Max & Mo Go Apple Picking by Patricia Lakin

51fnkmlhgulEvery week, each of my three children picks out two books from the school library. That’s six books a week for me to keep track of (in addition to our town library books), and I pride myself on not misplacing any.

I had a feeling that this would not last forever, and I was right. One of my twins checked out Max & Mo Go Apple Picking at the beginning of the year. It disappeared, and I was fairly sure that it had accidentally been recycled with some school papers. The lovely school librarian was very gracious about replacing it, but a couple of weeks ago, I accepted that the book was gone forever. I purchased a replacement copy of the book, and when I gave it to the school librarian, she told me that the missing book was going to turn up. Read more

The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn by Sam Gayton

51-cr4ri2tlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have a daughter who is eight years old. She is a voracious reader, so when I receive the opportunity to read a middle grade book, I often read it with her. We have discovered some lovely stories together, and it’s nice to be able to spend time with her one-on-one.

As soon as I saw The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn, I had a feeling that my daughter would like it. This book was originally published in England under the title The Snow Merchant, and it was written by Sam Gayton.

Lettie Peppercorn is only twelve years old, but she is a formidable landlady in the town of Albion. Her Da is often at the local tavern, and her mother left over ten years ago. When a mysterious alchemist arrives with an incredible invention called “snow”, Lettie’s life changes forever. Read more

A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick


I found A Frozen Heart in the new arrivals section in the children’s room at my town library. I picked it up for my oldest daughter because I thought that she would like it. This is a middle grade novel written by Elizabeth Rudnick.

There are already several novelizations of the Frozen movie, so I was a little surprised to see this book. What sets A Frozen Heart apart from the others is that half the chapters are narrated by Anna and the other half are narrated by Hans. Read more

Fox and Crow Are Not Friends by Melissa Wiley

51m5vgzfhslLast week, one of my first grade twins came home with two books. Her sweet classmate had noticed that she liked foxes, so he brought two books about foxes from his house for her to borrow.

Fox and Crow Are Not Friends is a level 3 “Step into Reading” book written by Melissa Wiley and illustrated by Sebastien Braun.

This story begins with Aesop’s fable about the fox and the crow, wherein a fox tricks a crow into giving up the cheese in her mouth by praising her beautiful singing. The vain crow cannot resist, but when she opens her mouth to sing, she loses her cheese. That is where the fable ends, but our story continues. The crow is annoyed about losing her cheese, so she seeks revenge. The fox is not happy about this development and insists, “No one outfoxes a fox!” There is something that the fox and the crow have not considered: who does all the cheese they keep taking belong to, and how will they react when they find out who has been taking the cheese? Read more

Hickory Dickory: The Fox Race by AJ Smith and Walter Tyler

51ujlwtyjhlOne of my twins loves foxes. She is a rather lucky girl- foxes seem to be a popular animal, and so there are many different children’s clothing stores that have released fox items. We also have fox books, fox stuffed animals, and much more.

There is a dear sweet boy in her first grade class. This boy was also in her kindergarten class. He noticed that my daughter liked foxes, and he asked his mother if he could bring some of his fox books to school for her to borrow. She was very excited when she came home, and we have been reading these two fox books.

One of the books is Hickory Dickory: The Fox Race written by AJ Smith and Walter Tyler. I am not familiar with the Hickory Dickory series, and I’m so pleased to have discovered it. The premise of this book is simple: a fox likes to race, and he is faster than any other animal. He embarks on a trip around the world, and beats a variety of animals in their natural habitat. Will he be satisfied once he has raced (and beaten) animals on all seven continents? Read more

Auggie & Me by R.J. Palacio

51ypc4llh4lI read Wonder a couple of years ago, and absolutely loved it. This middle grade book shows up on the summer reading list every year, and has become a modern children’s classic. Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a young boy with a craniofacial abnormality. He has been homeschooled for his entire life because of his numerous surgeries and procedures, but he wants to attend a regular school. He starts fifth grade at a small private school in Manhattan, and Wonder is the story of what happens during that fifth grade year. It’s told from multiple perspectives: Auggie, his older sister, his classmate Summer, etc.

Author R.J. Palacio has assembled a collection of three “Wonder Stories”. They were originally released on the Kindle as “Kindle Singles” which could be purchased separately, but last fall, they were released together in one hardcover book as Auggie & Me. Read more

Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum

51oscmk57clI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading Gregory Funaro’s Alistair Grim’s Odditorium, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read the sequel- Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum. Before I begin, I’d like to mention that you should really read the first book in the series before reading Aquaticum. Funaro does an excellent job with exposition at the beginning of the book, so the savvy reader can glean the basics of what happened in Odditorium. But the plot twists and big revelations in Aquaticum are so much more meaningful if you have read Odditorium. Read more

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

61b5wupwsqlI received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have three daughters, so I am always looking for new books for them to read. I was very excited about the opportunity to read Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye. This middle grade novel by Tania del Rio seemed like the sort of book that we would enjoy.

Warren is a young boy who lives in a hotel that his family owns. He is the 13th Warren, and the hotel is his, but his uncle is serving as conservator until Warren becomes an adult. Unfortunately, his uncle has done a terrible job, and the hotel has fallen into disrepair. Even worse, his uncle recently married a witch named Annaconda who has been tearing the hotel apart looking for a magical artifact- the All-Seeing Eye. Warren has tried to warn his uncle, but the man is so besotted that he cannot see that anything is wrong. Warren is going to have to use all of his resources if he is going to find the All-Seeing eye before his wicked Aunt Annaconda. This book is full of witches, magic, treasure hunters, double crossing, pirates, and even a basement monster named Sketchy.     Read more

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Ann Michaels

51w9rvqxoflI received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love reading books with my girls, so when I had the chance to read The Adventures of Miss Petitfour, I was very excited. This children’s chapter book was written by poet and author Ann Michaels, who is making her children’s book debut. The book features charming illustrations by Emma Block.

It’s hard to describe Miss Petitfour. She has sixteen cats, and she likes to fly around by making a parachute out of a tablecloth and letting the wind sweep her and the cats away. The book is broken into a series of short adventures, usually involving some sort of catastrophe, like a valuable stamp blowing away on a snowy day or narrowly avoiding landing in the river on their way to pick up some birthday cheddar. Read more

The Big Penguin Party by Christian and Fabian Jeremies

61cljugpbul-_sx407_bo1204203200_I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was very excited about the opportunity to read The Big Penguin Party because I knew my girls would enjoy it. This book is a “Find Me If You Can Adventure” and is a collaborative effort from twin brothers Christian and Fabian Jeremies.

Grandma Penguin is celebrating her 90th birthday. All of her friends and relations have arrived to help her celebrate. Grandma has misplaced the pieces of her rainbow outfit, and she needs help finding them before the mayor arrives with a photographer. Read more