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Shorter Musings: Realistic MG

Here are some shorter musings on recent reads.


As Brave as You  by Jason Reynolds
This is a quiet book about that centers on complicated family dynamics. It is the second book I've read this year where the protagonist spends the summer with grandparents they haven't met so that the parents can try and work on their marriage. (The other is Some Kind of Happiness.) As Brave as You is an excellent addition for any school or classroom library and a good book to recommend to kids looking for a summer read that truly feels like summer. It is not quite as good as Reynolds YA books, and it is also longer. I can not figure out why it needed to be this long either.


How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by Taryn Sounders
A cute, fun story about summer camp and branching out into things that challenge you. I think MG readers will laugh at a lot of the scenarios that arise. I felt the characterization was a little flat and the character's actions predictable, but most of the target audience won't have those quibbles. There is nothing ground breaking here, but it is fairly well written as a whole and does what it intends to well. It is a good short read for summer vacation.

Poison is Not Polite by Robin Stevens
I really enjoy how this series balances serious core problems of humanity with the fun of children outwitting adults and solving crimes. The racial issues that are a daily hardship for Hazel when she's not at school were brought a bit more in this book. But this is mostly a more in depth look at Daisy's life, which we see through Hazel's eyes but are given a clearer view of here. Poor Daisy who has philandering mother, a weak and sad father, and an angry brother. Daisy's Uncle Felix was everything I hoped for and I definitely want to see him again in future volumes. (I would also like to see another adult character who I adored again.)


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