Posts Tagged: Middle Grade

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jason Reynolds Mini Reviews

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April was basically the month of Jason Reynolds books. We got not one but TWO NEW RELEASES but THE GREAT and since I wasn’t doing that great last month and sucked at reviewing, I FINALLY got around to talking about these great books. Ratings haven’t been included since I cannot make up my mind and regardless, Jason Reynolds writes great books.

For Every One
Jason Reynolds

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Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.
 

 
 
 

I don’t think anyone will ever deny that Jason Reynolds is a creative genius and is deserving of all the hype. For Every One is a poem and a letter spanning 116 pages. It is rousing and empowering and even though it is written for a younger audience, even people beyond that target age range can find something to take from it.

At its core, For Every One is a poem meant to remind you that even when you think that nothing could possibly work out or your dreams seem a million miles away, all hope is not lost. You can achieve your goals and dreams and you can be happy. It is entirely possible to ‘make it’ even in the face of failures. So. DON’T GIVE UP.

Or. If you’re sad and feel like everything is hopeless, read For Every One.

Sunny
Jason Reynolds

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Sunny Lancaster is a winner. Wih-winner. When it comes to the 1600 meter, Sunny can beat anyone by, well, a mile. But for Sunny, winning is boring. Buh-boring. Truth is, Sunny doesn’t like running. Never has. What Sunny really loves… is dancing.

The boom-bap bap of his teacher. Aurela’s dance routines beats the chick chick chick of his track meets any day. Sunny loves his team, though, so he can’t quit, but he also can’t be on a track team not run. And he definitely can’t be on a track team and dance. But it turns out track isn’t just chick chick chick. It’s also whoosh whoosh ahh.

If Sunny lets loose everything he’s been holding inside, will it be his best move ever, or will it be his biggest mistake? 

I think Ghost was actually the first book I read by Jason Reynolds. Ever. And I read it in November last year which just shows you how bad I am at keeping on top of all the hype trains (of well deserving authors.) My library didn’t have a copy of Patina so I was never able to read it but since the books in this series can all be read as standalones, I decided to read Sunny even though I hadn’t read Patina.

Sunny Lancaster is the best runner on his team and yet, he doesn’t actually love running. He wants to dance. While he is scared of quitting running and disappointing those around him, he chooses to pursue his dreams and with the help of coach, finds a new way to fit into the track team.

This book is full of heart and complex relationships. Jason Reynolds knows just how to write a book that younger readers can see themselves reflected in. I have so much love for this series and genuinely hope everyone reads them and gives them they attention they deserve.

Moral of the story: Jason Reynolds is the greatest. 

Diverse Books out April 2018

Diverse Books out April 2018

Posted by on 05/06/2018 • 5 Comments

Helloooooo. Look at me. I didn’t publish this post late this time. Anyway, so. Welcome to the April roundup of Diverse Releases. These roundups focus on Young Adult and Middle Grade releases with the occasional romance release (which, there are way way way better roundups out there of diverse romance books.) I do also include books by authors of color that don’t necessarily have characters of color. Anyway, let me know if I miss a book or include one with bad rep!

                     

 Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Diverse Books Out March 2018

Diverse Books Out March 2018

Posted by on 04/09/2018 • 4 Comments

March has been a not-so-great month for me so I delayed doing this post by a week (usually done on first Sunday of new month) but I DIDN’T FORGET. So, welcome to the March 2018 roundup of diverse releases. As previously mentioned, these roundups focus on YA and MG books because that’s what is easiest to keep track of for me. If I miss a book, or include one that shouldn’t be on here, let me know!!!

                

Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Dear Great-Grandma

Dear Great-Grandma

Posted by on 03/20/2018 • 3 Comments

Dear Great-Grandma,

I am not the best at writing letters that are also going to be on display but you know, I am trying. I recently read The Night Diary, which is currently the only book I am calling a favorite of this year and I’ve read 86 books so far. Reading it has made me incredibly pensive because the entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking that I was reading your and grandma’s story too. Sometimes its disheartening that something that impacted my family and 16 million other people so much isn’t really talked about. Everyone always talks about the liberation of India with pride or the end of a colonial rule but they always forget about the 14 million people who were displaced. The 14 million people…

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 03/14/2018 • 7 Comments

I never read Rick Riordan’s books. The short story is that there was no real reason to why I didn’t pick the books up. The longer (and a little pointless) story is that when The Lightning Thief first came out, it had a completely different cover then what it has now. I was in the middle school and our librarian told us all about it. I grew older but it stayed in the corner of my mind, I was in eternal search of the book with the white cover and never realized until a year ago (seriously!!!) that that book was the same one written by Rick Riordan that was so beloved now. Anyway, long pointless story short, I am weird and specific about what I read.

So I missed Rick…

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Posted by on 03/05/2018 • 0 Comments

I am garbage for a good middle grade adventure so when The Mad Wolf’s Daughter was pitched to me, I was on board and wanted to gobble this book up. Good thing it wasn’t disappointing, amirite?

Here is the thing, among the sea of commercial fiction that dominates Middle Grade books, The Mad Wolf’s Daughter doesn’t necessarily stand out but thats not really a good or bad thing? Familiar tropes and adventures are good things and just because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter isn’t necessarily //different// doesn’t mean that it is a bad book or a mediocre book?

The thing about tropes (at least in my opinion) is that it all comes down to how the author uses them to enhance their story. You’re never going to read a book that is free of tropes…

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Posted by on 02/07/2018 • 0 Comments

I love middle grade novels and I love discovering new ones. As far as I can see, The Unicorn Quest is shaping up to be a major middle grade release this year and it synopsis sounded up right up my alley. The vaguely Narnia vibes along with unicorns sounded like it would be an enthralling read.

Here is what I can tell you. The Unicorn Quest is an adventure of the best kind. We get sucked into a new world from the get-go and like the MC, we kind of have to assimilate to the new world we find ourselves in. This is great because we experience the world alongside the MC which allows us to form a special bond with her but it also means that it takes…

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Posted by on 01/04/2018 • 8 Comments

It is NO LONGER 2017 but that doesn’t mean you cannot revisit the past and read some amazing books that came out last year. This list is based on what I’ve read and still isn’t entirely complete because I HAVEN’T READ SO MANY BOOKS that came out last year. I also wanted to narrow it down so as not to dump too many books on your tbr! The following is a list of some of the best books out in 2017 in my opinion. Looking for a book to make that will make you cry, or at the very least, make you FEEL? These books might have something in store for you. Just as an FYI, all of these books involve death.

Saint Death by Marcus Sedwick

What…