Monday, September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
HMH Books for Young Readers
Middle Grades, Fiction
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Aspiring scientist Maddie Little is having a terrible first year in middle school. Her grandfather whom she loved and admired past away, her best friend is going to a new private school (a school Maddie would love to go to), her older eighth grade sister is just that – an older sister, and she has a rare bleeding disorder that runs in her family.
The only people Maddie can find to sit with at lunch are an eclectic bunch that include a new girl who wants to be an astronaut (stealing Maddie’s scientist-niche) and a spelling bee whizz who spells every word she can, among others. Rather than socializing, Maddie spends as much time as she can in her father’s laboratory and writing standard operating procedures (like her grandfather did) in her lab notebook.
Maddie’s world crumbles further when her somewhat friends discover just what’s included in those SOPs in her secret lab notebook. Coupled with other setbacks, how can Maddie push through to survive life and middle school?
Fifth and sixth graders will love The Friendship Experiment. They’ll relate to Maddie’s troubles and to how difficult life can seem at times, but they’ll find hope within her family and friendships.
If you’re interested in reading The Friendship Experiment, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.
*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
*Newbery Honor Book*
Middle Grades, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
While set with the backdrop of World War II, Ada’s war is much more personal. Born with a club foot, Ada is rejected and neglected by her mother and forced to stay inside their house at all times, only knowing about the outside world from what she sees out the window. Her brother Jamie is allowed outside, to go to school, and to play with friends, but Ada still has to protect him from her mother’s wrath.
As the outside war draws nearer, Ada’s mother plans to evacuate Jamie, and only Jamie, from London but Ada sneaks off with him. Their new life in the rural village is miles apart from their home both in distance and in life experiences. Ada and Jamie are taken in by a recluse named Susan Smith and together they stumble through the obstacles of their new situation.
Though a middle grades novel, readers of all ages are quickly drawn in by Ada’s deplorable living conditions, but also by her voice and her wit. The War the Saved My Life is an excellent piece of historical fiction where the historical setting strengthens an already remarkable story. It would be a great addition to upper elementary classrooms studying historical fiction or for middle school classrooms looking to pair literature with a study of World War II.
If you’re interested in reading The War that Saved My Life, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.