Review: Vasilisa by Julie Mathison

Vasilisa by Julie Mathison

Vasilisa (Old Rus #1)
Julie Mathison
Starr Creek Press
Published February 23, 2021

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About Vasilisa

Three witches, two children, one ogre — and nowhere to run.

It’s 1919, but in Edenfall, Pennsylvania, the Great War is not over — not for Vasilisa, at least. Papa is presumed dead on the fields of Flanders, Mama is being courted by an absolute ogre, and now Babka, her beloved grandma, has had a bad spell. Or has she fallen under one? Only the Old Tales, the Russian fables Vasilisa was raised on, offer any comfort or … Continue reading

Review: Reckless, Glorious, Girl by Ellen Hagan

Reckless, Glorious, Girl by Ellen Hagan

Reckless, Glorious, Girl
Ellen Hagan
Bloomsbury Publishing
Published February 23, 2021

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About Reckless, Glorious, Girl

Beatrice Miller may have a granny’s name (her granny’s, to be more specific), but she adores her Mamaw and her mom, who give her every bit of wisdom and love they have. But the summer before seventh grade, Bea wants more than she has, aches for what she can’t have, and wonders what the future will bring.

This novel in verse follows Beatrice through the ups and downs of friendships, puberty, and identity as she asks: … Continue reading

Review: Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

Beetle and the Hollowbones
Aliza Layne
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published August 4, 2020

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About Beetle and the Hollowbones

In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity.

Then there’s twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who’s caught in between. She’d rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle’s old … Continue reading

Review: Summer of L.U.C.K. by Laura Stegman

Summer of L.U.C.K. by Laura Stegman

Summer of L.U.C.K.
Laura Stegman
INtense Publications
Published September 15, 2020

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About Summer of L.U.C.K.

Stuttering Darby is never perfect enough for her mother. Justin’s been silent since his dad died. Naz is struggling to learn English. But after they meet at summer camp, mysterious calliope music from an abandoned warehouse grants them power to communicate without words. When they sneak inside, the dark, empty space bursts into a magical carnival. They’re greeted by the ghost of Leroy Usher, who asks for their help convincing his family to restore the carnival to its former glory. In return, he promises … Continue reading

Review: Frank by Ece Gurler

Frank by Ece Gurler

Frank
Ece Gurler
BookBaby
Published December 1, 2020

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About Frank

Have you ever dreamt of an alternate world? A world full of second chances and lost dreams, found again. Just like the one Frank has stumbled upon.

Frank, an eleven-year-old science nerd, fashions a hiding place in his closet with his favorite things. He calls it the “Aurora Shell”, where he retreats whenever he feels upset or scared. The day he learns that he was adopted, he discovers an empty space behind his Big Bang Theory poster, in the Aurora Shell.

He decides to crawl in and find out what … Continue reading

Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

You Have a Match
Emma Lord
Wednesday Books
Published January 12, 2021

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About You Have a Match

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, … Continue reading

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: 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: 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

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