Books shelved under “Middle Grade”

12 reviews found

  1. Book cover for The Gauntlet

    The Gauntlet

    by Karuna Riazi

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I won a copy of The Gauntlet in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

    Farah Mirza is a gamer from a family of gamers. The Mirzas love all sorts of tabletop games, card games, and puzzles. On her twelfth birthday, she mistakenly receives the Gauntlet, a malevolent and self-aware board game. When her younger brother, Ahmad, gets trapped inside the game, Farah and her two friends have no choice but to enter the game themselves and…

  2. Book cover for Out of Time

    Out of Time

    by D.G. Laderoute

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So you’re fourteen years old, and you’re on a vision quest. It’ll be another hundred years or so before Europeans show up and tell your people that, actually, Turtle Island is going to be called “North America” and was empty before they showed up. But I digress. You want to get a vision so you can become a man, but this stupid turtle just won’t shut up … ohhhhh.

    Meanwhile, you’re fourteen years old, and…

  3. Book cover for Silver on the Tree

    Silver on the Tree

    by Susan Cooper

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Well, here we are, at the end of a very long journey. I can see now why The Dark is Rising sequence is packaged, well, as a sequence. The individual novels are quite short--some of them closer to novellas than anything else. The five-book stories are in fact a single story, but packaged together, they take up nearly 800 pages of very small print. It's an adult-sized story aimed at young adults and children, and…

  4. Book cover for The Grey King

    The Grey King

    by Susan Cooper

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve been making a slow tour through Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence for a few months now. It’s undeniably an important series in the fantasy canon, but my personal reaction to it has been more ambivalent. I have been rather disappointed with the novels as stories. They’re brilliant examples of methodical mythological remixing. Yet in adjusting the tone of the books to aim them to her younger audience, Cooper also seems to feel…

  5. Book cover for Greenwitch

    Greenwitch

    by Susan Cooper

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Greenwitch is the third in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. It unites the protagonists of the previous two books. Will Stanton meets Barney, Simon, and Jane. Together, they foil the latest plot of the Dark, which involves stealing a secret artifact from the Greenwitch. This entity is a construct of twigs and leaves built by the women of Trewissick in an elaborate, night-long ceremony. They assemble the Greenwitch, then the men of the…

  6. Book cover for The Weight of Water

    The Weight of Water

    by Sarah Crossan

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Talk about come-from-behind challengers. I was so certain I had my Carnegie nominees sorted, and then I read the The Weight of Water. I almost didn’t read it. It’s getting close to the end of the school year, and in a week’s time I’ll be on a plane back to Canada for the summer. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the time in reading this book, particularly because it is written in verse.…

  7. Book cover for A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

    A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

    by Dave Shelton

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    There’s a boy, and a bear, and they are on a boat. No, not “on a boat”. Actually, more kind of in a boat. A rowboat. Named Harriet.

    Bears are not cuddly. They are ferocious wild animals that really just want to be left alone, to roam through the wild and eat fish and have bear sex. So I’m not quite sure how we went from bears mauling people to teddy bears and…

  8. Book cover for The Dark Is Rising

    The Dark Is Rising

    by Susan Cooper

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’m trying to think of how many other books’ sequels are more notable than the books themselves. The Dark is Rising is the second book in the sequence, yet it was the one that got adapted into an apparently awful film, and it was the one that gave its title to the entire series. I suppose I can see why. Of the first two books, it more stereotypically conforms to the monomyth and has that…

  9. Book cover for A Greyhound of a Girl

    A Greyhound of a Girl

    by Roddy Doyle

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My grandmother died in January. We were expecting it for a while. She had been in and out of the hospital for months, her diabetes causing circulation problems with her legs to the point where he body could no longer keep up. I had realized prior to that what a loss my grandmother would be, but it was still hard for me to understand how it would feel—this was the first death in my family…

  10. Book cover for Maggot Moon

    Maggot Moon

    by Sally Gardner

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Certain books only work in the first person. I wouldn’t think Maggot Moon would work any other way: you need to experience the world through Standish Treadwell’s eyes—of two different colours. Sally Gardner creates an alternative history dystopia in which an authoritarian Motherland has absolute control, thanks to a combination of propaganda, self-policing, and secret police. It is going through the process of meticulously faking a moon landing, but a single dyslexic child with just…

  11. Book cover for Wonder

    Wonder

    by R.J. Palacio

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My Carnegie reading list continues with Wonder. With this book, R.J. Palacio swept me off my feet and took me on an incredible, moving journey. She combines believable, authentic voices of children and adolescents and a sensitive, sensible approach to her subject matter to create a book that is evocative without being too cheesy or trite. Wonder is about a young boy trying to integrate into a society not so accepting of physical difference—but,…

  12. Book cover for Pirates of Nirado River

    Pirates of Nirado River

    by Michael Setala

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Pirates of Nirado River takes place in an alternative universe where kids have been forced to form ad-hoc pirate gangs that cruise down the rivers around Dog Lake in tricked out canoes. These gangs fight wars with crap apples, commit arson on abandoned cabins, and poach rabbits off Crown land. When one or more gangs have a dispute, they settle it through complex negotiation, kidnapping, and bondage.

    All of the above is true, except for…