Review: Otto P. Nudd by Emily Butler

Otto P Nudd by Emily Butler

Otto P. Nudd
Emily Butler
Random House Children’s Books
Published December 29, 2020

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About Otto P. Nudd

Otto P. Nudd: The BEST bird in Ida Valley (at least according to him). While his buddies waste their days at the dump cracking jokes, Otto invents things with his human neighbor Old Man Bartleby in their workshop.

Marla: The Competition. This protective mama-squirrel will swipe Otto’s snacks from under his beak if it means another meal for her babies!

Pippa: The girl who loves the birds in Ida Valley, and Otto most of all. But when Bartleby’s … Continue reading

Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Barbara Robinson
HarperCollins
Published April 12, 2005 (Originally published 1972)

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About The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an … Continue reading

Review: Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat by Deborah Kalb

Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat by Deborah Kalb

Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat (The President and Me #3)
Deborah Kalb
Schiffer Kids
Published September 28, 2020

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About Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat

After almost six months in Maryland, fifth-grader Oliver still misses his friends back in New Jersey. But things start to change one day, when his neighbor–and possible new friend–Sam lends Oliver a magic hat that takes him back to the 18th- and 19th-century world of Thomas Jefferson. Oliver and his sisters–Cassie, the nice … Continue reading

Review: The Monster of Marnmouth Valley by CJ Greene

The Monster of Marnmouth Valley by CJ Greene

The Monster of Marnmouth Valley
CJ Greene
Published October 15, 2020

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About The Monster of Marnmouth Valley

“Deep in the Kelna forest in the heart of Marnmouth Valley lies a fountain with extraordinary water. A creature discovered the fountain and began to drink the water. It has since found a way to ensure it is the only one that gets any of the water from the fountain. The less water that reaches the land, the more it dies. And if the valley dies, everyone in it will have to leave, or perish along with the … Continue reading

Review: Resist! Peaceful Acts that Changed Our World by Diane Stanley

Resist: Peaceful Acts that Changed Our World by Diane Stanley

RESIST! Peaceful Acts that Changed Our World
Diane Stanley
Neal Porter Books
Published September 1, 2020

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About RESIST! Peaceful Acts that Changed Our World

From music to marches, from sit-ins to walk-outs, history’s activists have led by example until they could no longer be ignored.

Aspiring activists the world over will take inspiration from Resist!, a collection of 21 brief but comprehensive essays, accompanied by striking artwork and rich supplementary material by Diane Stanley, about men and women who have used peaceful resistance and non-violent protests to make their … Continue reading

Review: Clifton Chase on Castle Rock by Jaimie Engle

Clifton Chase on Castle Rock by Jaimie Engle

Clifton Chase on Castle Rock (Clifton Chase Adventures #2)
Jaimie Engle
JME Books
Published November 24, 2020

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About Clifton Chase on Castle Rock

History tends to repeat itself…sorta.

Clifton Chase just wanted life to go back to “normal” again. But things were starting to happen. Two kids showed up at school that looked just like the princes from 1485, Clifton thought he was being followed, and then a hob thrush showed up in his closet and stole the Arrows of Light. Clifton wanted no part in this adventure. Until he learned that someone he knew was … Continue reading

Middle Grade 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

2020 Middle Grade Holiday Gift Guide

Middle Grade 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but this year I wanted to post a giant list of recommended titles for the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for stories to fill the weeks at home between school days or filling your shopping bag with gifts for those you love, these titles are among my favorites and the ones I most highly recommend from books published this year. I’ve divided this holiday gift guide into sections so hopefully the list is less overwhelming. If I’ve posted a review of the book, you’ll see a link to next to the publication date.

Without further ado, here are the books I recommend for the 8-12 year old reader in your life this holiday … Continue reading

Review: Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar by I. M. Maynard

Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar by I. M. Maynard

Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar: The Quest for Middle School Greatness
I. M. Maynard
Taft Publishing
Published March 9, 2019

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About Roger Tarkington and the Magic Calendar

Meet Roger Tarkington.

The almost 11-year-old has a plan for middle school greatness. A perfect plan that—lasts for all of about five minutes. 286 seconds, to be exact.

It’s all ruined when Kyle-the-Vile Brossman appears unexpectedly on the first day of school. Making matters worse, Kyle pledges to make Roger’s year miserable, just like he did at Bellingware Elementary School.

Roger’s unlucky start … Continue reading

Review: Dear Hero by Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat

Dear Hero by Hope Bolinger

Dear Hero
Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat
INtense Publications
Published September 28, 2020

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About Dear Hero

Cortex and V need a new nemesis. 

Up-and-coming teen superhero Cortex is on top of the world–at least, until his villain dumps him. If he’s going to save his reputation, he needs a new antagonist, and fast.

Meanwhile, the villainous Vortex has once again gotten a little overeager and taken out a hero prematurely. Will any young hero be able to keep up with her? Maybe she should work on finding a steady relationship with an enemy she won’t kill in the first round.

So the … Continue reading

Review: Aster’s Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon

Aster's Good Right Things by Kate Gordon

Aster’s Good, Right Things
Kate Gordon
Riveted Press
Published November 1, 2020

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About Aster’s Good, Right Things

“I can’t let go of them – the good, right things—because if I do I’ll turn into a cloud and I’ll float away, and a storm will come and blow me to nothing.”

Eleven-year-old Aster attends a school for gifted kids, but she doesn’t think she’s special at all. If she was, her mother wouldn’t have left. Each day Aster must do a good, right thing—a challenge she sets herself, to make someone else’s life better. Nobody can know about her ‘things’, because then they won’t count. And if she doesn’t do them, she’s sure everything will go wrong. Then … Continue reading

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