Children - MidChild

No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781773064109
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Published: Groundwood Books - September 1st, 2020

I'm calling it now: Cohen is the new Kate DiCamillo. This book is silly and whimsical, yet it's also a deeply touching family story with an ending that will have you in happy tears. It has DiCamillo's oft-used themes of religious tension, family members struggling to feel seen by each other, and big characters in small towns. Eleven-year-old Miriam's parents buy a motel in upstate New York and move out of the city to run it. But the motel is run down, and few people seem to be interested in visiting the tiny town it's in. Along with a new friend, Miriam hatches a plan to lure guests to town. At the same time, she's worrying that her Jewish family won't be accepted by the townspeople, helping the diner lady make grape pies, and conquering her fear of water in the motel pool. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Ana on the Edge by A. J. Sass - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780316458610
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 20th, 2020

Ana (and the reader) learn about gender. How some people are born “their gender.” Others are born into the “wrong” one. And how some people are neither. Or both. Also while Ana is learning about their own identity, they are learning what it means to be a friend: how to be one and have to have them. Aimed at ages 10 to 14, but adults can enjoy this relatable journey as well. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593173978
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Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - October 20th, 2020

As if Sandra Cisneros wrote a kid's book set in small-town Jamaica. The sense of place is so deep that the protagonist's neighborhood feels like its own character, and the plot is driven not by individuals' actions but by the community as a whole. Truly excellent writing. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Alone in the Woods by Rebecca Behrens - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781728231013
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Published: Sourcebooks Young Readers - October 6th, 2020

In this book, the classic plot structure of two estranged best friends beginning to repair their relationship is complicated by a wilderness survival setting. Lost in the Wisconsin woods, Jocelyn and Alex are forced to work together, even though they've lost trust in each other after their falling-out. I like that Behrens leans into the ick factor of the outdoors to amp up tension and lets her meticulously-rendered setting drive the plot. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell - Book Review

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By Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442490598
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 3rd, 2014

This book is the epitome of that elusive British storytelling voice - the one that makes realistic fiction feel so ethereal and mysterious that it reads like fantasy. And the plot itself certainly furthers that feeling: a mother-hunting expedition, children who live in trees, women playing the cello on Parisian rooftops, and a pigeon-eating boy on the run from an orphanage. Rooftoppers will bewitch you. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781338129335
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Published: Scholastic Press - February 4th, 2020

This is a coming-of-age story not only for the protagonist, King, but also for his family. King must learn to let go of his identity as it's been defined by his late brother and be brave enough to come out and live as his true self. At the same time, King's mom and dad struggle to shed their prejudices and grow into the parents he needs them to be. Each character in this book is deeply flawed. Each one of them is trying their damn hardest to be better. Beautifully, beautifully told. ~ Reviewed by Nadja Tiktinsky


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