In July, I wrote about reading more “adult” books. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade – and not just because I’m behind in my goal to read 100 books this year. Young Adult is definitely my one true love in the book category world. But I can muster up some serious feelings for middle grade as well. I mean, Harry Potter... Need I say more? I will admit that sometimes when I’m reading MG I crave a little more little more excitement or romance moving the story forward. Other times, reading about middle school kids is exactly the zone I want to be in. Here are a few middle grade books I’ve been reading and loving in the last two/three weeks. All are fantastic stories and approach diversity in interesting and important ways. Continue reading
This weekend, I’m reading Coraline, by Neil Gaiman and The House With a Clock in Its Walls, by John Bellairs for homework. Here are some of the other books I get to read in the Middle Grade section of class this semester! Continue reading
My literature class is now focused on middle grade books, and so far I’m loving it. We are reading about Narnia and The Hobbit and childhood favorites like Holes. I’m enjoying them so much, I decided to go a little bit out of my YA zone of comfort and review an MG book that I enjoyed immensely. The Tapper Twins Go to War, by Geoff Rodkey, is a books about sibling rivalry that holds up against the classics I’m reading for my class. It is unique and cleverly put together, along with being so funny I actually laughed out loud at several points while reading this (often earning stares from strangers on the subway).
The book is told through a transcription of an oral history, where 6th grade twins Claudia and Reese describe their pretty epic prank war against each other. Photographs, interviews from friends and babysitter and text conversations between their workaholic Manhattan parents are also included. Continue reading
Happy Tuesday! Looking through my childhood books while on spring break and being in a class about picture books and books for middle schoolers definitely has me thinking about which books from my childhood I want to reread. Which makes this week’s top ten tuesday topic perfect for me! Here are some books that are definitely in need of a revisit soon. Let me know what books you want to revisit in the comments! Continue reading
A few people who’ve been reading my blog for awhile know that last summer I wrote a first draft of a YA retelling of A Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m not doing anything with it now, and I don’t know if I’m ever going to look at it again, but that writing experience and the fact that I’m a big Oscar Wilde fan made me really excited to read Dorianna, by Catherine Stine. As you can probably tell by the name, and my opening remarks, this is a contemporary YA retelling of the same novel. And while it was very very different from my re-imagining, the concept intrigued me from the start.
Dorianna is a plain girl that’s sent to live with her aunt in Brooklyn after her father – a minister – is sent to jail for stealing from his parishioners. Being in New York feels like an exciting fresh start, but Dorianna feels trapped when boys overlook her and the cool girls bully her and make her feel like a country bumpkin. Continue reading
I struggled a bit with this weeks topic. I think I follow reading trends and popularity more than I’d like to admit. Then I thought about some of my favorite children’s books that I’m shocked other people never read. A lot of these book are from celebrated and incredibly popular authors, but the books themselves I think are underrated. For example, more people have read Ballet Shoes and Half Magic than have read Theater Shoes and The Time Garden (even though too many people never read any of these books). Let me know if any of you read these books as a kid, or what some of you favorite underrated novels are in the comments. Continue reading