12/4/22

This week's round up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs (12/4/22)

 Welcome to this week's round-up!  I myself spent considerable time this week hunting for Target's Christmas birds (shown below, on one of my many tbr piles), which has brought me much joy (the hunt as much as the acquiring), and of course reading, though not so much reviewing...hopefully this coming week I will do more of that!  As always, please let me know if I missed your post!


The Reviews

The Blameless (The Blameless Series 1) by E.S. Christison, at Say What?

Castle Redstone (Minecraft), by Sarwat Chadda, at  Ms. Yingling Reads

The Clackity, by Lora Senf, at alibrarymama

Cress Watercress, by Gregory Maguire, at Children's Books Heal  

Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann, at alibrarymama

Grimwood, by Nadia Shireen, at Twirling Book Princess

Say What?: The Islands of Iros by L.M. Bracklow (buxfantasy.blogspot.com)

Book Review: Knights of the Borrowed Dark – Valinora Troy

The Last Kids on Earth and the Forbidden Fortress, by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate, at  Always in the Middle… 

A Long Way from Home, by Laura Schaefer, at Charlotte's Library

The Midnight Guardians, by Ross Montgomery, at Scope for Imagination

The Mummy's Curse, by M. A. Bennett, at  Sifa Elizabeth Reads 

The Rat Queen, by Pete Hautman, at Redeemed Reader

A Rover's Story, by Jasmine Warga, at Redeemed Reader

Swift & Hawk: Cyberspies, by Logan Macx, at  Ms. Yingling Reads

Villains Academy, by  Ryan Hammond, at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books 

Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest, by Liz Flanagan, at Book Craic

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor, by Xiran Jay Zhao, at Locus Online 

Three at alibrarymama-- Goblin Market, Bookshop of Dust and Dreams, and Water, Water 


Other Good Stuff

The best children’s books of 2022 | Picture books | The Guardian

The Best Books to Read After Harry Potter (thechildrensbookreview.com)

Midwinter magic: Robert Macfarlane on the enduring power of The Dark Is Rising, at  The Guardian

 

11/29/22

A Long Way from Home, by Laura Schaefer, for Timeslip Tuesday

It is always very welcome when a book gives me the unexpected pleasure of having time travel in it, because I am not a plan-in-advance person, and it is always touch and go ig I'll have a Timeslip Tuesday book.  A Long Way from Home, by Laura Schaefer (October  2022, Carolrhoda Books) gave me that pleasure, and the pleasure of a very good read as well!  

Abby is unhappily uprooted from home in Pennsylvania when her brilliant engineer mother gets a job with Space Now in Florida.  Now she has to add being a new friendless kid to the constant big worries about climate change and the state of the world that weigh her down.  Juliana, her school assigned mentor, is Friendly as all get out, but Abby still wants to just hole up in her new house, wanting to go back home....

But then she meets two strange boys, Adam and Bix.  They are strange not just in the stranger sense, but in off kilterness of clothes, language, way of being in the world....  They ask for her help--they are a long way from home, looking for their sister, V, and need a place to stay.  She's able to offer them her dad's boat, currently going unused.  Once they are settled there, the boys tell Abby more of their story.  They have come from about 250 years in the future, and they need to find V and get back before they through the timeline out of whack.

The boys' future tech give Abby a glimpse of the future, and too her great relief, all the problems of Earth in the present are solved.  She offers to help the boys, if they will take her forward to their time when they leave...and they sort of agree. 

So 2 future kids needing some tech help and food for a few weeks makes Abby's life busy.  Fortunately she has made contact with her Great Aunt Nora, a former space engineer herself who is now a recluse, and fortunately Nora agrees to help keep Adam  and Bix safe.  And in the end, Juliana the mentor now turned friend and even Abby's mom are all part of Operation find the missing sister and send the strangers back to the future....maybe with Abby, maybe not.

So much for plot synopsis.  I am now asking myself which part of the book I liked best--the realistic, character-driven part, or the sci fi time travel part....

The character part is hard to beat.  Abby isn't magically unanxious by the end of the book, and she still needs her coping mechanisms, but she is stronger, with a more mature perspective, and her character growth was truly moving.  She and her mother also open healthier channels of communication, which helps.  The supporting cast were all interesting too, and I loved the inclusion of Abby's mom and aunt reflecting on the challenges of being women in their field.  There are also puppies, courtesy of Juliana. 

And another small thing that sticks in my head--Great Aunt Nora, a recluse in a big old house, haunted by guilt after a mission she worked on failed, has taken up painting.  She is very bad at it, and knows this, but this does not stop her, because she wants to keep painting.  Possibly this is the most useful  'lesson' the book offers to its readers, and it  ties in with Abby doing small things to save the planet--obviously she won't succeed in any splendid way, but she realizes it is the doing that is important, even when the goal will never be reached.

The sci fi part provides impetus for action and tension, what with the ticking clock of the mission, technical difficulties, and secrets that the two boys aren't sharing.    There are very few books in which kids from the future come to visit, so this was a fun change for me. It was good time travel, too, and the out-of-placeness of the boys and their reactions to what to them was the distant past made for entertaining reading without feeling over the top.  There's a bit of mystery at play too.

Final answer--a really good book to have on hand when you are stuck at a car repair place waiting to find out how many hundreds of dollars you are about to lose.  I was engrossed, and moved, and even inspired/not quite dry eyed.....and I bet my reaction would have been much the same if I'd read it at the target audience age of 11 or so.

disclaimer--review copy received for Cybils Awards reading

11/27/22

no round-up today, sorry!

Instead of getting my usual Sunday morning round-up post done, I'm driving kids back to college....see you next week!

11/22/22

Ripped Away, by Shirley Reva Vernick, for Timeslip Tuesday

Ripped Away, by Shirley Reva Vernick (February 2022, Fitzroy Books) is a great upper middle grade time travel book, perhaps even my favorite time travel book of the year so far.

Abe Pearlman is a lonely kid with a head full of stories and no friends.  He has a huge crush on Mitzy, whose also something of a loner, but can't manage to say hi to her.  On his way home from school one day, he sees a sign for a fortune teller, and unexpectedly finds himself curious enough to go inside.  The fortune teller asks him what he most wishes for, and he tells her he wants to be a more interesting person.  She then tells him  that someone is going to die, but that he can save that person.  And then he blacks out.

He comes too in a horse drawn wagon in Victorian London.  He is now Asher, who works for a jewelry peddler, and lives in a tenement with his impoverished mother.  All of Asher's life is there in his head.  Understandably, he is freaked out, and figures that maybe saving the life the fortune teller mentioned is his way home.  And then Jack the Ripper murders a woman just steps away from where he is standing with the horse and cart....

Back in the tenement, Abe finds that Mitzy has also travelled back in time...she too went to have her fortune told, and now she is a blind girl, Maya, his upstairs neighbor living with her mother and her uncle, a butcher.   Both kids are from Jewish immigrant families, and this is a bad time to be Jewish in London.

The city is roiled by the Ripper killings, and  Jews are being targeted as suspects.   Antisemitism is rampant.  The police are looking in Jewish homes for the knife used in the killings, and when Mitzy's uncle won't produce his butcher knives, he is arrested and considered guilty.  Abe sees this as a  chance to save a life, and is able to get the uncle to tell him where his knives are, and why he hidden them.  But Mitzy's way home is still unclear, and the longer the two kids stay in the past, the stronger the lives of Asher and Maya are becoming, starting to subsume their own identities....

The time travel plot (which gets very tense!) and the murders (off stage, but also tense) set up a gripping framework for the excellent character-driven story.  The friendship/nascent romance developing between the two kids is heart-warming, and although Mitzy has little agency (though she does bring her intelligence to bear on the situation), Abe demonstrates pleasing initiative and intelligence.  The sensory details and descriptions really transport the reader back in time as well, without slowing down the story.  It is a short book, only 118 pages, but it gets everything done nicely. There are very few Jewish time-travel books for kids, and so it's great to have this one, with its top notch cultural and historical details. 

disclaimer--review copy received for Cybils Awards judging.


11/20/22

This week's round up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs (11/20/22)

Here's what I found this week; let me know if I missed your post!

The Reviews

The Captain’s Daughters, by Doreen D. Berger, at Hayley Reese Chow

Children of the Stone City, by Beverley Naidoo, at  Say What?

 Crater Lake Evolution, Jennifer Killick, at  Sifa Elizabeth Reads  

Daughter of the Deep, by Rick Riordan, at The Children's Book Review  

The Jellyfish Jailbreak (Alessia in Atlantis 2) by Nathalie Laine, at Say What?

The Notorious Scarlett and Browne, by Jonathan Stroud, at Say What? 

Pahua and the Soul Stealer, by Lori M. Lee,  at The Children's Book Review   

Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows, by Tehlor Kay Mejia, at Puss Reboots

Phoenix and the Frost Palace  (Fireborn #2), by Aisling Fowler, at Bellis Does Books

The Rabbit's Gift, by Jessica Vitalis, at Always in the Middle…  

Raggedy-Chan & Nine-Tail Fox, by Camille Picott, at Valinora Troy

A Rover’s Story, by Jasmine Warga, at Semicolon  

The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda, at proseandkahn

Spell Sweeper, by Lee Edward Födi, at alibrarymama

Water, Water, by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Jon McNaught, at Charlotte's Library


Authors and Interviews

Katharine Orton (Mountainfell) Library Girl and Book Boy and Scope for Imagination

Roseanne A. Brown  (Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting), at United By Pop


Other Good Stuff

OGRESS vs. MAPMAKER: Battle of the Fantasies, at  Heavy Medal

32 Black Mermaid Books for Children & Teenagers, at Colours of Us

11/16/22

Water, Water, by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Jon McNaught

Water, Water, by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Jon McNaught (March 2022, Tundra Books), arrived this past weekend, my first Cybils Awards review copy.  I was curious about this one, so was very pleased to get a chance to read this dreamlike story of a flooded world, and was not disappointed.   (I am pleased as well that it will be joining the ranks of the Ocean State Libraries' mg spec fic collection, taking its place alongside many other fine books from Cybils of years past....)

Rafe wakes to find his room is floating on a vast ocean, with no land in site.  His room has separated from the rest of the house, and he has no idea what has happened or if his parents (or anyone else in the world, for that matter) are still alive.  He and his dog are all there is.  Things float by, and although the woman playing a chello on her own raft is too far away to be pulled close, Rafe fishes out what he can...Fortunately the flotsam includes cans of food, and Rafe works hard not to think about all his many many questions.   He even finishes his homework.

Gradually the desert island of his room broadens with the arrival of a younger girl, Dao, from Thailand, floating on an air mattress, and life in the room and its roof becomes more companionable. Dao is quick to learn enough English to communicate (Rafe's Thai doesn't get very far, but Dao has the advantage of having watched American tv), and Rafe reads her the one book that was in the room, the story of a girl and a magical rabbit, which gives them a lovely bit of escape from reality.

Though not much Happens (the one Action-y bit it is an attack by teenage pirates, successfully fended off, the dreamlike happenings do move the two kids and the dog towards a more hopeful place (though still a shattered/broken/flooded one). We never find out details of what exactly happened and how widespread the flooding is and all the other climate dystopian details (in fact though it is about global flooding, it didn't strike me as being About climate disaster).  This lack of any context verges on being vexing, but such details would have destroyed the beautifully surreal quality of the story that I appreciated lots.  Read in a single sitting.

Because there are no answers, this isn't one for the kid who wants to know why and how and where.  But for the young daydreamer it would make a lovely gift!

11/13/22

this week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs etc. (11/13/22)

Hi all, here's what I found this week. As ever, please let me know if I missed your post!


The Reviews

The Best-Kept Secret, by Emily Rodda, at Charlotte's Library

Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack, at Redeemed Reader

The Clackity by Lora Senf, at Book Den

Embassy of the Dead- Destiny Calling, by Will Mabbitt, at Say What?

The Fireflies’ Champion (Guardian Angels United 1) by Amy Mirashi, at Say What?

The Frost Fair, by Natasha Hastings, at Bookbugworld and The Strawberry Post

Knock Three Times, by Cressida Cowell, at  Fantasy Literature

Mortimer: Rat Race to Space, by Joan Marie Galet, at Always in the Middle…  

The Mummy’s Curse by M.A. Bennett, illustrated by David Dean, at V'sViewfromtheBookshelves  

Odder, by Katherine Applegate,at  Geo Librarian

Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza, by Laekan Zea Kemp, at Charlotte's Library

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston, by Esme Symes-Smith, at The Nerd Daily and Mombian

A Storm of Sisters, by Michelle Harrison, at  Valinora Troy

The Time Tider, by Sinéad O’Hart, at (bookwormhole.co.uk)

Twiggy Thistle and the Lost Guardians, by Chris Riddell, at Magic Fiction Since Potter and  Library Girl and Book Boy

Two at Ms. Yingling Reads-- The Frost Fair, by Natasha Hastings, and  The Worst Villain Ever, by Amy Bearce 


Authors and Interviews

Esme Symes-Smith (Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston), at The Nerd Daily

Caris Avendaño Cruz (Marikit and the Ocean of Stars), at The Happy Writer podcast


Other Good Stuff

The best middle grade books with witches as heroes, compiled by Karah Sutton, author of A Wolf for a Spell at shepherd.com

11/10/22

Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza, by Laekan Zea Kemp

So the bulk of my reading these days is middle grade fantasy/sci fi for the Cybils Awards, and it never ceases to amaze me how the familiar middle grade themes of navigating family and friends and one's own changing self can be explored in so many different magical ways.   Yesterday I finished Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza, by Laekan Zea Kemp (September 2022, Little Brown), and this story of a Mexican American girl in a magical family does a lovely job with these threads of story!

Omega's town of Noche Buena is split between those who have magic, like her family, who were there first, and the mundane newer families, existing in slightly uneasy harmony.  But when the towns cats begin to go missing, suspicion and hostility towards  Omega's family begins to grow.  Omega's former best friend is part of this movement.

Omega and her cousin Carlito are lonely outsiders, hanging out just with each other and with the ghost girl who lives with them.  Adding to Omega's unhappy state of mind is her worry that her magical gifts will never amount to much. As it is, her out-of-control empathetic ability overwhelms her, sometimes to the point of physical collapse.

And then La Lachuza, a legendary owl/woman monster, comes to town.  She seems particularly interested in Omega...and Omega, though terrified, senses something in her that speaks to her.  But can Omega fight her way through the secrets and lies her own family has woven around her to save herself, her town, and possibly even the monster?

It's a good mystery, and I was drawn in tighter and tighter as more of La Lachuza's story was unfolded with all its intergenerational trauma; the pages turned quickly, and Omega became a beautifully clear character in my mind.  Her exploration of her own particular twist on empathy was very satisfying, her fascination with La Lachuza gripping, and I was happy to cheer her on.

A few things did bother me though. I got really frustrated with Omega's mother and grandmother. They thought they were doing the right thing by trying to keep her safe, but mostly did it with fierce anger and obfuscation, which I didn't appreciate.  For a family of empaths, they aren't very empathetic in their nurturing--when Omega's ex-friend draws on her face with permanent mark after she passes out from emotional overload, Omega's mom tells her to be forgiving and get over it, becoming a stronger person. Not helpful!  

I was also frustrated that Omega's cousin Carlito didn't get any character arc or any particular role in the plot.  He could have been cut from the book and it would have been barely noticeable.  Balancing that, the ghost girl is a great character who added both entertaining ghostly shenanigans and moving emotional weight.

(There's also a magical library, talking trees, and an attic full of family history--all pluses for me, and a sweet little nascent romance, a plus for the target audience)

And so my final thought is that although I didn't quite end up loving it to pieces, I did like it lots and was glad to see it ended with a tease for more to come!

me and Kirkus are pretty much on the same page--here's their review


11/8/22

The Best-Kept Secret, by Emily Rodda, for Timeslip Tuesday

On this anxious election day, worrying about what the future holds, I read a rather sweetly hopeful timeslip book--The Best-Kept Secret, by Emily Rodda (1988).

Joanna, a young girl in an ordinary small town, is a child beginning to realize she is leaving childhood behind.  Her parents want to move to a bigger house, and she's appalled by the idea of leaving her home, her safe place.  And though she doesn't quite realize it, she and her best friend, Cecelia, are growing apart--Cecelia is a rather stolid child who divides people into "nice" vs "weird."  And Joanna is wondering if she herself is more on the weird side (which the reader, or at least me, realizes clearly is the better, more interesting sort of person).

When a carousel appear out of nowhere in a vacant lot in town one night, the townsfolk are drawn to its music.  The two girls want to ride, but only a few people are able to gain access.  Joanna is one of the few, and Cecilia, holding on to each other, makes it to the carousel with her.  The strange old woman running it identifys Joanna as a proper rider, but lets Cecilia on board too, though noting she'll not get anything out of it.  And off they go on their horses, with a strange assortment of other riders (I like how the horses matched the characters!)

The Carousel takes them seven years into the future.  There the riders as ghosts, observing but unable to interact  as they explore their future town.  (Cecelia isn't able to participate, stuck in a dream on her horse, admiring how pretty the two of them look in the carosel's mirrors...).   Some riders have powerful, meaningful experiences seeing their future selves.  And there's one who concentrates on recording winning lottery numbers and the like.  But nothing much happens to Joanna...until right at the end, when a bullied little boy flees toward the carousel, and without thinking, she reaches towards him and brings him on board.  

This breaks the Carousel, stranding the passengers, and posing a dilemma--do they risk not making it home by pushing back toward the future again to drop off the little boy in his own time?  The majority votes yes,  and Joanna is given ten minutes to take the kid home....leading her toward the own bit of the future that was the reason she became a rider, because his home is hers as well....

And though the riders don't remember their experience clearly when they eventually get back to their own time, the feeling and dreams and deeply buried knowings remain, helping them be their best selves.  (I did wonder what the greedy man took home with him though--it wasn't at all clear to me why he deserved to be a rider....)

It's a simple story, good for younger readers but not for the typical middle grade reader of today.  But for sensitive kids it probably still works (which is almost me but not quite...).  I like Joanna lots, and I think I would have liked the book lots back in the day, but am not sure it would have been one of the books that burned itself into my mind--it's awfully nice, but could have pushed harder and been even more.

Today I got my master list of timeslip books reviewed here updated, though I am a little perturbed that I have 20 more timeslip Tuesday posts than I do books reviewed, so something is wrong somewhere....didn't have enough enthusiasm to check all 501 posts to see which I missed. But in any even, I'll try to be on top of things going forward and add this one right now!


11/6/22

This week's round-up of mg fantasy and sci fi from around the blogs (11/6/22)

A light week of links; Bloglovin wasn't working for me and so I doubless missed many posts (please let me know if I missed yours!).  Nothing from me, because even though I have read lots of books I have been frantically trying to get five windows ready to go back into place before winter comes....


The Reviews

Amari and the Great Game, by B.B. Alston, at  Always in the Middle…  and Valinora Troy

Crater Lake, by Jennifer Killick at Sifa Elizabeth Reads 

The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn, at Book Den

The Extradimensional Reappearance of Mars Patel (Mars Patel 3), by Sheela Chari, at Say What?

Freddie vs. the Family Curse, by Tracy Badua, at alibrarymama

The Frost Fair | By Natasha Hastings, at Bookbugworld

The Last Mapmaker, by Christina Soontornvat, at proseandkahn (audiobook review)

Leo's Map of Monsters: The Frightmare and The Shrieking Serpent by Kris Humphrey, illustrations by Pete Williamson, at Log Cabin Library

Moongarden, by Michelle A. Barry, at  Cracking the Cover

Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson | alibrarymama

Rise of the School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, at Say What?

The Switch, by Roland C. Smith, at Ms. Yingling Reads


Authors and Interviews

R.L. Stine (Pt. II) at The Yarn

Dan Poblocki (Tales to Keep You Up at Night) at  Middle Grade Ninja


10/31/22

Odder, by Katherine Applegate

Odder, by Katherine Applegate (September 2022), is an utterly delightful novel in verse.  Otters are inherently delightful, of course, and all their furry faced charm comes through beautifully in this story of Odder, an otter lost as pup in the ocean alone, rescued by humans, and then released back into the ocean.  Odder is a particularly impulsive, curious otter by nature, and so she isn't as wary as she should be.  When a shark attack sends her back to the sanctuary where she was raised, and her days in the wild are numbered, she finds a new purpose in life tending to another orphaned pup.

I approach animal books with caution; too much anthropomorphism makes me squirmish (I didn't really care for The One and Only Ivan, for instance).  I didn't have that problem with Odder, though--I thought Applegate did a really good job making her titular otter a being to care about without straining credulity.  It doesn't feel at all like fantasy, which so many books from an animal stand-point do.  The choice to tell Odder's story in verse in the 3rd person worked really really well for otter-ish mindset too--it's a coherent story of vignettes, impressions, sensory detail, and emotions, such as how an otter might experience the world.

It is a very sweet story, spinning some gentle instruction about otters and their importance as a keystone species into the moving story of this one particular otter.   None of the individual otters we meet die, for those who worry about these things, although there is one stillborn pup.

Very highly recommend for otter fans in particular of course (so easy to imagine this paired as a gift with a stuffed otter) but also for anyone who wants to swim with a playful, funny, otter who will steal the hearts of all readers.  

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher.

10/30/22

this week's round up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi (10/30/22)

Good morning!  Here's what I found this week; please let me know if I missed your post.

The Reviews

Amari and the Great Game, by B. B. Alston, at Pages Unbound 

Battle of the Beast, by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, at Sifa Elizabeth Reads

The Chestnut Roaster, by Eve McDonnell, at Book Craic

Daybreak on Raven Island, by Fleur Bradley, at YABookNerd

Emba Oak and the Terrible Tomorrows, by Jenny Moore, at Book Craic

Fourth of July on Monster Mountain, by Clark Roberts, at Briar's Reviews 

Into the Glades, by Laura Sebastian at Cracking the Cover and Butler's Pantry

Izzy at the End of the World by K.A. Reynolds at  Say What?

 The Thing At Black Hole Lake, by Dashe Roberts, at Check ‘Em Out Books  

Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold by Mark Leiknes, at Bookworm for Kids and Cracking the Cover

The Rabbit's Gift, by Jessica Vitalis, at Charlotte's Library

Saving Neverland, by Abi Elphinstone, at Scope for Imagination

Tyger by SF Said, illustrated Dave McKean, at Magic Fiction Since Potter

Windswept, by Margi Preus, at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Four at Feed Your Fiction Addiction--Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow, and I Cannot Draw a Horse

 

Authors and Interviews

Jessica Vitalis (The Rabbit's Gift), at Smack Dab in the Middle and diyMFA podcast

George Jreije (Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria) at Literary Rambles

Laura Sebastian (Into the Glades) at Nerdy Book Club

Amy Herrick (The Tiltersmith) at Mom Read It

Eve McDonnell  (The Chestnut Roaster) at Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books

Other Good Stuff

8 Eerie Books for Middle Grade Readers, at alibrarymama

Halloween Reads (ages 7+) at Library Girl and Book Boy

 

10/25/22

The Rabbit's Gift by Jessica Vitalis

I don't have a time travel book to review this Tuesday, but that means I get to say happy book birthday to The Rabbit's Gift by Jessica Vitalis (October 2022, Greenwillow Books)!  It has a very strange premise, based on the French story of babies being found in cabbages, with a twist of the baby cabbages then being delivered by rabbits, but the author manages to make this work in an engrossing, charming story!

Qunicy is a young rabbit, living in a magically hidden community that tends the fields where the magical baby-making cabbages grow.  He longs to be able to prove himself as a worthy rabbit, but he's small, and no-one seems to take him seriously.  Humans exchange purple carrots for the baby cabbages, and when Quincy sees the supply of carrots is dwindling, and the rabbits going hungry, he decides to set out into the human world to bring back carrot seeds so they can grow their own.  Forbidden, but worth it, if it works...

Only it doesn't work.  Quincy is discovered by a human girl, Fleurine, who follows him back through the tunnels to the warren, and who snags a baby cabbage to take home with her.  Pressured by her mother, the Grand Lumière of their country, to start behaving like a suitable heir, she longs for a little sister to take some of the pressure off her.  All Fleurine wants is to study science, and work with plants (there are lots of good science details!)

And now Quincy has to try to get the stolen baby cabbage back to the warren, before it dies, and both of them have to work together to re-build the relationship between people and rabbits, so that both can thrive.

Told in the alternating perspectives of girl and rabbit, this is a rich immersive story that gave me two lovely evenings of reading pleasure!  

Part of this was the writing-- I love books that make clear pictures in my mind, and this delivered beautifully without me being conscious of the specific descriptive words I was reading.  Part of it was the characters--Fleurine, who has a lot to learn about the responsibilities of her privilege and the lives of those without wealth and power, and who has a keen scientific mind that she's not being allowed to use, and Quincy, so well-intentioned and so determined...The way their paths cross and they go from antagonists to allies, working together to fix the mess the two of them caused, and bigger societal problems as well, made for a thought-provoking, well-paced story.

Short answer--yes, it sounds like a very odd book, and it is, but it is also not odd at all in its familiar middle grade themes of growing-up, figuring out who you are, and figuring out what you can do to make things better.

disclaimer: review copy received from the author.


10/23/22

This week's round-up of middle grade sci fi and fantasy from around the blogs etc (10/23/22)

Not much from me this week; it was Parent's Weekend at college (Bard, in the Hudson River Valley), so I got beautiful scenery and delicious apples (and time with my dear child) instead of reading:


But happily there are lots of other posts to share!  Let me know if I missed yours.

The Reviews

Always, Clementine, by Carlie Sorosiak, at Rosi Hollinbeck

The Brothers Flick: The Impossible Doors, by Ryan Haddock and Nick Wyche, at The Bookwyrm's Den

The Chestnut Roaster, by Eve McDonnell, at Scope for Imagination

The Dragon in the Bookshop by Ewa Jozefkowicz, at Hidden In Pages (audiobook review)

A Dragon Used to Live Here, by Annette LeBlanc Cate, at Semicolon

The Frost Fair, by Natasha Hastings, at Sifa Elizabeth Reads

The Ghost of Spruce Point, by Nancy Tandon, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Homebound, by John David Anderson, at  Say What?: 

The Mummy’s Curse (The Butterfly Club #2), by M.A. Bennett, at Scope for Imagination

Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods, by Catherynne M. Valente, at Puss Reboots

Outside Nowhere, by Adam Borba, at Ms. Yingling Reads

A Pinch of Magic, by Michelle Harrison, at Valinora Troy

The Rabbit's Gift, by Jessica Vitalis, at Middle Grade Minded

Seekers of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow #2), by Kevin Sands, at Cracking the Cover

She's Still Here, by Caitlin Alexander, at Bookworm for Kids

Skunk and Badger, by Amy Timberlake (series review), at The Children's Book Review

The Story of Green River, by Holly Webb, at Scope for Imagination

Tall Tales by James Riley (Once Upon Another Time #2), at Carstairs Considers

Theo Tan and the Spirit Fox by Jesse Q. Sutanto, at Book Dragon

Unmasked (Fright Watch #3), by Lorien Lawrence, at Barb Hopkins

The Vanishing of Aveline Jones, by Phil Hickes & Keith Robinson, at Scope for Imagination

The Verdigris Pawn, by Alysa Wishingrad, at Valinora Troy

What Lives in the Woods, by Lindsay Currie, at Fantasy Literature

Windswept, by Margi Preus, at Sonderbooks

Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend [Winnie Zeng, Book 1] by Katie Zhao, at Book Dragon

You Only Live Once, David Bravo, by Mark Oshiro, at Charlotte's Library

Authors and Interviews

Katherine Applegate (Odder), at The Children's Book Review

Katherine Arden (Small Spaces et seq.), at Fuse #8

 Nisi Shawl (Speculation), at WNDB

Adam Borba (Outside Nowhere) at Nine Bookish Lives

Ellen Potter (Hither & Nigh), at Writers Digest

Amy Herrick (The Tiltersmith), at Always in the Middle

Other Good Stuff

At Heavy Medal--"Mock Newbery Fantasy Contenders: Mapmaker, Ogress and Windswept"  I myself don't think Windswept and Ogress have quite what it takes, but have no other fantasy in mind I think might make it....

10/18/22

You Only Live Once, David Bravo, by Mark Oshiro

I really loved The Insiders, Mark Oshiro's 2021 queer, magical, middle school story (my review).  So I was very happy when You Only Live Once, David Bravo (September 2022, HarperCollins), got nominated for the Cybils and was a time slip book--reading it was three birds (1 pleasure, 2 happy duty), with  two curled up sit-downs.  It is also a queer, magical, middle school story, but with time travel!

David Bravo and his best friend, Antoine, are starting middle school together.  But they are on different schedule tracks, and 15 minutes of lunch together, plus cross country practice, is all they get.   His first assignment also discourages him greatly--a presentation about family culture and heritage is fraught when you are adopted, and complicated when you are Latinx, your dad is Mexican Brazilian American, and your mom Japanese American.  And he feels he really messed it up.  But worst of all he causes Antoine to have an accident that keeps him from running.  Antoine's father is set on making him a world class runner, and now David has derailed this, and maybe ruined their friendship.

So all he wants to do is just lie on the floor at home forever, wishing he could restart middle school. 

His wish is granted, in the shape of an annoying talking dog who says she's been sent by the powers that be to help him undo whatever mis-step it was that wrecked everything.  Fea (which means ugly in Spanish), sets right to work.  But each do-over just seems to make things worse.

Then it occurs to Fea that maybe it's not the past that needs fix, but the future that needs saving. Fea wasn't always an pushy time travel guide--she was once a young woman, back in the mid 20th century, who blew her own future.  She takes David back in time to see it  happen--the day Fea couldn't bring herself to say yes to the love of the girl who was her own best friend, and ended up with a broken heart.  And maybe if David realizes he'll only live once, it will give him the courage to acknowledge a truth--that Antoine too is more than just a friend.

There was a lot that awfully sweet here.  David's parents are just the best in so many ways.  Fea, who annoyed me lots at first, became someone to care about.  And David and Antoine are loveable (grown-up perspective), and relatable (mg school kid perspective)--both are figuring out who they are, in Antoine's case being honest with his dad about not actually wanting to be a world class runner, and in David's case, questioning his identity as an adopted child).  And of course figuring out what they feel for each other.

Since this is a time slip Tuesday post, I feel compelled to note that the time travel was very satisfactory and coherent, and was made even more enjoyable when Antoine got included.  I liked the trip back to the far past of the mid 20th century best, because it was such a nicely contrasting use of Fea's abilities (and also because it was a fresh scene, that added depth to the story).

The ending has a surprising and joyful twist as an added bonus (although I thought it was perhaps a bit too much of a good thing....like extra frosting)

10/16/22

This week's round-up of middle grade sci fi and fantasy from around the blogs 10/16/22

Good morning!  Here's what I found this week.  Please let me know if I missed your post.


The Reviews

Always Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak, at Scope for Imagination

Black Bird, Blue Road, by Sofiya Pasternack, at Charlotte's Library

The Black Slide, by J.W. Ocker, at  Say What?

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) by Victoria Schwab, at Lazy Day Literature

Calix and the Fire Demon, by Ron Walters, at Say What?

The Chestnut Roaster. by Eve McDonnell. at  Magic Fiction Since Potter

Children of the Quicksands, by Efua Traoré, at Charlotte's Library

Dungeon Academy: No Humans Allowed! by Madeleine Roux, at Twirling Book Princess

Gargantis, by Thomas Taylor, at  Leaf's Reviews 

The Ghost of Spruce Point, by Nancy Tandon, at Bookworm for Kids

The Girl in White, by Lindsay Currie, at Randomly Reading

Greenwitch, by Susan Cooper, at Entering the Enchanted Castle

Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse [Kiki Kallira, Book 2], by Sangu Mandanna, at BookDragon

The Lords of Night, by J.C. Cervantes, at The Bookwyrm's Den and A Backwards Story

 Moongarden (Plotting the Stars #1). by Michelle Barry, at Say What?

Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask, by Shiko Nguru, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Pilar Ramirez and the ­Escape from Zafa [Pilar Ramirez, Book 1], by Julian Randall, at BookDragon

The Rat Queen by Pete Hautman,  at Teen Librarian Toolbox 

Thunderbird, Book 1, by Sonia Nimr, at Charlotte's Library

Where the Lost Ones Go, by Akemi Dawn Bowman, at Ms. Yingling Reads

Windswept, by Margi Preus, at Charlotte's Library

Two at Ms. Yingling Reads-- A Long Way From Home, by Laura Schaefer, and Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont, by Nick Brooks

Two at alibrarymama-- Let the Monster Out, by Chad Lucas, and Secret of the Shadow Beasts, by Diane Magras


Authors and Interviews

Fleur Bradly (Daybreak on Raven Island) at Middle Grade Ninja

  T.A. Barron ar Fuse #8

R.L. Stine at The Yarn podcast

Ben Gartner (One Giant Leap), at MG Book Village

Jasmine Warga (A Rover's Story), at MG Book Village

Roslyn Muir (The Chimera's Apprentice) at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books 


10/15/22

Children of the Quicksands, by Efua Traoré

Children of the Quicksands, by Efua Traoré (July 2022 by Chicken House in the US, June 2021 in the UK), is a very excellent mg fantasy set in Nigeria.  It was nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize in the UK, and really deserves more attention here in the US.

13-year-old Simi is an overprotected city child; Lagos is all she knows.  So she's upended when her mother announces that because of an essential work trip, Simi will be sent to spend the summer with the grandmother she's never met in the remote village of Ajao. Her parents are divorced, and his father is too busy with his own work to look after her.  Simi does not relish the prospect of a summer without modern technology and creature comforts, but doesn't get a choice.

Her mother and grandmother are estranged, and her mother is very anxious that Simi not be exposed to her grandmother's stories and beliefs about the Yoruba gods and goddesses....but when Simi almost immediately follows a forbidden path into the forest, she finds herself exposed to this reality with a vengence.  A golden bird leads her into a lake of quicksand, and she is sucked down into a magical bubble world, home to other children who have been drawn into the quicksand.  Although she makes it out again, she's haunted by the experience.

Gradually she learns the story of the lake, and it's connection to the tragedy in her own family that was the reason her mother left for Lagos and never came back.  And she learns her grandmother is linked to the Goddess Oshun, who created the lake.  When the larger community, fed up with children being lost to the quicksands, decides to fill in the lake, Simi feels compelled to try to save the children trapped there....can she set things right in this bubble world, or will she become one of the lost children too?

That's the fantasy side of the story, and it was good--solid and compelling, believably resolved.  I appreciated that Simi is only able to set right the distortion of Oshun's original creation to what it was meant to be because of her grandmother's connection to the goddess--she doesn't have special powers of her own (unless bravery counts).

But what I liked even better than the fantasy plot was the real world adjustment of a city girl to a rural village.  She is a fish out of water, but her grandmother starts teaching her useful skills (like starting a fire, cooking, existing without running water), and gradually Simi starts to take part in the vibrant life of her grandmother's community, make friends, and feel at home. I really loved all the details and vivid descriptions that bring this part of Nigeria to life!  I would have been happy with just this story, but was even happier to  have it mixed with compelling fantasy.

Very highly recommended.  Also--not yet nominated for this years' Cybils Awards in Elementary/Middle Grade speculative fiction--today is the last day for public nominations and I sure hope it gets its nod!  Here's where you go to nominate--Cybils Awards Nomination Form and if you would like to browse a selection of other great books still waiting, here's a slew of them--EMG SpecFic Recommendations #Cybils2022 (padlet.com)  I can't nominate every book I love myself!

10/13/22

Black Bird, Blue Road, by Sofiya Pasternack


Black Bird, Blue Road, by Sofiya Pasternack (September 2022, Versify) is an emotionally fierce middle grade fantasy, set in the Khazar empire in Eastern Europe in the middle of the 10th century, a place where Judaism was the state religion. It's the story of a sister who would do anything to save her brother from death, no matter what the personal cost to herself.

Ziva and Pesah are inseparable twins. Even when Pesah is stricken with leprosy, and confined first to his room and then to his own small dwelling outside the main house, Ziva spends most of her time with him. She is the one who tends to his infected wounds (the first line of the story is "I have to cut off Pesah's finger today"). Pesah knows he is dying, and this is confirmed when he sees a vision of the Angel of Death. Ziva refuses to accept this. So when she finds out that her father is going to send Perah away to a leper colony, she harnesses up horses to a cart and escapes with him to set out for Byzantium to find a cure.

When robbers attack, all seems lost...except that with the robbers, bound to serve them, is a half-sheydem (demon) boy, Almas When at his urging Ziva breaks the charm that held him, he binds himself to her quest in return, agreeing to help her take Perah to the fabled city of Luz, where Death cannot enter.

Their journey really is a race against death, and they make it just in time. But is the promise of life that Luz offers one that Ziva and Pesah can live with?

Ziva is a formidably fierce character, whose single-minded determination blazes across the pages. In fact it blazes a bit too brightly, overshadowing Pesah and Almas. The scenes in which Ziva actually talks and listens to each of them are great, pushing her toward more self-knowledge and taking her out of her own headspace. But they are too few and far between.

Ziva is so very much the center of the story and so very, desperately, focused on saving her brother that she doesn't actually spend much time talking to him or to Almas, and so we as readers don't get to spend much time seeing anything from their point of view. This diminished my personal enjoyment of the book lots; though I sympathized with Ziva, she felt more than a bit one note to me. Pesah is shown to us through the lens of Ziva's thoughts about him, and doesn't get much page time to be his own person. Likewise half-demon Almas, literally dragged along in Ziva's wake by the binding between them, also with just enough time given to him on the page that we know he is an interesting person with his own tragic story. Ziva barely things about him at all though it is clear that there is going to be a romantic interest in their future, so we don't even get much of him second-hand,

But still the final conflict/resolution between Ziva and the Angel of Death was profoundly moving, and Pesah did get to make his final choice. The Angel turned out to be an interesting character in Its own right, which pleased me, adding depth to the final conclusion, in which Pesah, not Ziva, gets to choose the course of his own life.

It's not a fantasy for readers who like Adventure, but will appeal to those who like emotionally charged journeys through worlds rich in story, particularly those who are kicking against the injustice and pity of the world.

What I personally liked best--doing a deep dive into internet reading about the Khazars! I love it when middle-grade fantasy reading leaves me better educated!

I also appreciated that the fantasy in this story is rooted in Judaism, a very rare thing in mg sci fi/fantsy. This is one of three Jewish middle grade fantasy books that I know of eligible for this year's Cybils Awards. The others are Aviva vs the Dybbuk, by Mari Lowe, and The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor by Amanda Panitch.

None of these three have been nominated yet, so please consider adding Jewish representation to the list of Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction nominations! Cybils Awards Nomination Form.  And if you know of more, please comment!

10/11/22

Thunderbird Book 1, by Sonia Nimr, for Timeslip Tuesday

Thunderbird, Book 1, by Sonia Nimr, translated by M. Lynx Qualey (April 2022 by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies UT-Austin, originally published in 2017), is the first time travel book originally written in Arabic I've ever read, and also the only Palestinian time travel book I've read.  My only substantive complaint with the story is that it is just the first part of a longer whole, with a cliffhanger ending. I wanted more, immediately...

A personal complaint is that the sadness with which the story begins made it hard for me to get hooked..  Noor's beloved parents died when she was 11, and for the past two years she has lived in the home of her uncle.  His wife is shrewish, greedy, and unkind, but fortunately her grandmother is there to give her all possible love and comfort, and one night gives her an old  ring from her parents....and then she too dies.

Noor runs away to visit an old family friend, a professor of antiquities, to try to find out more about the ring.  The ring is tied to her parents research--they were convinced that the phoenix was a real bird.  And they were not wrong.  With its death and rebirth every 500 or so years, the phoenix maintained the boundary between the human world and the world of the djinn and other magical creatures.  It is time for the phoenix to die again, but this time it might not be resurrected....and the balance between the worlds would be shattered.

 And Noor finds herself, accompanied by one of the djinn (who are also worried about the boundary falling), undertaking a quest through time to recover four feathers from the phoenix's past immolations.

Arriving in 16th century Jerusalem, she meets a girl who looks just like her, who has the same ring.  The two join forces to find the phoenix, and escape after being brutally captured by soldiers to make it just in time to see the phoenix burn....and this first installment ends.

I have left out many of the lovely fascinating elements of the story that made it a pleasure to read.  Though there are a few uneven bits, like Noor getting a lesson in the Crusader history of the city from her new friend (interesting, but something of an info-dump), Noor was such a clearly drawn character that she carried me through the story without faltering.  It was fascinating to go back in time with her, and also to see Jerusalem through her terrified, Palestinian eyes.  And if I ever time travel, I would, like Noor, to have a djinn in cat form going with me to magically provide appropriate clothes!

I completely agree with the conclusion of the Kirkus review (which is how I found out about this one)--
"This richly descriptive novel paints a moving portrait of a lost, lonely girl; a historic land with a painful past and present; and an enchanting magical world. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for more."

Book 2 comes out this November, and I will be buying it.

Thunderbird is eligible for this year's Elementary/Middle Grade Cybils Awards.  Two other Muslim fantasies that have also not yet been nominated are Nura and the Immortal Palace, by M.T. Khan, and Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power, by Samira Ahmed.  If you know of others, please let me know!  And please consider nominating one of these books (here's where you go to do that), to uplift middle grade Muslim fantasy!

10/9/22

Windswept, by Margi Preus

Windswept by Margi Preus, illustrated by Armando Veve (September 2022,  Harry N. Abrams) is a middle grade fairytale, in which a dauntless girl, with brave and gifted companions in true fairy tale style, must save her sisters from a curse.  It is also a fable of environmentalism, set in a time after the collapse of our current status quo.  And it is also a good read with beautiful writing, though not quite to my personal taste.

Tag's three older sisters went outside to play, and she tried to go to, but being younger, she was slower.  And so when the wind came up and swept the other girls away, Tag was left behind.  Shut up in a sad house with only a knot hole to peek through at the outside world, she was kept safe, like all children under 15, from being windswept.

But one day another child, breaking the rules about kids being outside, stuffs a message through her knot hole--a map showing a meeting spot.  And Tag remembers that there might be a way out of the confines of her safe house--up in the attic.  There is, and not only does she make it outside, but she takes with her a book of fairy tales that had been hidden up there.  The fairy tales, forbidden by the government, are as new and magical to her as the outside world.

She finds the meeting place, and there meets a group of other kids who are determined to find out where the wind has taken their own siblings.  The book of fairy tales is the only guide book they have.

Then comes a truly fairy tale journey, the sort where some will help and some would hurt, where wits and true heart matter more than strength. And in the end, as the reader of fairy tales knows she will, Tag frees her sisters and the other children the wind has taken.

If you have read fairy tales, you will recognize many elements of them in the story; it was like seeing old friends.  If you are a child who hasn't, it's no great mater--the magical journey stands on its own, full of encounters beautiful, whimsical, and dangerous.  This is the part that's not quite to my personal taste--magical episodic journeys just aren't my favorite thing.

That being said, I appreciate that there's plenty of emotional weight to this particular journey--Tag has (understandable) self-doubt, and all the kids (who I liked very much) bring with them the sadness of losing their siblings.  Heavier weight comes from the book's message about human greed and disregard for the environment, which though a bit forced at times was still powerful and timely.

My brain is such a word-eater when I get going reading that I didn't register the illustrations because they weren't words (oh, there was an illustrator? I thought when I started writing this post...sorry illustrators...)  But I see going back through the book that in fact there are decorations and some full pictures that help make this a Story, like Tag's beloved fairy tale book...

Short answer--glad I read it, parts were lovely and make memorable pictures in my mind that I appreciate lots, and I bet there will be plenty of kids who love it.  

ps.  I am currently frantically trying to read as many middle grade sci fi and fantasy books as possible, before the public nomination period for the Cybils Awards ends (October 15) so that I can my use my own nomination as best as possible, and also so that I can encourage others to nominate.  Windswept is eligible this year, but hasn't gotten its call yet, and there are a bunch of others still waiting here on the Elementary/Middle Grade speculative fiction ideas board.....If you've already nominated a book, thanks, and if you haven't, do think about showing a book some love! Here's where you nominate--Cybils Awards Nomination Form

This week's round-up of middle grade sci fi/fantasy from around the blogs etc (10/9/2022)

Welcome to this week's round-up!  Please let me know if I missed your post.

First, a reminder that everyone from around the world can nominate books for the Cybils Awards--it's  a great way to show love for a favorite book or favorite author, and a great way to bring attention to books that are sliding under the radar.  The public nomination period ends at midnight on October 15, and there are so many books that are still awaiting their chance, including some of the best middle grade speculative fiction of the year!  I'm the category chair, and I've gathered some here at the EMG Spec Fic Cybils Idea Board. and a * next to  a book in the round-up means it hasn't been nominated yet.  Here's the nomination form.  (eligible books are those published in the US or Canada between Oct 16 2021 and October 15 2022). Thanks for making me, the books, the authors, happy!

The Reviews

Abigail and the Great Gang Trap (Little Wade and Watch Tower #1) by Sean March, at J.R.'s Book Reviews

Alliana, Girl of Dragons, by Julie Abe, at  Jean Little Library

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, by Deborah Abela, at The Book Muse

*Children of Stardust, by Edudzi Adodo, at YA Books Central

Empty Smiles (Small Spaces Quartet, Book 4) by Katherine Arden, at Hidden in Pages

*Ghostcloud, by Michael Mann, at YA Books Central

*Ghostlight, by Kenneth Oppel, at Pages Unbound

*How to Heal a Gryphon (Giada the Healer Novel, 1), by Meg Cannistra, at Cracking the Cover

Ida in the Middle, by Nora Lester Murad, at Islamic School Librarian

The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera, at Susan Uhlig

*The Last Fallen Moon, by Graci Kim, at Children's Books Heal

Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities), by Shannon Messenger, at Silver Button Books

*The Lords of Night, by J.C. Cervantes, at The Laughing Place

*Map of Flames, by Lisa McMann, at Geolibrarian

Marikit and the Ocean of Stars, by Caris Avendaño Cruz, at Your Tita Kate

*Monster Club, by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, at Always in the Middle

*New Dragon City, by Mari Mancusi, at Ms. Yingling Reads, The Bookwyrm's Den, and Boys' Mom Reads

*Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont. by Nick Brooks, at Always in the Middle

Odder, by Katherine Applegate, at Mom Read It

*A Rover's Story, by Jasmine Warga, at Cracking the Cover.com

*Shelterlings, by Sarah Beth Durst, at YA Book Nerd

The Tale of Truthwater Lake, by Emma Carroll, at Book Craic

*This Appearing House, by Ally Malinenko, at Charlotte's Library

Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions, by Anthony Gate and Anthony Rapino, at Say What?

The Twig Man, by Sana Rasoul, at Book Craic

*The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor by Amanda Panitch, at Jean Little Library

*The Vanquishers, by Kalynn Bayron, at The Story Sanctuary

Which Way to Anywhere, by Cressida Cowell, at Magic Fiction Since Potter

Witchstorm, by Tim Tilley, at Book Craic

The Worst Villain Ever, by Amy Bearce, at Say What?

Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup, by Andy Sagar, at Twirling Book Princess

Two at alibrarymama -- *The Prince of Nowhere, by Rochelle Hassan, and *The Lock-Eater, by Zack Loran Clark

Two by Kris Humphrey at Log Cabin Library  Leo's Map of Monsters-- *The Armored Goretusk & *The Spit Fang Lizard 


Authors and Interviews

Kalynn Bayron (*The Vanquishers) at  Paola M Guerrero (YouTube)

Jasmine Warga, (*A Rover’s Story) at WNDB and YAYOMG

Sangu Mandanna (*Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse) at Cynsations

Max Brallier (The Last Kids On Earth) at Middle Grade Ninja

Jessica Vitalis (The Rabbit's Gift) at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Michelle A. Barry (Moongarden) at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Alyssa Colman (The Tarnished Garden) at Withywindle

Ally Malinenko (*This Appearing House) at Bent Biblios Podcast  and  w-enternews

Emi Watanabe Cohen (*The Lost Ryu). at MG Book Village

Fleur Bradley (*Daybreak on Raven Island) at MG Book Village


Other Good Stuff

New Children's Book Picks October 2022 - UK Post, at Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Watch the trailer for My Father's Dragon at SLJ






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