Panic

I was fortunate enough to meet Lauren Oliver at yet another great event at our local bookstore, Edmond’s Best of Books. She was joined by Adam Silvera, and they offered a scintillating talk about writing inspirations, techniques, and character-driven plots.

CatStronauts: Mission Moon

If you ever want to see your second grader have a meltdown in Barnes and Noble, then take him to get his free copy of CatStronauts: Mission Moon for completing his reading list, and then find out the store is out of them.

All the Impossible Things

All the Impossible Things is a book to savor. Honestly, when Katherine Applegate (One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, etc.) endorses anything, I’m probably going to read it.

Bone Gap

Haunting, cool, zany, funny, creepy, intriguing, thrilling. Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap are all these things.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read this for a writing critique group assignment. What I experienced was a book so extraordinary, I had this sense of beauty and unsettlement for days following.

The Call

By Paeder O’Guilin Published 2016 AR level: 5.5 AR points: 11.0 Word Count: 71019 I suggest 8th through 12th grade. This is a drastic departure from the previous books I’ve written about. Not only is it young adult, but the tone, while not completely devoid of humor, is most definitely dark. As a kid, if…

Ghost

I had heard about the book Ghost and seen it during my weekly trips to the bookstore. However, when two fictional kids in The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (another great middle grade read) discussed it in the story, I checked it out at the library.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster is a tale that made me hold my breath, laugh, and cry.  Set in 1875 London, the novel will never let you think of chimney sweeps the same way. In fact, before your child digs into this story, you might have a quick conversation about what a chimney sweep did back when.

Whales on Stilts (Pals in Peril Series)

By M.T. Anderson Published 2005 AR Level 4.6 Word Count: 22071 Suggested readers: Grades 3rd-6th So. I’ve posted three books so far, and all of them have one major thing in common. HUMOR! And I’m not alone in my love of laughter. Each year, Scholastic releases a Kids & Family Reading Report, and toward the…

Puppy Place

You know what kids love?

Puppies. They love puppies.

I dare you to say differently.

Puppy Place is a chapter book series for any child, because at one point or another, we all have a dog or know someone with a dog.

Scythe

I wasn’t sure what to think about a book with an image of a reaper in red on the front cover. Yes, the artwork was glorious, but I tend to shy away from anything too horrific, especially anything graphic, and I didn’t know what to expect (Shusterman always leaves me guessing–an exceptional quality in any author!).

The Last Kids on Earth

By Max Brallier Illustrated by Douglas Holgate Published 2015 AR Level: 4.1 AR Points: 3.0 Word Count: 21916 I suggest 3rd through 6th (but don’t be surprised to see 7th graders enjoying a sneaky read!) You had me at MONSTER APOCALYPSE!(!!!) The first in a highly popular “Last Kid’s” series, this book is a romp….

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

Sometimes, you just want to let your imagination run wild. And sometimes, you’re pleased to have someone launch it to a bizarre and wacky universe that feels “out of this world.” That’s what this fantastic middle grade novel does for you.