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Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

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Elsie Mae Has Something to Say is a middle grade novel written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because we’ve read Cavanaugh’s last book- Just Like Me.

This book takes us back to the 1930s, and we are immediately introduced to Elsie Mae, a young girl living near the Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp is very dear to her heart; not only do her grandparents and uncles live there, but Elsie has spent the last several summers with her grandparents. As the story begins, Elsie Mae is mailing a letter to the White House because she has heard about a canal project that would cut right through her beloved swamp. Elsie Mae is determined to do something about this, and fervently hopes that her letter will reach President Roosevelt’s desk.

The summer starts out well enough- Elsie’s Uncle Owen presents her with a dog, something she has always wanted. Elsie is looking forward to spending the summer becoming acquainted with the dog, but she faces two obstacles: the arrival of her cousin Henry James (who wants to be a preacher when he grows up) and the news that there are no good hog bandits on the loose in the Okefenokee. Continue reading

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Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford

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

Nothing Like a Duke is a historical romance written by Jane Ashford. It is the fourth book in The Duke’s Sons series.

Robert Gresham is one of the younger sons of the Duke of Langford. He has much to offer Society- he is young, handsome, and personable. It is no surprise that he is invited to a house party thrown by his friend’s family. On the way to the house party, the carriage breaks, and Robert finds a stray dog. Because Robert is kind-hearted, he can’t just leave the wretched creature on the side of the road in the pouring rain. So naturally, he arrives at the house party soaking wet, disheveled, and clutching a disreputable dog. This arrival only adds to his charm.

Flora is the daughter of an academic, and she specializes in cuneiform. She seems rather surprised by being included in the house party, and she is even more surprised to see Lord Robert, who she knows from her academic world. Continue reading

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The Best Mistake Mystery by Sylvia McNicoll

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

The Best Mistake Mystery is a middle grade novel written by Sylvia McNicoll. Stephen Nobel doesn’t really fit in with the other kids at school, especially after his best friend moved away last year. Stephen tends to hyperfocus on his mistakes, but he takes pleasure in helping his father with the family dog walking business. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Oliver by Pierre Le-Tan

816phpyvpmlMy oldest daughter helps me with reading and reviewing middle grade books, and I wanted to be able to include my twins in my reading and blogging. They are strong readers, and they read independently every night, but I want to be able to read with them.

I have decided to start with the Best Book Club Ever Books. Do you remember them? They were published in the late 1970s-early 1980s. I’m not sure where they came from- maybe the grocery store? I remember loving them when I was a child, and my husband had all the books too. When my oldest daughter was much smaller, my in-laws brought us a box full of them. They had been languishing in the attic (the books, not my in-laws) for years, but they were in perfect condition.

The first book that I chose to read to my twins was Happy Birthday Oliver. This picture book, written by Pierre Le-Tan, was originally published in 1978. This is the story of an anthropomorphic dog named Oliver, who is very excited about his upcoming birthday. But when he wakes up on the big day, his parents don’t acknowledge his birthday. He mopes around so despondently that he gets a pity present from his teacher: a beautiful peacock feather. Did everyone really forget his birthday or is there a surprise waiting for him at home? Continue reading