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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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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

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Big Nate: What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends? by Lincoln Peirce

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

My oldest daughter is almost ten years old, and she loves Big Nate comics. Needless to say, she was very excited about being able to read What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends?

Nate is a fairly typical middle school boy. He goes to school, plays sports, and spends time with his friends. He has a reputation as a slacker, and this forms the basis for most of the jokes in the book. Peirce does not present an idealized version of school life; Nate makes mistakes and is sometimes the punchline rather than the one doling out the jokes. Nate is a very real character, and that’s what makes him so fun to read about.       Continue reading

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Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

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

I have not had the time to read very many YA novels lately, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist. I am not familiar with Sundquist’s work on YouTube, but YA is one of my favorite genres, and the description piqued my interest.

Will Porter is a visually impaired teenager who is fulfilling his desire to attend a regular high school instead of the school for the blind that he has attended up until now. After some awkward encounters, Will makes some new friends, including a girl named Cecily who is in several of his classes. Continue reading

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The Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Jenny Lundquist

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

I have a nine-year-old daughter who loves reading, and I am always looking for new books for her. Jenny Lundquist’s The Charming Life of Izzy Malone sounded like something that my daughter would like, so I was looking forward to reading this book.

Izzy Malone is a sixth grade girl who just doesn’t fit in. To make matters worse, her mother is running for mayor of their small Napa Valley town, and Izzy is expected to be on her best behavior all the time. Izzy’s mother also signs her up for charm school, but instead of going to lessons each week, Izzy receives her assignments in the mail. If she can complete an assignment, she will receive a charm for her bracelet. Izzy tries to follow Ms. Whippie’s directions, but things don’t always go according to plan. But on the bright side, some of Izzy’s classmates are curious about what Izzy has been doing, and they want to help out.         Continue reading

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Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur

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

I am always looking for middle grade books to read with my nine-year-old daughter, and we both agreed that Beautiful Blue World sounded interesting. This is the first book in a new series by Suzanne LaFleur.

Mathilde is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Lykellig, a city in Sofarende with her family. She has a best friend named Megs, and she goes to school every day. Their lives have changed drastically in recent months; their country has been fighting a war against Tyssia, a neighboring country. There are air raids at night, and food is sometimes scarce.

Mathilde and Megs receive paperwork at school regarding an upcoming examination. The army is looking for children, and are willing to pay generously. No one is sure what the children will be doing for the war effort, but Mathilde knows the money will help her family.   Continue reading