Category Archives: Middle Grades

The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

A little bit creepy. That’s the best description of The Darkdeep. A foggy island, four kids, a weird pool in the basement of a houseboat, and something that reads your mind and makes your worst nightmare pop into existence. At times, the story lags and gets repetitive, but it certainly keeps you reading because, seriously, what the heck is the Darkdeep (not to mention the thing in the jar and why are there slugs all over the secret room… so many questions). I recommend this book to middle grade kids and whole families. It would make an excellent read-aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 94
Pages Read in 2019: 23,891
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Crushing on a Capulet by Tony Abbott

The sixth and final Cracked Classics, Crushing on a Capulet, is based on Romeo and Juliet. Devin and Frankie fall into Verona and try their best to give the tragedy a happy ending. As with all the Cracked Classics, this one is super fun and gives middle grade kids the chance to learn the story without having to dive right in to the difficult language of Shakespeare. My 11- and 13-year-old sons enjoyed it a lot (as did I). I highly recommend Crushing on a Capulet (and all the Cracked Classics; you can read them in any order).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 93
Pages Read in 2019: 23,619
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

X Marks the Spot by Tony Abbott

Devin and Frankie learn about characters in X Marks the Spot, the fifth Cracked Classics book. Based on Treasure Island, the friends are once again sucked into a book. The Cracked Classics are a clever introduction for middle grade kids to classic books. They are fun and funny and just might inspire your kid to read the real thing. I highly recommend X Marks the Spot and all the other Cracked Classics, too (you don’t need to read them all or in any particular order). They make a great family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 90
Pages Read in 2019: 22,966
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001 is a fictionalized account of the son of a FDNY firefighter and what happened to him and his dad on September 11th. It portrays the feeling and emotions of the morning without being too graphic since it is aimed at children. I highly recommend it to kids learning about 9/11.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 89
Pages Read in 2019: 22,822
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Who Was Fidel Castro? by Sarah Fabiny

Aimed at kids, Who Was Fidel Castro? gives a good overview of the life of the Cuban dictator. It’s pretty neutral as far as whether he was a good or bad person (as the book says, it depends on who you ask). There are lots of illustrations and several asides to explain things like guerrilla warfare and communism. I highly recommend this book to kids learning about Castro or Cuba.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 86
Pages Read in 2019: 22,310
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Biography, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

George’s Marvelous Medicine is a typical Roald Dahl book (read: weird, but fun to read). It’s outlandish and funny and quite imaginative. I highly recommend it to kids of all ages. It makes a great read-aloud, too!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 85
Pages Read in 2019: 22,203
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

What is Rock and Roll? by Jim O’Connor

What Is Rock and Roll? is packed with fascinating facts aimed at kids about rock and roll from Elvis to today (I’m not a kid and I learned a lot, too!). About half the chapters are on subgenres of rock (such as acid rock and grunge) and about half are about specific artists (such as Elvis, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Bruce Springsteen). I highly recommend this to kids interested in rock music.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 84
Pages Read in 2019: 22,114
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian