Category Archives: Middle Grades

Nikki Powergloves: A Hero is Born by David Estes

When a Weeble gives Nikki a magical treasure chest filled with special gloves, she becomes a superhero dedicated to combating evil in her little town of Cragglyville.

Nikki Powergloves: A Hero is Born is a very cute story. My 9-year-old especially enjoyed it. It sets up the rest of the series, but can be read as a standalone. It’s a great book for elementary aged kids and makes a great read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 167
Pages Read in 2017: 44,904
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Summerlost by Ally Condie

Cedar Lee’s father and brother died in an accident. Her mother buys a house in her hometown to live in during the summer. Cedar gets a job selling concessions at a summer Shakespeare Festival. Along with her newfound best friend Leo, she runs unofficial tours about an actress who died 20 years before.

Summerlost is an incredibly sweet story. It touches on grief, loss, friendship, bullying, having a non-neurotypical sibling, and hopes and dreams. I read it very fast which might have partially been because I found it hard to put down. I very highly recommend it to middle grade kids and people of all ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 162
Pages Read in 2017: 43,787
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (S in TURQUOISE)

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How (Not) to Kiss Your Dog by Susan Lash

Jenny’s brother Jack adopts Albert, a rather hyper Jack Rusell terrier. Meanwhile, their grandmother has surgery. Mayhem ensues.

How (Not) to Kiss Your Dog was one of those books that is just meh. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly good either. There were quite a few spelling and grammar errors. One scene, that was really not necessary for the rest of the book, was rather inappropriate for a middle grades book (at school in homeroom a word commonly used as a swear word was used by the “bad” kid in a way he could get away with, but was still intended to get a rise out of everyone). I can’t say I recommend reading this book, but I don’t totally not either. There are a lot of better books out there though, so I’d probably skip it.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 159
Pages Read in 2017: 42,981
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Princesses Don’t Become Engineers by Aya Ling

Princess Elaine is much more than just a pretty face. She is an inventor and wants to learn. When she barely makes it into the university, she is determined to study hard so she is allowed to stay and finish her course of study so she can become an engineer.

Princesses Don’t Become Engineers is an adorable book. Elaine is not your typical princess, but she is truly lovable. My 9 and 11-year-old boys loved the book and when I finished reading it to them, they both said it was such a good story. They really loved how it ended. They were really hoping it would end that way. I highly recommend this book to middle grade kids (even though the main character is a princess, it’s definitely not just for girls!). It makes a lovely family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 154
Pages Read in 2017: 41,763
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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My School is a Spy Factory by Steven Stickler

Nate Fischer can’t even tell his parents what he’s learning in school. He’s a sixth grader at a school that secretly trains spies. He gets sent on a critical mission to save his school from the Syndicate, but there’s a double agent on the mission, too.

My School is a Spy Factory is a pretty exciting book. My 9-year-old especially enjoyed it. It’s great for kids to read on their own and also makes an excellent family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 135
Pages Read in 2017: 36,762
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Wild Thing by Dandi Daley Mackall

Winnie loved horses. Ever since her mom died and they left their ranch, she’s dreamed of owning a horse again. She finally gets her chance with a wild white Arabian, but she knows that as soon as she gentles the horse, she’ll have to sell her to make back the investment.

There was so much about Wild Thing that was just ridiculous. The character names were based on what kind of animal they liked. Winnie for hoses, Barker for dogs, Catman for cats, Lizzie for lizards. The story was incredibly predictable. So much so that my 11-year-old accurately guessed what would happen in each chapter before we read them. I felt like the author wanted the book to have religious elements and so stuck things in, creating an awkward in-your-face experience. The story was very sweet, however, I just don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 126
Pages Read in 2017: 34,496
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Doom of the Three Stones by Josh Kilen

Doom of the Three Stones is weird. I’m talking Yo Gabba Gabba level weird. My 11-year-old thought maybe the author wrote the beginning while drunk and then decided to roll with it. My husband thought perhaps substances of the more illegal variety were involved. Regardless, while it is weird, it is also really good. It’s well-written with a decent plot and has excellent grammar and an incredibly sophistocated vocabulary for a book aimed at kids. I recommend reading this book as a family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 118
Pages Read in 2017: 32,240
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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