Showing posts from 2019

No post this week!

I'm taking a break for the holidays, so I will not have an MMGM post this week. I hope to have one next week. See you soon!

MMGM (12/23/2019): Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

For MMGM, I am recommending Wishtree  by Katherine Applegate.           I've enjoyed several of Katherine Applegate's books through the years, such as Crenshaw  (see my review here ) and Newbery-Medal-winning The One and Only Ivan  (learn about the movie adaptation here ), which is why I was excited to read this novel. In addition, it seems that I am not the only one who enjoyed Wishtree , as Stephanie Robinson reviewed it for MMGM just a few weeks ago (her review is here ).           Most middle-grade novels are from the perspective of a middle-grader. Wishtree  is from the perspective of a tree. The tree, a 216-year-old red oak named Red, spends their days housing a variety of animals (from opossums and owls to their best friend, a crow named Bongo), sharing semi-irritating wisdom and terrible jokes with Bongo, and observing the people in the neighborhood where they live. Red is more than a regular tree, though; they are a wishtree. Every year, on Wishing Day, people

MMGM (12/16/2019): Six Movie Adaptations of MG Books to Watch Out For (plus giveaway winners!)

I have an unconventional post today, but, before I get to that, I have the winners of the 2019 Holiday Book Giveaway to announce! The winner of The Raymie Nightingale Three-Book Collection  by Kate DiCamillo is... Rosi! The winner of the signed copy of The Inquisitor's Tale  by Adam Gidwitz, with illustrations by Hatem Aly, is... Ravenita! Finally, I also decided to give away a Barnes & Noble e-gift card! The winner of the gift card is... Danielle! Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks so much to everyone else who entered! Now, on to my post. I don't know how many of you like to watch the movie adaptations of MG books, but I figured that at least some of you must, so I decided to post about some of these upcoming movie adaptations. (And before anyone asks, I swear that this post isn't paid for by Disney—Disney just seems to be doing a lot of MG book adaptations.) The One and Only Ivan Based on the novel by Katherine Applega

MMGM (12/9/2019): Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

As promised last week, for MMGM, I am recommending Louisiana's Way Home  by Kate DiCamillo. Before I do though, I want to remind everyone that the 2019 Holiday Book Giveaway has not ended yet! Enter on or before Wednesday, December 11, 2019  for a chance to win (1) a boxed set of the very book I am recommending and its two companion novels and (2) a signed copy of The Inquisitor's Tale ! Enter using the Google Form at the bottom of the linked page . Louisiana's Way Home  is the second in a series of three books: the first is  Raymie Nightingale  (see my review here ) and the third is  Beverly, Right Here . This book does spoil some pretty significant parts of Raymie Nightingale , but, to be honest, I enjoyed this book far more than Raymie Nightingale , so readers may want to start with this one despite the spoilers (it still makes complete sense, especially considering I forgot almost all of the plot of Raymie Nightingale  before reading it). Here's the publishe

MMGM (12/2/2019): Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (plus the 2019 Holiday Book Giveaway!)

For MMGM, I have a review of Brown Girl Dreaming  by Jacqueline Woodson. I am also holding the 2019 Holiday Book Giveaway; information is at the bottom of this post.          I really don't know how to describe this book in a way that does it justice, so I'm starting with the publisher's description (I know the font is all weird—sorry!). ***** Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature A  New York Times  Bestseller and National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson,  the acclaimed  author  of  Another Brooklyn ,  tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.    Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally c

MMGM (11/4/2019): Diary by Svetlana Chmakova

I'm back (again)! I hope to have some blog posts in the next few weeks about both graphic novels and regular prose novels. Today, I have a review of a (sort-of) graphic novel: Diary by Svetlana Chmakova.           If this book looks familiar, that's because it is the fourth book in the Berrybrook Middle School series (the first three books of which are regular graphic novels Awkward , Brave , and Crush , with reviews linked). Diary is a bit more unconventional: it features a number of activities (such as, shockingly enough, diary pages) and three short stories. (Interestingly, the copy I have has a sticker on the front mentioning the three short stories, but none of the cover images have that same sticker.) Before I talk about the short stories, I do want to mention some of the book's other features: Several activity pages (a self-profile at the beginning and pages after the first and third short stories) An 18-month undated calendar with illustrations of the ch

MMGM (9/23/2019): Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Sorry about not posting these last two weeks, and sorry that I'm still reading the novel I promised I would review a few weeks ago! I am back, though, and I have a review of the graphic memoir Guts by Raina Telgemeier.           If you've read Telgemeier's previous two graphic memoirs, Smile (review here ) and Sisters , you know that they're not just about one topic, but rather a range of different experiences and ideas. Guts is no different, but, again like Smile and Sisters , it has a topic that tends to appear a bit more than others. In Guts , that topic is anxiety. Guts revolves around fourth/fifth-grade Raina, who is dealing with a lot. After a bout with the stomach virus, Raina finds herself beginning to panic about the possibility of vomiting. That anxiety is soon followed by more worries about food, germs, and more, and, to top all of that off, Raina begins experiencing stomachaches and other unpleasant ailments. Of course, none of this is happening

MMGM (9/2/2019): Camp by Kayla Miller

Happy September (and happy Labor Day)! In case you haven't noticed, I've been reviewing a great deal of graphic novels lately. However, I just started a new prose novel, and I love it! The only problem is...I haven't finished it, and I obviously cannot review it until I have made sure that it doesn't fall apart halfway through. Thus, I quickly read yet another graphic novel to review today, and I aim to review the other book I am reading either next week or the next. Today, I am reviewing the graphic novel Camp  by Kayla Miller (the sequel to Click , which I reviewed two weeks ago).           Like Click , Camp 's main character is middle-schooler Olive. In this book, Olive is headed off to summer camp, and one of her friends from school (and from Click ), Willow, is accompanying her. Olive is excited to spend two weeks doing fun activities with Willow and new friends, but camp doesn't quite go as planned. Willow struggles with being away from her parents

MMGM (8/19/2019): Click by Kayla Miller

For MMGM, I am recommending the graphic novel Click  by Kayla Miller.           The main character of Click , fifth-grader Olive, is friends with basically every kid in her grade. She can strike up a conversation with anyone in school, and she often spends time with her classmates outside of school as well. However, when Olive's teacher announces that the fifth-graders will be putting on a variety show, things start to go awry. All of Olive's classmates form groups and start planning their acts, but none of them ask Olive to join. Olive wonders if her friendships meant anything if none of her friends think to include her—but would she even want to choose some of her friends over others for an act, when she likes them all? Olive's mother, Lucy, wants to reach out to the parents of Olive's friends and see if they will include her, but Olive doesn't want to force her way into a group that doesn't want her. However, Olive and her aunt Molly come up with an id

MMGM (8/12/2019): Just Jaime by Terri Libenson

I'm back again! Today, I am recommending the graphic novel Just Jaime  by Terri Libenson (the sequel to Invisible Emmie , which I reviewed almost a year ago, and Positively Izzy , which I reviewed two weeks ago).           Just Jaime , like all of the books in the "Emmie & Friends" series, switches between the viewpoints of two characters: Jaime (whose story is told in prose with frequent illustrations) and Maya (whose story is told in comic-book-style panels). Jaime and Maya are best friends, and they and another girl, Grace, are part of a friend group "led" by a girl named Celia. Celia is one of the most popular kids in school, and she leads her friends in making rude comments about other students behind their backs. (These students include characters from previous books in the series, such as Emmie and Brianna, making for an interesting tie-in to the previous books.) Eventually, Celia, Grace, and even Maya begin to turn on Jaime, who they feel stil

MMGM (7/29/2019): Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson

I'm back (a week late—sorry!) with a review of the graphic novel Positively Izzy  by Terri Libenson (a follow-up to Invisible Emmie , which I reviewed here ).           With her single mother at work every day, Izzy (one of two main characters of the book) finds herself constantly doing chores and being bossed around by her older sister, Danielle, who essentially runs the house when her mother is gone. Izzy finds solace in making up/acting out stories with her slightly younger sister, Ashley, and this passion prepares her for the upcoming school talent show, in which she is excited to perform a skit. However, when Izzy learns that she won't be able to perform in the show (I won't spoil why), she has to figure out, with Ashley's help, if there is any chance to fulfill her dream and act onstage.           The other main character of the book, Brianna (who readers will recognize as Emmie's best friend from  Invisible Emmie ), is a confident, straight-A student

No post this Monday!

I will not have an MMGM post on Monday, July 15. I hope to have an MMGM post on Monday, July 22. See you soon!

MMGM (7/8/2019): Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (update: plus giveaway winners!)

Update (7/8/2019): I have selected the winners for my giveaway! The winner of the signed copy of All Summer Long  by Hope Larson is... Danielle! Congratulations! The winner of the unsigned copy of All Summer Long  is: Ms. Yingling! Congratulations as well! My review for today is below. For MMGM, I am recommending the graphic novel Swing It, Sunny  by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (the sequel to Sunny Side Up , which I reviewed previously).           Sunny Lewin is not having a good time. She hates middle school, she has to get allergy shots every week, and her delinquent older brother Dale is now at boarding school, leaving her family down a member. Sunny tries to enjoy the things she usually loves: watching TV with her friend Deb, dressing up for Halloween, and talking on the phone with Gramps, her grandfather (a main character in Sunny Side Up ). However, a shadow seems to be hanging over her entire life, and it certainly isn't helped when an angry, b