Sunday, December 10, 2017

MMGM (12/11/2017): New and Upcoming MG Books!

First, the Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza doesn't end until Tuesday, so click here to enter! Next, for today's MMGM, I have posted a list of new books to from authors of books I have previously recommended! Some of these are sequels, while some are not; most have come out, but some won't until after the holidays. Note that I have read none of these books (although I do own some of them), and this post is not a recommendation, but rather just a list of things to look forward to.

The first book I want people to know about is The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The book, which is available now, is the sequel to The War that Saved My Life, a Newbery Honor book that I reviewed here. The publisher's description is as follows:

Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and TallLittle Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning The War that Saved My Life
 
When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now?

World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from
Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy?

As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Ada’s first story,
The War that Saved My Life, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second masterwork of historical fiction continues Ada’s journey of family, faith, and identity, showing us that real freedom is not just the ability to choose, but the courage to make the right choice.

The next book is also out now, and it is the sequel to Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall, which I reviewed here. The book is called Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P.I., Book 2), and here is its publisher's description:

“My partner scanned the message and a slow grin took over her face as she said our four favorite words: We have a case.’
HOWARD WALLACE IS BACK!
Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case. But when their friend and cohort Marvin hires them to prove his nephew— über-bully Carl Dean—didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re less than thrilled. To succeed, not only must Howard and Ivy play nice with Carl, they’ll have to dodge a scrappy, snoopy reporter and come face-to-face with Howard’s worst enemy, his ex-best friend Miles Fletcher. Can Howard deal with all these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down? Or will he once again find himself a friendless P.I.?


One of my favorite books, Greenglass House by Kate Milford (reviewed here), now has a sequel! The book is called Ghosts of Greenglass House, and it, too, is available now. Here's the publisher's description:

Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul. 
This exciting sequel to a beloved book that was praised in a starred review as "an enchanting, empowering read" is sure to thrill both fans and newcomers. Like its predecessor, it's a smart, suspenseful tale that offers ghosts, friendships, and a cast of unforgettable characters, all wrapped up in a cozy mystery.

A series that I read about on MMGM also has a new book! This series, the Wells & Wong Mysteries by Robin Stevens (the U.S. editions are reviewed here), now has a new book, A Spoonful of Murder. Note that the series is published first in the U.K. with different covers (such as this one), so it will be released soon after the 4th book, Jolly Foul Play, will be released in the U.S. Before you read this book, which comes out on February 8, 2018 in the U.K., you will need to read Jolly Foul Play and Mistletoe and Murder (the 5th book), and you can also read the Cream Buns and Crime short story compilation. All of these can be ordered online, even from the U.S., and you can pre-order A Spoonful of Murder on Amazon.co.uk here. Here's the publisher's description (with no spoilers from the so-far-U.K.-only books):


When Hazel Wong's beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel's family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong. 

But when they arrive they discover something they didn't expect: there's a new member of the Wong family. Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery. Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn't just the detective. She's been framed for murder! 

The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel's name - before it's too late . . . 

Finally, in what may be the most exciting news yet, authors Rebecca Stead (I have reviewed her books here and here) and Wendy Mass (I have reviewed her books here, here, and here) are collaborating on a new book called Bob, with illustrations by Nicholas Gannon! The book comes out on May 1, 2018, and the publisher's description is here:


It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.

It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who―or what―he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, two masterminds of classic, middle-grade fiction come together to craft this magical story about the enduring power of friendship.

I am certainly looking forward to reading all of these books, and I hope you are too! Next week, I will hopefully have read a book which I can review, but, until then, I thank you for continuing to read this blog through its messier periods! Also, look out for the announcement of the Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza winners, coming this week!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Introducing the first Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza!

With all of the illness I have mentioned in previous posts, I have gotten behind on school projects which are due Friday (!). Therefore, instead of posting a review today, I am starting the Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza! What does that mean? It means that you can enter to win 5 different signed MG and YA books! Here's how it works: First, read through the below list of signed books that I am offering and their publishers' descriptions, and choose the books you would like to win.



Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities #6) by Shannon Messenger

Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated.

The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies.

All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before.

In this spectacular sixth book in the
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of 
Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.


Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it's too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.


Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar. Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned woodcut artist Andrew Davidson this compelling and truly peculiar anthology is the perfect gift for not only fans, but for all booklovers.


A perfect gift, reminiscent of classic bookmaking, this beautifully packaged volume features full-page woodcut illustrations, gold foil stamping, a ribbon, and removable back sticker.



Now that you have decided which books you would like, fill out the form below! As a courtesy to others, do not select books you do not actually want, as you may end up winning them and taking them away from those who do want them. You will be entered in a separate drawing for each book you select, so you may win more than one book. Your entry must be made using the Google Form below. Entries in any other form, such as by comment, will NOT be accepted. Comment-based entries will be deleted for your privacy. Your email address will not be published; it will only be used to, if you win, alert you and request your mailing address. Your nickname (which does not need to be your real name) WILL be published on this blog to announce who has won the giveaway. To protect the entrants' privacy, all entries will be deleted after the giveaway ends. I will close the giveaway entry form on the morning of Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (in Central Time). All entries placed before the form is closed will be accepted. If a winner does not respond with a mailing address within 48 hours after I send an e-mail requesting one, I will choose a new winner and alert the former winner. Be sure to check your spam or junk folder if you do not see my request! (P.S. When you submit, the confirmation will be at the top, so scroll up!)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

MMGM (11/27/2017): The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Sorry about not posting last week—I had an unusually bad headache. Luckily, this week, I have a recommendation for The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies.




Here's the publisher's description:

For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.

Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

Despite what the publisher's description says, this book is not excessively or glaringly educational and will be enjoyed by anyone of any age, from young children to MG readers to adults. Evan and Jessie are great characters with different personalities, and readers will be able to empathize with their conflict (involving both of them being in the same class, as Jessie is skipping a grade). Both Evan and Jessie's tactics to win their “war” (a competition involving profit from their lemonade stands) are interesting to read about (and, yes, educational to very young readers). As both characters make friends and money, accidentally upset each other, and feel guilt, stress, and more, readers will want to know what happens next. Best of all, when readers finish this book, they can read the four additional sequels! All in all, The Lemonade War is a great read for young kids, old kids, and adults alike!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

MMGM (11/13/2017): Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

For MMGM, I am recommending Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan.




Here's the publisher's description:

Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. How their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

Richly imagined and structurally innovative, Echo pushes the boundaries of form and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories.

This Newbery Honor Book is incredible! One of the best things about it is the vivid portrait of the time and its hardships that it paints. The book is intertwined with subjects such as the Nazis, Japanese internment camps, orphanages, and fighting in the war. Every issue that occurs in the book, from Friedrich being pressured to take part in a Nazi-required surgery to prevent him from having kids due to a large birthmark on his face, to Mike discovering that his new adoptive mother plans to give him and his brother up, to Ivy dealing with having a sibling fighting in the war while visiting the home of a family currently in a Japanese internment camp, is handled deftly and touchingly. Every character is complex, even minor ones, and readers will root for the three major ones until the end of the book, which features an uplifting ending. The book's nearly-600 pages are not filled with text and go by quickly, making Echo one of the rare books that can teach about the past, emotionally impact its readers, and move quickly and be enjoyable to read!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

MMGM giveaway winners!

I've finally gotten around to choosing the two winners of my giveaway of The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron, and here they are! The winners are . . .


Danielle H.


and


Greg!


Congratulations! If you are one of the above winners, check your email (including spam or junk folders) and reply to my email with a mailing address within 48 hours. Thanks to all who have entered in my giveaway (I noticed some new entrants as well as some familiar ones), and be on the lookout for my upcoming holiday giveaway, which will feature several signed MG and YA books!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

MMGM (11/6/2017): Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan

As you may have noticed, I have taken an unusual amount of breaks from blogging recently. I decided that, this week, I needed to post a review. However, this week, I (of course) got sick, so I apologize in advance if this review is a mess! Before my recommendation (which is for Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan, author of the famous novel Sarah, Plain and Tall), however, I would like to remind my readers that my giveaway of two signed copies of The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron closes this Tuesday, so be sure to enter here if you haven't already.




Here's the publisher's description:

From the Newbery Award–winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall comes a story about one brave girl who saves her family from losing everything. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls this lyrical tale “melodic, poetic, and enchanting.”

Everyone in Lucy’s family sings. Opera. Rap. Lullabies. Everyone, except Lucy. Lucy can’t sing; her voice won’t come out.

Just like singing, helping Aunt Frankie prepare for flooding season is a family tradition—even if Frankie doesn’t want the help. And this year, when the flood arrives and danger finds its way into the heart of Lucy’s family, Lucy will need to find her voice to save her brother.

Fly Away is a short book with large font (aimed at younger readers), but it still packs in much meaning and emotion. Every character is distinct and rich, from Lucy, who is upset that she is a bad singer and wants to write poems, and Gracie and Teddy, Lucy's younger siblings with their own personalities and development, to the adults in the story, such as the siblings' Aunt Frankie. The setting of Aunt Frankie's house is vivid and well-described, and, although Fly Away may seem simple at first, every moment is touching and vital to the story. From moments where we learn more about a character or how s/he has changed to simple events of everyday life, every part of this book is incredible. Although my mind refuses to think of anything more to say, Fly Away is an amazing book that everyone will come out of with hope and positive thoughts.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

MMGM Giveaway: (10/30/2017): Win one of two signed copies of The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron!

I have no review for MMGM today, but to make up for it, I am giving away not one, but two signed copies of The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron!




Here's the publisher's description:

In the tradition of Edward Eager and E.L. Konigsburg, a novel about the excitement—and the dangers—of wishing.

Tess and her brother, Max, are sent for the summer to their aunt’s sleepy village in the English countryside, where excitement is as rare as a good wifi signal. So when Tess stumbles upon an old brass key that unlocks an ornately carved gate, attached to a strangely invisible wall, she jumps at the chance for adventure. And the world beyond the gate doesn’t disappoint. She finds rose gardens, a maze made of hedges, and a boy named William who is just as lonely as she is.

But at William’s castle, strange things begin to happen. Carnival games are paid for in wishes, dreams seem to come alive, and then there’s William’s eerie warning: Beware of the hawthorn trees. A warning that chills Tess to the bone.

In a magical, fantasy world that blurs the line between reality and imagination, readers are left to wonder exactly what they’d wish for if wishes could come true. Perfect for fans of Half Magic and The Secret Garden—and for anyone who’s ever wondered if magic is real.

If this book sounds interesting, then enter the giveaway below! To allow more than one person to win a signed copy, the winner of the giveaway will win one copy only. Two winners will be chosen randomly from those who enter the contest by filling out the Google Form below. Entries in any other form, such as by comment, will NOT be accepted. Comment-based entries will be deleted for your privacy. Your email address will not be published; it will only be used to, if you win, alert you and request your mailing address. Your nickname (which does not need to be your real name) WILL be published on this blog to announce who has won the giveaway. To protect the entrants' privacy, all entries will be deleted after the giveaway ends. I will close the giveaway entry form on the morning of Tuesday, November 7, 2017 (in Central Time). All entries placed before the form is closed will be accepted. If a winner does not respond with a mailing address within 48 hours after I send an e-mail requesting one, I will choose a new winner and alert the former winner. Be sure to check your spam or junk folder if you do not see my request! (P.S. When you submit, the confirmation will be at the top, so scroll up!)