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Unicorn Crossing (Phoebe and Her Unicorn) by Dana Simpson

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

Unicorn Crossing is the fifth book in the Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure series by Dana Simpson. My three girls- especially my oldest- are big fans of this comic, so I was very excited about the opportunity to share this with them.

Phoebe is a fairly average girl, with one notable exception: her pet unicorn Marigold. Phoebe and Marigold navigate a fairly typical American childhood with a good sense of humor. This dynamic duo experiences seasons, holidays, school, friendship, and more. A fairly small ensemble rounds out the cast: Phoebe’s parents, her friend Max, and her frenemy Dakota. There are plenty of pop culture references, with a notable geeky slant. Continue reading

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Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

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

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt is Ben Clanton’s second graphic novel featuring a delightful friendship between a narwhal and a jellyfish. As the title suggests, much of the plot concerns Narwhal becoming a superhero and Jelly becoming his sidekick. They have a couple of brief adventures in which they try to help another friend fulfill a wish, and they also confront a bully who is calling Jelly “Jelly Dolt” instead of “Jelly Jolt”.   Continue reading

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Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse by Stella Tarakson

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

Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse is a middle grade novel written by Stella Tarakson and illustrated by Nick Roberts.

Tim Baker is a fairly typical elementary school boy, but some of the kids at school tease him by calling him Cinderella because he has to clean his house after school to help his widowed mother. One day, while cleaning up, Tim knocks over an ancient vase- releasing Hercules into the living room. Yes, that Hercules! 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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Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah by A.J. Low

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

Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah is the third book in A.J. Low’s Sherlock Sam series. Sherlock Sam is a young boy who lives in Singapore and solves mysteries with his friends and robot sidekick. In this book, Sam and his friends participate in an exchange program and spend a week attending an international school. This coincides with Sam being tasked with finding out who is sending threatening letters to an author via his son who attends the international school.  Of course, the island is in the middle of a chain mail letter game, so it seems almost impossible to figure out who is sending the threatening letters! Continue reading

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The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith

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

The Mesmerist is a middle grade novel written by Ronald L. Smith. It contains elements of several of my favorite things, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book.

Thirteen-year-old Jess lives with her mother. They earn their living from conducting séances, using trickery to put on a good show for their wealthy clients. However, that all changes when they receive an actual supernatural message. It turns out that Jess’ mother has been keeping secrets, and Jess learns more about her parents’ past on a trip to London. Continue reading

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Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary

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I’m so happy that my girls enjoy reading as much as I do. We try to read together every night, and we also listen to a lot of audiobooks in the car. We’ve read several of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, so when the girls asked if we could listen to a story, I put on Ramona and Her Mother.

Ramona and Her Mother is the fifth book in the Ramona series, and it takes place immediately after the events of Ramona and Her Father. Some of the other books in the series jump forward to the next school year, but Ramona and Her Father ends with a Christmas pageant and Ramona and Her Mother begins with a New Year’s Day brunch.

In this book, Ramona struggles to find her place within her family. She has some moments of introspection when little Willa Jean acts like a pest, and Ramona is indignant when people compare Willa Jean to her. Ramona has always appreciated being the baby of the family, but now feels left out when she sees her sister Beezus helping their mother with chores. Continue reading