I posted my very first reviews to my LiveJournal. Yeah. I did transfer them over here when I started this blog though, so that is what the links are for. A few of these reviews are featuring my daughter, who wanted to blog too and I called Bit (for Bibliophile in Training). She was six at the time. Y'all. She's in HIGH SCHOOL now.
I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.
A new Kate Milford book? I'm always ready for one of those!
Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to them. Nothing, that is, until Marzana’s parents are recruited to help solve an odd crime, and she realizes that this could be the excitement she’s been waiting for. She assembles a group of kid detectives with special skills—including the ghost of a ship captain’s daughter—and together, they explore hidden passageways, navigate architecture that changes overnight, and try to unravel the puzzle of who the kidnappers are—and where they’re hiding. But will they beat the deadline for a ransom that’s impossible to pay?
Legendary smugglers, suspicious teachers, and some scary bad guys are just a few of the adults the crew must circumvent while discovering hidden truths about their families and themselves in this smart, richly imagined tale. Release Date: January 14th 2020 from Clarion Books Goodreads I have a huge weakness for the Fake Dating trope in romance. I cannot resist it. This particular novel using the trope looks like so much fun.
Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.
After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.
The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought... Release Date: June 18th 2019 from Swoon Reads Goodreads What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?m
I'm always so happy to have another Sarah Prineas book to hand to students, and her latest novel Dragonfell is an excellent addition to her list books. (I am so impressed with how her MG books have incredibly different premises but are still very much her signature style.)
Rafi is different. He knows it, and everyone in his village knows it. His appearance is odd, he doesn't get cold, he can see far distances and at night, and he loves to spend his days up on the abandoned dragon lair near his village. (Their old dragon hoarded tea cups.) When mysterious strangers coming looking for a boy lighting looms on fire, Rafi finds himself an instant suspect. It doesn't help that he started a fire right where said strangers were standing. Amidst accusations of being "dragon touched" and insinuations that he is bad luck at best and criminally dangerous at worst, Rafi sets off on a journey to discover all he can about the dragons of his land and why they are disappearing. Along the way he finds an ally in a young researcher named Maud. Rafi and Maud find dragons, but also a sinister plot hatched by a hunter of dragons who wants dragon power for his own nefarious purposes. And he has his sights on Rafi's mysterious abilities next.
Rafi is an excellent protagonist, and one any kid who has felt slightly outside of the norm but not quite bothered about it will relate too. Rafi knows he is different. He has questions, and he wants answers to those questions. However, he isn't really bothered about being different. It's more that he is bothered by some people's reactions to his differences. When he meets Maud, he tries to disguise some of them, but she, clever girl she is, catches on. Maud is an excellent partner for Rafi. Her strengths and weaknesses parallel his in the most perfect ways. Maud accepts Rafi wholeheartedly as he is. The two of them have a truly remarkable friendship that survives misunderstandings and half-truths and danger. I appreciated the way their conflicts were discussed and talked out without allowing misunderstanding to fester and grow into resentment. All of the secondary characters (both dragon and human) are memorable as well.
There is a lot going on in this book thematically. Prineas is working with issues that affect all of humanity that are quite weighty. From the workings of propaganda in the minds of people who are scared ofc hanging times to environmental destruction to consumerist cooperations, there are many layers and facets to the story being told. Folded seamlessly into the fantasy world and presented as they are, these themes are worked in exactly the right way for any age audience.
Dragonfell is an excellent fantasy book to add to any middle grade reader's collection. (And there are dragons. You can never go wrong with dragons.)
I didn't get nearly as much read in March a I wanted as there was a lot of traveling where I was busy doing things. I didn't make a very big dent in my books-I-own-but-haven't-read stack. I did read quite a bit all things considered, and they were good.
A look at my February Reading in Numbers:
New Reads: 7