Tag Archives: middle grade fiction

Contest for Impatient Readers

Sometimes it can be hard to wait.  I’m feeling a little impatient about the books of 2008 for a few reasons. As a writer, I’m feeling impatient because my second MG historical novel, Champlain & the Silent One,  is still seven months away from the shelves.  It’s off being edited and illustrated now, so all […]

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A Home Run!

Linda Sue Park just hit another one out of the ballpark. Watch for this book.  It’s due out from Clarion in March, and I predict It’s going to win awards. Keeping Score is the very best kind of historical novel – one that first introduces kids to funny, dynamic characters they’ll love and then brings […]

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Seeing Sky-Blue Pink

Most of the Cybils finalists for the middle grade fiction category were skewed toward the higher end of middle grade, more appropriate for the 10-12 crew than for kids who are 8-9 years old.  That said, those of us who served on the nominating panel read — and loved — some wonderful books for the […]

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Novels in Verse…Not just for girls!

Many of the 7th grade girls I teach LOVE novels written in verse.  They devour anything by Sonya Sones, and then I usually steer them to Karen Hesse and others who seem to capture that same magic but in different ways.  Novels in verse, well written, pack a lot of punch with few words, and […]

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Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam

Certain books should come with a warning label:  Do not read in a room full of 7th graders (unless they’re already used to seeing you sob your way through middle grade novels). Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam is one of those books. I know what a gifted writer Cynthia Kadohata is, but I still […]

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The Wild Girls

The Wild Girls is a book for writers.  It’s a book for girls who don’t always follow the rules and for girls who play with spotted newts.  As a girl who enjoys writing, newts, and occasional rule-breaking, I fell in love immediately.  Pat Murphy tells the story of two girls — the rule-following Joan (aka […]

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Leepike Ridge

The used book gods were smiling on me last weekend.  Somehow,  a copy of Leepike Ridge ended up in the Barnes & Noble bargain room for three dollars.  I scarfed it up and read it in two sittings that would have been one sitting if people around here hadn’t started getting hungry on Sunday.  It […]

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Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

This story begins Emma Jean Lazarus opens a door.  Literally, it’s the door to the girls’ bathroom at school, where she finds Colleen Pomerantz (a kind, sensitive girl and not one of the usual 7th grade criers) sobbing over a problem with a friend.  Figuratively, it’s the door we all open when we make the […]

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Me and the Pumpkin Queen

This is one of those books that sneaks up on you.  It caught me off guard.  Based on some positive reviews I’d read and the back cover blurb, I expected it to be cute. I thought I’d kind of like it.   I didn’t expect to be so swept up in Mildred’s quest to grow the […]

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Someone Named Eva

I’ve read quite a bit of historical fiction set in Nazi Europe, but SOMEONE NAMED EVA by Joan M. Wolf takes a look at a part of World War II that I never knew about.  Eva is really Milada – a young Czech girl who has blond hair and blue eyes that allow her to […]

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