Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling

More Harry Potter? Why yes please, of course! Synopsis Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander's classic compendium of magical creatures, has delighted generations of wizarding readers. Now, in this updated edition with a new foreword by Newt himself and unveiling of six beasts little known outside the American wizarding community, Muggles too… Continue reading Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling

Memoir/Autobiography, Middle Grades, Non-Fiction

Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl & Marion Blumenthal Lazan

One of my grandmothers grew up in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, specifically in Nürnberg and the surrounding countryside. She doesn't talk about it. As such, I have spent my entire life fascinated by the stories of German children between 1933 and 1945. I don't remember the first book I read that fit the… Continue reading Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl & Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Memoir/Autobiography, Middle Grades, Non-Fiction, Sociology

Marley Dias Gets It Done by Marley Dias

For once, I can say that I knew about something from the get go! As a former and hopefully soon-to-be-again middle school teacher, I like to keep up to date on what's going on with middle schoolers' reading habits. So when Marley Dias burst onto the scene as a 6th grader with her #1000BlackGirlBooks Campaign,… Continue reading Marley Dias Gets It Done by Marley Dias

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades, Retelling

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I’ll readily admit that Ella’s dark green dress on the front cover of the first paperback edition was what first caught my attention. But given my established record as a lover of fairy tale adaptations, it should come as no surprise that this is the book that started my obsession! Synopsis How can a fairy's… Continue reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades, Retelling

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

I am a sucker for Peter Pan stories, especially ones that provide a more interesting and compelling female character than Wendy! Synopsis Peter was the leader of the orphan boys because he was the oldest – or so he claimed. And because he could spit the farthest. Not that it did him much good, shipped… Continue reading Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

I picked this book up upon the recommendation of a fellow educator at the school book fair last spring and I read it while on vacation last summer. While I’m trying to review only books that I’ve read most recently now, I figured it best to throw this one in as well. Synopsis The signpost… Continue reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades

Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle & Emily Jenkins

One of my coworkers really enjoyed the Upside-Down Magic series and recommended, as a former teacher who worked with students with unique learning needs, I would appreciate it as well, and she was right! Synopsis It's never easy when your magic goes wonky. For Nory, this means that instead of being able to turn into a dragon… Continue reading Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle & Emily Jenkins

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Millennials, my generation, are defined in some small part by their relationship with Harry Potter. Almost all of us have a story about when we were first introduced the the boy wizard who changed our reading lives. I was 10 years old, in 5th grade, and it was shortly before Thanksgiving when my friend Brendan… Continue reading Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grades

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

This book was recommended to me by a customer at the bookstore - and when I realized the illustrations were done by one of my favorite graphic novel artists, Skottie Young, I was sold. Synopsis "I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this:… Continue reading Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman