whose lives she inhabited than I did her even at the end. As a mother, I found her parents to be the absolute worst as well.

The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley
This is a good, entertaining mystery for MG readers. It has a lot of history about Harle…

American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi is one of the most anticipated YA debuts of 2017. Everyone is talking about it. And with good reason.

Fabiola Toussant was born in America but has lived her entire life in Haiti. Her mother overextended her visa on a stay to America visiting her sister so Fabiola would be born a citizen. Now they are returning after 16 years. Except everything does not go as planned. Fabiola's mother is detained by INS and Fabiola is thrust on to a plane bound for Detroit alone. She is met by her cousins, twins her own age (Pri and Donna) and an older cousin (Chantal). With little time to process what has happened to her, Fabiola is instantly thrust into life in West Detroit: attending school with her cousins, meeting a cute boy, and coming in contact with the more dangerous side of Detroit's streets. When she is given an opportunity to get her mother in to the US that might mean betraying those closest to her, Fabiola must determine the cost of freedom and whether…

ALA Youth Media Awards

Today is the day I'm on a plane to Atalanta to attend the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting. The height of Midwinter every year is the Monday morning announcements of the Youth Media Awards. Monday morning we will learn the winners of the 2017 Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and the many other awards given by ALSC and YALSA.

I feel like I am way out of sync with the majority of kidlit aficionados this year so I fear I  may not see many of my favorites get nods.

What I would most like to see come away with a shiny Newbery sticker:

What I would most like to see come away with a shiny Printz sticker:


I don't have many strong opinions on the other awards. This was a super off year for me in a lot of respects. I'm rather hoping this weekend renews my excitement and energy. 
Does anyone else have any favorites for Monday morning? 

The Friendship Experiment

I always feel bad for books that come out in November/December. They often get lost in the shuffle as Best of Year lists are made at this time and many are too busy to read new books. If you're not paying attention, it is easy to miss these books entirely.  The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan is one such book. It is delightful and one of those books that naturally attracts middle grade readers yet I haven't seen many people mention it.

Madeline is dealing with a lot right now for one sixth grader. Her beloved grandfather just died. She is about to start middle school without her best friend by her side. She has a rare blood disorder that causes unpredictable nosebleeds that are difficult to stop. There is a new girl who experienced Maddie's dream of going to Space Camp and won't stop talking about it. Then there is her popular cheerleader older sister and her parents who don't seem to understand how her world is crashing down around her. In order to cope, Madel…

TTT: 2016 Releases I Didn't Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: 2016 Releases I Didn't Get To

There are so many books I look forward to every year, and unfortunately this year some of the ones I was looking most forward to, I wasn't able to get to. Here are some 2016 releases I'm making a priority in 2017.






What 2016 books were you looking forward to that you still need to read?

Shorter Musings (YA)

Here are some shorter musings on some recent YA reads.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fireby Rosamund Hodge
There are some aspects of this one that I really loved-the politics, the world-building, Paris. I also rather liked the fraught relationships between the four main characters and how those developed. Other than Paris, I wasn't really enamored of the other three main characters though, and found myself wanting to smack them more than hope for good things for their lives. As this is a reworking of Romeo and Juliet with necromancy, there is a lot of angst and misunderstanding. I was prepared for that. I was not prepared for this 400 plus page book to only be the first half of the story. There's going to be a sequel. And I don't think Romeo and Juliet needs to be extended to 800 pages of angst and misunderstanding. And even Paris let me down in the ability to make good decisions department in the end so I'm more than a little annoyed with all of them. Also the end INFURIATED me. I…

Midnight Without a Moon

It's always exciting when the very first book you read in the New Year is an instant favorite magnificent work you will be pushing at everyone you see for the foreseeable future. Midnight Without a Moon, the debut novel by Linda Williams Jackson, is such a book for me. Prepare to hear about this book for months to come.

It is summer of 1955 in Mississippi and Rosa Lee Carter lives with her grandparents, brother, and cousin on a wealthy white man's cotton plantation. Her best friend is the preacher's son. Her life's goal is to finish school and find a way out of Mississippi. As the summer heat rises, Rose spends her time working in the cotton fields and quietly trying to learn all she can about the NAACP. But her grandmother insists they are group who are just going to cause trouble for good people. When a neighbor is shot after registering to vote and tensions continue to rise across the state and Rose's small community, she must decide what she believes, how much s…

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

With a new year comes a whole bunch of new books to eagerly anticipate the release dates for. Here are some of the ones I'm looking forward to the most.

The Ultimate (no other book comes close; it's been SIX YEARS):

Date: May 16th
MG Releases I'm Anticipating
Midnight Without a Moonby Linda Williams Jackson (Okay technically I've already read this. AND IT IS AMAZING. I'm anticipating buying it and telling everyone to read it. Review on Wed.) Date: January 3rd The Many Reflections of  Miss Jane Demingby J. Anderson Coates  Date: February 28

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly  Date: March 14th Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood Date: March 21st
The Shadow Cipherby Laura Ruby  Date: May 16) The Dragon with a Chocolate Heartby Stephanie Burgis Date: May 30
The Emperor of Marsby Patrick Samphire
Date: July 18

Young Adult Releases I'm Anticipating 
By Your Side by Kasie West
Date: January 31
American Street by Obi Z…