Genre: Middle Grade

Pirate Queen:  The Legend of Grace O’Malley by Tony Lee & Sam Hart

Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O’Malley by Tony Lee & Sam Hart

So on the one hand, I appreciate the existence of this book because Grace O’Malley is super cool and her story isn’t widely shared. On the other hand, I’m still not 100% on board with how it was done here. There’s not a whole lot of definitive fact out there about Grace – and this is my historian showing through.  It’s not like we have her letters or a private journal or anything like that to lean on.  Rather, Grace is one of those figures who has become renown through stories and legends  There are some very basic facts we […]

Posted May 18, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
Solving for M by Jennifer Swender

Solving for M by Jennifer Swender

I’ve never seen a book quite like Solving for M, and frankly?  It was fantastic. Solving for M is a very specific type of story.  It’s about Mika, a fifth-grader nervous about going to a new school and being in different classes than her best friend.  The story starts with Mika in her new math class, and the teacher tells them to bring a “math journal”.  And then he eats a candle.  The story in itself is about change and adaptation and courage.  I didn’t expect this book to confront cancer, especially not in Mika’s immediate family.  So not only do […]

Posted May 15, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

After really disliking Otherworld, I was a bit hesitant about borrowing Nightmares!.  This book has been on my TBR for about three years now, added around the same time as Otherworld.  I was hoping that, because most my issues were related to the worldbuilding, I may still enjoy this one.  Add in the fact that Jason narrates this audiobook… and yeah, okay, this one may be alright. *sigh* I still wasn’t a fan.  And that’s a lesson learned – no more of Jason Segal and/or Kirsten Miller for me.  Two of my criticisms with Otherworld were the cartoon-esque villains and poorly researched […]

Posted April 27, 2019 in Reviews // 2 Comments //
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

So much of me wanted to roll my eyes at the common tropes and general unoriginality in The Book of Three… but then I had to remind myself:  this book was first published in 1964.  A lot of the tired tropes in The Book of Three were fresh and new 54 years ago.  For all the fantasy I read, I rarely stumble across classic epic fantasy I haven’t read before.  That makes this a bit complicated to review. So.  Taking a step back from modern fantasy.  Taking a step back from the diverse themes and relationships woven into a lot of the […]

Posted April 14, 2019 in Reviews // 4 Comments //
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It’s positively tragic that I haven’t reviewed Alice in Wonderland before now. I think it’s because Alice is a classic.  It’s not like some of the heavier classics I read – like Inferno or Gone With the Wind – that feel antiquated and need some introduction.  The beauty of children’s classics is their true timelessness.  Even period ones like The Secret Garden and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh snuggle their way into our hearts effortlessly. Alice in Wonderland is like that.  I’ve never met a person unfamiliar with Alice, even if not everyone will love her. And what do I say about this […]

Posted March 13, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes was required reading when I was in fourth grade, and I gotta be honest, it still holds up 20 years later. This book tells the impossible story of Stanley Yelnats IV, who is sent to prison because he was convicted of stealing a pair of charity auction shoes from a homeless shelter.  He’s put away pretty swiftly, sent to attend Camp Green Lake for juvenile delinquents.  The state hopes it will help him build characters. Of course, it’s really all the fault of his dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. At Camp Green Lake, the boys each dig a five-by-five foot hole.  Not because they’re looking […]

Posted January 23, 2019 in Reviews // 2 Comments //