Lemon

by Melissa Savage

Page total: 308

Suggested Reading Level: Middle Grade (I think upper elementary grade readers would enjoy this as well)

I simply loved this sweet, charming book. Lemonade “Lemon” Liberty Witt has been dealt a big bowl of lemons in life. The whole world has been upended and the rug was pulled out from under her (Trigger: her mom dies, so some kids might find this hard). She has to go live with her grandpa, someone she has never meet before. She has to live her hometown where all her friends live and the memories of just her and her mom are. While there all she can think about is going back.  However Willow Creek California is full of fun quirky characters that you just can’t help but like (well there were a few sour lemons in the bunch). Lemon begins to make friends, has a best friend in Tobin. She starts to enjoy searching for and possibly finding Big Foot. Mostly she is enjoying learning all about her mom when she was Lemons age, talking to friends of her moms and just being with her grandpa. I just loved Lemon and Tobin, they are really sweet middle grade characters. They were well written and realistic. Tobin is dealing with his dad who is MIA after returning the US after fighting in the Vietnam war. This book will be the top suggested book when the 5th graders ask me for book suggestions. I hope many middle grade readers and upper elementary readers read Lemons! Grab a copy and read it aloud, or grab a copy and have family book club this summer.

About the book: After her mother dies in 1975, ten-year-old Lemonade must live with her grandfather in a small town famous for Bigfoot sightings and soon becomes friends with Tobin, a quirky Bigfoot investigator.

Thank you Random House Kids and Crown Books for Young Readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Comic Squad: Detention!

Edited by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

I’m new to the middle grade and elementary grade graphic novels. I read a few when I was younger (Bone) and my girls loved BabyMouse. So besides BabyMouse and Bone I haven’t read a bunch of them. However I work with kids and they LOVE graphic novels. So I’m always trying to find new ones to suggest when they are looking for their next read.  Comic Squad Detention is the first of the series for me and I’ll be seeking the other’s out since this one was really entertaining. Each story was written but a different graphic novel writer in children’s/middle grade novels. This is a great way to get a taste of other author’s work and writing style to discover new favorites that you want to read more from. I know I found a few that I’d like to check out more of this own graphic novels to read. I just might be a graphic novel reader after all. 🙂

The Lunch Bunch in…Detention DisasterThis one was cute and all maybe not a favorite of mine but I can see kids really getting a kick out of Hector, Dee and Terrence’s adventures in crime solving.

Cheating Death w/ Sisyphus: This one is my favorite! It is an ode to mythology and perfect for Percy Jackson or any Rick Riordan readers. I loved the mythology and the story was great.

Worse Than DetentionThis one was funny for me. In this graphic novel short story the school made the kids work in the kindergarten room instead of detention. They found it worked like a charm and they didn’t have repeat offenders. 🙂

Milo’s JourneyThis one was another favorite of mine. In this one there was no electronics allowed while serving detention. It also showed what a great imagination you can have when you’re not plugged in and left to your own devices to pass time.

Too NiceThis one was just OK for me. I did like how the boy noticed the girl was really smart.

Cyclopean Kid: Detention is Forever!: This was another mythology story and it was good. It was about a college student in the education program was also student teaching in monstergarten. I did like that it showed by getting detention sometimes you miss out on the fun. For us it would be called time out on the line up line.

Think About What You’ve DoneThis was another great one with an artistic imaginative kid. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Squish: Leave No Cell BehindThe science nerd in me really really enjoyed this one and I would love to read more Squish graphic novels. This one was a big hit with my middle grader as well, she loves all things science!

About the graphic novel: Calling all kidz! Do you like comics? Do you like laughing till you get sent to the principal?! Don’t punish yourself! Read the next Comics Squad! Leave your troubles behind with this collection of quick and funny stories about many kids’ biggest fear–detention! Sure, detention can be scary or frustrating or just plain boring, but who knew it could also be an adventure? With a disrespectful Greek god, antimatter ooze, bio engineered rats, and a school full of stampeding bulls, it is definitely full of fun!

Thank you so much Random House Kids for sending us a copy of Comic Squad: Detention!All thoughts and opinions are our own and not influenced by the free book.

Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom

I have 2 great little books perfect for the upper elementary through middle grade reading crowd. If you are looking for some somewhat spooky but not scary books for your kids who have already read every and all GooseBumps books than look no further.  Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom just might be what they are looking for.

First up or hands down favorite of the 2:

Curse of the Boggin (The Library #1) by D.J. McHale

curse-of-the-boggin-the-library-1-by-d-j-machale

 

This one was our favorite of the 2 books and we can’t wait for book 2. The book is perfect and we loved every creepy moment of it. The cover will have every kid that loves a good spooky book grabbing it off the shelves, it is perfect and really sums up the book. Curse of the Boggin has 2 stories with in this one. There is of course the main story that the book is based on but the back story as to why the Boggin wants the key so badly. This book is a bit more creepy and scary so not for the easily scared readers. Upper elementary through middle grade will devour this book and series – I even think some YA readers would enjoy this one. The kids are great and read like real kids. They are sarcastic – stick together – and jump feet first into the unknown world to save not only their families but their best friend. Marcus learns a lot in a very short time. First he learns that he is gifted or cursed depending on how you want to look at it with a gift. He learns he is adopted and that his parents didn’t pass away like he thought they did. Than he learns he is the keeper of this very special key and it can not – I repeat can not fall into the hands of the boggin or we are all doomed. Curse of the Boggin is a grand slam and sure to delight readers with the creepy supernatural elements,  friendships and both strong boy and girl main characters. Grab a copy of this one and add it to your middle grade spooktober reading list.

summary: There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in this library, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.

Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen

dr-fell-and-the-playground-of-doom-by-david-neilsen

 

This book was a small book and a quick read but not lacking it is a story that is packed full of mystery, fantasy and tween heroes. The tween kids are funny, sarcastic and not afraid of Dr Fell. They want to know what is up with him since something doesn’t seem right. This is a first book for my by David Neilsen and it was a delight to read his writing. He creates such a great enchanting book. I instantly fell into the book and didn’t want it to end. While it was a spooky book perfect for tween spooktober reading, it wasn’t I can’t sleep it was so scary. However if your child does scare easy than you might want to read it first just to make sure it would be OK. My tween reader has been reading spooky books for quite a while now and for her she said it wasn’t spooky enough – so definitely mildly spooky. The plot of the book is fast paced and will have your child reading all day long so they can find out how this book is going to end. Sadly the ending comes fast but is the perfect ending. Overall I really enjoyed this one and so did my middle grade reader (5th grader). The only thing she said she didn’t like was the cover. She said the cover would have her reaching for the book at the store or school library.

summary: When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

Thank you so much Random House Books for Young Readers and Crown Books for Young Readers. We enjoyed Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

The Darkest Corners

by Kara Thomas

“Everyone has something to hide”

First Line: Hell is a two hour layover in Atlanta

The Dark Corners by Kara Thomas

 

The Darkest Corners is a great thrilling roller coaster ride. You have no clue where this book is going and what is going to happen next. The only thing you do know is The Monster is back and the police are not looking for him. It is up to Tessa, Callie and a small group of friends to solve this mystery. The will be putting themselves out there and in danger but that isn’t the only mystery to solve. Tessa finds out her family has a few skeletons in the closet that some will do anything to make sure they stay there. The Darkest Corners was so good I flew through this book and while I figured out part of 1 mystery the others I didn’t figure out till they were revealed to the reader. I loved that about this book, I usually figure this stuff out. The characters were all very well developed and likable. Tessa and Callie are two girls who use to be best friends till they had an event happen that shattered the innocence of childhood and they each dealt with it in different way. However when they are thrown together again the bonds of their friendship and the event prove that it was unbreakable and they are in this thing together. The plot was so good and I loved that there was mysteries within The Monster mystery. I could really see this being a movie and man would it be good. Add The Darkest Corners to your summer reading list and your teen’s summer reading list. I really hope Kara Thomas writes more thrilling mysteries like this one. I enjoyed this one and will be checking out her Prep School Confidential Series. Callie and a small group of friends to figure out who he is before one of them is the next target.

summary: There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.


Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.


Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.


But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.


Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

thank you so much Random House Children’s, and Kara Thomas for allowing us to read The Darkest Corners. All thoughts and opinions are our own and were not influenced by the free book.

 

Arrows

by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

 

I love mythology, I love it so much I took every college course I can on the subject. My guidance counselor was like if it was possible this would almost be your minor. 🙂 So when I saw this YA book that was about Cupid’s son I knew this book would be cute. It was a really  sweet story about love, fixing wrongs and figuring out what is right even when you’ve been always told the opposite of what your feeling. Aaryn is the son of Cupid and when he was down on earth to complete his final things didn’t go as planned. Instead Karma his target was hit with the arrow of love, no matter how bad Danny treats her she just can’t seem to break that spell. To right Aaryn’s wrong his dad sends him down to earth and he has to fix it. But now he is a human and human emotions are coming into play. I know at times Karma drove me crazy with never giving up on Danny but sometimes it’s not that easy to give up on the one you love with all your heart.  Arrows was a great little YA book and while it does deal with adult situations and teen pregnancy / first time teen parents. I think the author did a great job at not making all fun and games. Can Karma find love? Can she continue with her dance dreams? Can Aaryn make the council realize that love isn’t just an easy hit with cupids arrows?   I think teen’s that enjoy romance books or mythology will enjoy Arrows.

summary: Dance prodigy Karma Clark’s unrequited love for Danny is unbearable until Aaryn, son of Cupid, tries to fix his mistake and ends up falling in love with the beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return.

thank you Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press, and Melissa Gorzelanczyk for sending me a copy of Arrows. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.