Children - MidChild

365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781419743801
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Published: Amulet Books - January 19th, 2021

In the current wave of middle-grade outdoor adventure books, this novel stands out in a big way. It flips the script on the genre by starting its protagonist, Rigel, off in a wilderness-survival setting (her family lives in the Alaskan bush with no power or running water) and then displacing her to the world of suburbia when her parents split up and she's forced to move to Connecticut. To Rigel, who's completely at home in the wilderness, suburban life is fraught with danger - racing cars, escalators, and, most treacherously, strangers and their opinions. This book puts social survival on the level of intensity and immediacy usually reserved for physical survival, making the reader reexamine their own definition of civilization. Truly outstanding, especially considering that this is a debut. I'm already looking forward to reading whatever Carr publishes next. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

The Trouble with Good Ideas by Amanda Panitch - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250245106
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Published: Roaring Brook Press - January 5th, 2021

Magical realism rooted in Yiddish mythology with an eye to contemporary antisemitism. Twelve-year-old Leah's Zaide (grandfather) is showing signs of Alzheimer's, and her parents are thinking of sending him to an assisted-living facility. Leah can't imagine Zaide being trapped in "hospital jail" instead of living right down the street from her, so she makes a golem - a human figure made of clay, who must do her bidding - to take care of Zaide. What she doesn't account for is that a golem always turns against its creator. Absolutely fantastic. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062796783
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 25th, 2020

I found this to be an interesting deviation from Connor's usual style - she usually favors a highly eccentric premise with a hint of mystery. This is her first novel published since she became a National Book Award Finalist for The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle (2018), so perhaps she's using that career milestone as a pivot into experimental territory. It strongly reminded me of Polly Horvath's writing - the nutty estranged family members, the pastoral setting, and the protagonist's furtive work on a project aimed at reuniting familial ties. I really enjoyed this book, and am excited to see whether Connor continues with this new style. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Hatch (The Overthrow #2) by Kenneth Oppel - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781984894762
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - December 1st, 2020

In this next thrilling installment of The Overthrow series by Kenneth Oppel, Seth, Anaya and Petra - our beloved heroes from the first book - develop new abilities and appearances while struggling to sharpen the blurred lines between the “good” guys and the “bad.” Fast paced and emotional, this book solidly brings everything to a head, leading readers into what will most definitely be an epic final showdown between humans, Cryptogens, and the ravaging alien species that is destroying Earth. ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

The Ash House by Angharad Walker - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781338636314
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Published: Chicken House - February 2nd, 2021

A boy arrives at the mysterious Ash House to receive healing for his complex pain syndrome. Run by an absent Headmaster, he befriends the strange children who live there and slowly uncovers all of Ash House’s dark secrets... Haunting and gripping, this unsettling read weaves our childhood friendships, fears, and desires of belonging into an unforgettable story of two worlds and the courage it sometimes takes to stand up to authority. This is one of those books that will stay with you long after you put it down. A must read! ⁣⁣ ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon

Whispering Pines by Heidi Lang - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781534460478
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Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 1st, 2020

Strange disappearances? Supernatural phantoms stalking the shadows? A serial eye snatcher on the loose? Nothing is as it seems in Whispering Pines... Deliciously creepy and downright terrifying, this page turning read is perfect for those who love scary stories about ghosts, aliens, monsters, and more! ~ Reviewed by Angela Turon


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