Children of Jubilee

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I squealed when I opened the envelope containing this book. Then I put it aside and went back to read the end of book two, Children of Refuge. I wanted to get my mind right back into the story.

This book proved to be a twisty ending to this trilogy (Children of Exile series), the world building spectacular as it always is with this author. The plot keeps rolling along at a rapid pace.

Kiandra and the other kids end up on an alien planet where they are forced to mine for some pearls that give endless energy.

I don’t think it gives too much away when I spoil the fact that aliens have some technology that can make them look and sound like humans which proves to be exciting and challenging for the kids.

All in all, it was a great conclusion to an exciting series.

Children of Jubilee by Margaret Peterson Haddix

November 6, 2018

The Prophet Calls

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Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for this review copy.

The Prophet Calls is a story about a polygamist cult in New Mexico. It is a middle grade book and approaches all that you can imagine would be involved in that lifestyle with a middle grade lens. It is a page turner, the action never stops and several times I got pretty worried for the MC. The adults in the story don’t do anything to help the kids and so thirteen year old Gentry and her siblings have to rescue themselves from the life they were born into.

For awhile its unclear if Gentry will actually find a way to escape this life, but after her arranged marriage is announced she realizes that she has to leave while she still has the chance.

I don’t know that I would hand it universally to the younger end of the age range, but certainly kids in junior high would enjoy the adventure and look into a very different lifestyle.

The Prophet Calls by Melanie Sumrow

November 6, 2018

The Bigfoot Files

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If you’ve read my prior reviews you’ll already know that when I see that the subject of a plot is Bigfoot then I am diving in with gusto.

This turned out to be one of my favorite middle grades reads this year. I thought it would just be about a girl and her Mom searching for Bigfoot and that would be enough for me. Instead, it was so much more. I mean there was lots of Bigfoot and associated creatures, but at its heart, this is a story about a family with some issues.

Miranda Cho is an organized high achiever. In school, she gets good grades and is active in school government. She is also highly stressed out and has a habit of pulling her hair out piece by piece. Her Mom is a cryptozoologist with no job and a blog. Miranda thinks they couldn’t be more opposite. She used to believe and even enjoy going on these trips with her Mom, but as she grew up, she became less enthused and more practical.

If you like watching Survivorman and Bear Grylls, you’ll love the middle section of the story where they actually hunt Bigfoot and get a little lost. Spoiler alert: there are even fairies in those woods!

All in all, I think middle-grade readers who come for the Bigfoot portion will be touched by the family dynamics and maybe see a bit of themselves in Miranda as she learns more about her family and their past.

The Bigfoot Files by Linda Eager

September 19, 2018

Louisana's Way Home

This story begins with Louisiana and her Grandmother driving away from their home in Florida up to Georgia. Things go from bad to worse although it seems like Loiusiana is used to chaos.

The only other book I’ve read written by this author is Because of Winn Dixie, and if you enjoyed that book, this has the same slow, southern feel to it.

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Kate’s books show the best and worst of the people in our world in the most realistic ways. I love stories that teach kids that terrible things can happen and that people not only survive them but flourish.

A lot is going on in the plot, and I hesitate to book report this review because it really needs the unfolding of actually reading it. I loved it.

I can say that this story had a happy ending and made me want to bake cakes. How’s that for a recommendation?

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Oct 2, 2018