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Showing posts from 2017

MMGM (1/1/2018): Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (a re-review)

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Update (July 31, 2021): I have since posted a re-re-review of Goodbye Stranger  that is my preferred review of this book. Today, I'm doing something odd: instead of looking forward toward the new year (happy new year, by the way!), I am looking backward, to April, specifically. In April, I reviewed what I consider to be my favorite book of all time, Goodbye Stranger  by Rebecca Stead. However, as I even recognized in the review itself (click here ), my comments do not do the book justice, which has nagged at me for eight months. Therefore, in order to enter the year with a clean conscience, I am re-reviewing Goodbye Stranger . (My old review will remain up for anyone who is curious.) Here's the publisher's description: This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pac

MMGM (12/18/2017): Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

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For MMGM, I am recommending Sunny Side Up  by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. Here’s the publisher’s description: Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer.  At first she thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all.  But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park.  It’s full of . . . old people.   Really old people. Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around.  She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors.  But the question remains —  why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place?  The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . . I enjoyed this graphic novel, which combines humor and some sadness in an easy-to-read package! Sunny’s stay with her grandfather at his retirement home is marked

The winners of the Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza have been chosen!

I have chosen the winners of the Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza from a group of 7 entrants! Here they are: The winner of Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities #6)  by Shannon Messenger is: Macey_M16! The winner of Turtles All the Way Down  by John Green is: June! The winner of Kids of Appetite  by David Arnold is: Rosi! The winner of Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir  by Maggie Thrash is: carloshmarlo! Finally, the winner of Tales of the Peculiar  by Ransom Riggs is also: carloshmarlo! If you are a winner listed above, I have sent you an email informing you that you have won (be sure to check your spam or junk inboxes!). Please respond to this email within 48 hours with a mailing address that I can ship your book(s) to (even if you have already won one of my giveaways before); if you fail to respond, I will unfortunately have to choose another winner for your books. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the winners!

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

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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 Tall ,  Little 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 t

Introducing the first Holiday Signed Book Extravaganza!

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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. May

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

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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

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

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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 i

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!

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

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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 singin

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

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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

MMGM (10/23/2017): Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

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For MMGM, I am recommending Crenshaw  by Katherine Applegate. Here's the publisher's description: In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience. Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary. This book is incredible! I should say now that this book is much sadder than many of the others that I have recommended recently. However, that, of course, does

MMGM (10/16/2017): The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (author of other books I have enjoyed, such as those here and here ), with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline. Here's the publisher's description: Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes' camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle -- that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again. THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER is now available in paperback! This

MMGM (10/9/2017): A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

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For MMGM, I am recommending A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. Here's the publisher's description: An award-winning book from the author of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life and The Candymakers for fans for of Wonder and Counting by Sevens Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel. I love this book! One of the best parts of this book was getting to learn about the rare condition of synesthesia. The book is clearly well-researched, and readers will learn about synesthesia’s qualities, both good and bad. The book also has interesting characters with strengths and flaws. Although Mia makes mistakes throughout the book, she is still a good person who readers will like. The book deals with many complex themes, such as how people deal with death

No posts this week!

In the interest of enjoying the remaining few hours of my busy weekend, I will, unfortunately, not be posting anything this week. I will most likely have more posts next week (and a signed book giveaway coming up), so stay tuned!

MMGM (9/25/2017): Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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For MMGM, I am recommending Tuesdays at the Castle  by Jessica Day George. Here's the publisher's description: See where it all began with Jessica Day George's magical bestselling series!   Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. I really enjoyed this book! One of my favorite things about it is how original its premise is. The author has taken what seem to be common elements of books, such as magic and royalty, and made a unique mash-up of them, helping to keep the plot interesting and unexpecte

MMGM (9/18/2017): The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Graveyard Book  by Neil Gaiman. Here's the publisher's description: It takes a graveyard to raise a child. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. The Graveyard Book , a modern classic, is the only work to ever win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals. A New York Times bestseller. I love this book! There are so many things I could talk about, but here are the major ones. Firstly, the characters are very well-rounded, with interesting backstories (some of which are initially mysteries to the reader) and p

MMGM (9/11/2017): Heartbeat by Sharon Creech

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For MMGM, I am recommending Heartbeat  by Sharon Creech. Here's the publisher's description: Run run run. That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . . thump-Thump, thump-Thump . It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything changes over time, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw. But as she watches and listens, Annie begins to understand the many rhythms of life, and how she fits within them. I loved everything about this book! One of my favorite things about it was the writing. The main character, Annie, has a realistic voice which is both thoughtful and down-to-earth, and the writing is expressed in beautiful, rhythmic verse. Scenes are described vividly, as are the emotions contained within them (unsurprising, since Creech has wri

Poetry Sunday: Three poems! (no MMGM)

I have no MMGM this week, since I have had no time to read or reread a book. However, to make up for it, I am recommending three poems for Poetry Sunday! The first is "The Panther" by Rainer Maria Rilke , the second is "After Apple-Picking" by Robert Frost , and the third is poem 449 ("I died for Beauty — but was scarce . . . " by Emily Dickinson . I hope you enjoy these!

MMGM (8/28/2017): The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd. Here's the publisher's description: Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians — every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down. But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task: finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors, including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost? With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable charact

No posts this week!

Since I went back to school on Monday, I had very little time to read or think, so I will not post anything this week. I should be back to normal by the upcoming weekend (but no promises)! I hope everyone has a great week!

Poetry Sunday (8/13/2017): "I Will Sing You One-O" by Robert Frost

I've been reading a lot of Robert Frost poems lately, so, for today's Poetry Sunday post, I am recommending his poem, "I Will Sing You One-O."  I hope you enjoy it!

MMGM (8/14/2017): El Deafo by Cece Bell

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For MMGM, I am recommending El Deafo  by Cece Bell. Here's the publisher's description: Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for. Several years ago, I read El Deafo , a graphic novel and wi

MMGM (8/7/2017) Classic Critique: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Update (June 26, 2021): When I wrote this review, I was unfortunately unaware of some of the racist aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird . As I have learned over the years, I can no longer recommend this book, but I have decided to leave the post up as a teaching opportunity. I highly recommend reading this article by Saoirse Herlihy  about the problematic elements of To Kill a Mockingbird  (special thanks to Elisabeth Ellington at The Dirigible Plum  for recommending that article). I apologize for the ignorance in this post, and I no longer stand by this post's content. Thank you for understanding. If you were reading this blog several months ago, you might remember that I did a post in a new style I called Classic Critique, where I list the pros and cons of a famous book. Today, I am critiquing To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee (which I wholeheartedly recommend). First, however, I would like to tell you that today is the one-year anniversary of Completely Full Bookshelf! I first p

Poetry Sunday (8/6/2017): "Good Hours" by Robert Frost

Since my blog is turning one year old tomorrow, I decided to be a more responsible blogger and resume my Poetry Sunday posts. Today, I am recommending "Good Hours" by Robert Frost. I hope you enjoy it!

MMGM (7/31/2017): Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

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For MMGM, I am recommending Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. Here's the publisher's description: In a world of elite magic academies, weird and wonderful things happen when you're sent off to public school...and put in the Upside-Down Magic class.  It's never easy when your magic goes wonky. For Nory, this means that instead of being able to turn into a dragon or a kitten, she turns into both of them at the same time-a dritten. For Elliott, the simple act of conjuring fire from his fingertips turns into a fully frozen failure. For Andres, wonky magic means he's always floating in the air, bouncing off the walls, or sitting on the ceiling. For Bax, a bad moment of magic will turn him into a . . . actually, he'd rather not talk about that. Nory, Elliott, Andres, and Bax are just four of the students in Dunwiddle Magic School's Upside-Down Magic class. In their classroom, lessons are

MMGM (7/24/2017): The Wells & Wong Mystery series (Murder Is Bad Manners, etc.) by Robin Stevens

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For MMGM, I am recommending the Wells & Wong Mystery series ( Murder Is Bad Manners , Poison Is Not Polite , and First Class Murder ) by Robin Stevens. (Note: The cover shown is for Murder Is Bad Manners .) Here's the publisher's description for the first book in the series, Murder Is Bad Manners : Two friends form a detective agency—and must solve their first murder case—in this “sharp-witted debut” ( Publishers Weekly , starred review) that is the first adventure in a brand-new middle grade mystery series set at a 1930s boarding school. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate. But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss

MMGM (7/17/2017): From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

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For MMGM, I am recommending a classic: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Here's the book's description: Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away . . . so she decided to run not from somewhere but to somewhere—somewhere large, warm, comfortable, and beautiful. And that was how Claudia and her brother, Jamie, ended up living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art—and right in the middle of a mystery that made headlines.      Forty years ago, two motion pictures, and millions of devoted fans later, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler remains a modern classic, a favorite of children and adults alike.  (Note: This description is from my 10-year-old copy of the book. Actually, the book is turning 50 this year!) I read this book several years ago, and, just like people did 50 years ago (it was published in 1967 and later won a Newbery Medal), loved it! There are so many thin

MMGM (7/10/2017): The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict  by Trenton Lee Stewart. Here's the publisher's description: Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy named Nicholas Benedict. Meet the boy who started it all.... Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but also he has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments. Now he's sent to a new orphanage, where he encounters vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances -- and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he has one important thing in his favor: He's a genius.  On his quest to solve the mystery, Nicholas finds enemies around every corner, but also friends in unexpected places -- and discovers along the way that the greatest puzzle of all is himself. As a fan of the My

No posts this week!

Due to July 4th, I will not be posting either a Poetry Sunday post (which I will do again soon!) or an MMGM review. I hope everyone has a great July 4th!

MMGM (6/26/2017): Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker

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For MMGM, I am recommending Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker. Here's the publisher's description: “If it wasn’t for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means.” When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead. This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be

MMGM (6/29/2017): Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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For MMGM, I am recommending Fish in a Tree  by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Here's the publisher's description: “Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” — Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an

MMGM (6/12/2017): Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

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For MMGM, I am recommending Because of Winn-Dixie  by Kate DiCamillo. Here's the description from the back of the book: When ten-year-old India Opal Buloni moves to Naomi, Florida, with her father, she doesn't know what to expect — least of all that she'll adopt Winn-Dixie, a dog she names after the supermarket where they meet. With such an unusually friendly dog at her side, Opal soon finds herself making more than a few unusual friends. And soon, Opal and her father realize — with a little help from Winn-Dixie, of course — that while they've both tasted a bit of melancholy in their lives, they still have a whole lot to be thankful for. One of the best parts about Because of Winn-Dixie  is the varied lineup of characters, all of whom are central to the book. Some much younger than Opal and some much older, all of them have their own voices and troubles. Even Winn-Dixie is so well described, he seems to come to life. The book has several lessons in it,

MMGM (6/5/2017): The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Fourteenth Goldfish  by Jennifer L. Holm. Here's the publisher's description: Believe in the possible . . . with this New York Times bestseller by three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm. A perfect Father’s Day read about a child’s relationship with her grandfather!  Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer. Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?  Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?  With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions

MMGM (5/29/2017): The Year of the Book, written by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Abigail Halpin

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For MMGM, I am recommending The Year of the Book , written by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Here's the publisher's description: In Chinese, peng you means friend. But in any language, all Anna knows for certain is that friendship is complicated.   When Anna needs company, she turns to her books. Whether traveling through A Wrinkle in Time , or peering over My Side of the Mountain , books provide what real life cannot—constant companionship and insight into her changing world.   Books, however, can’t tell Anna how to find a true friend. She’ll have to discover that on her own. In the tradition of classics like Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books and Eleanor Estes’ One Hundred Dresses , this novel subtly explores what it takes to make friends and what it means to be one. I really enjoyed this book! Although it is aimed more towards the younger end of the middle grade spectrum, it can be appreciated by anyone of any age. One focus of the book is