I know it seems that I’ve been missing in action lately, but I promise you I’ve been around. I’ve just been busy. With what? Well …. a lot actually.
In my real life (as opposed to my blog life I guess), I’ve taken on a new position that allows me to focus on children’s/youth librarianship. Because of that, I’ve been familiarizing myself with children’s books. Not so much picture books, because I feel like I have a great love, appreciation, and understanding of those, but more so middle grade books.
I’ve read some middle grade books, obviously. But I haven’t read widely. Now that I’m focusing more on youth services, I feel my lack of knowledge is a weakness. And I need and want to remedy that.
In preparation for a school visit, I asked my friend/colleague to suggest a few titles to me. We walked through the shelves at our library and I came out with a stack (literally!) of books. These are some of the books I read (and for fun, my thoughts on them):
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – I don’t know what took me so long to read this one. But I finally read it, and I really loved it. I loved it for several reasons. One, I think I like books about monkeys. Two, it was a really deep and touching story. Three, I loved how this story, though fiction, was based on of real life events and that it’s a learning experience in a way for the reader. But as much as I loved it, I was also saddened by it, because of Ivan’s situation.
Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown – now if you know me you already know that I am NOT a Star Wars fan. I remember watching the original movies as a kid, and enjoying them for what they were, but not loving them. I know these books are popular with the kiddies so I decided to give it a whirl. And surprisingly, I REALLY liked it. So much so that I am actually considering reading the other books in this series just because. I liked that this book was a mix of text and comic style graphics. Besides that, I just really liked the story. I especially loved main character Roan.
Creepover: There’s Something Out There by P.J. Night – this book had NICOLE written all over it. To say the least, I LOVED it! This is a book about a group of girls who get together and tell creepy stories, and the repercussions of these creepy stories. This particular story focuses on a (made up) local legend of the Marked Monster, which reminded me of the Jersey Devil. I love that it reminded me of my fave local legend. I also loved that it had just the right amount of creepiness to give a kid the a case of the chills.
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: A Scare of a Dare by Zack Zombie – This book was … interesting. It was a mash up of Minecraft (which I have absolutely no understanding of) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which I love). It’s basically about a Minecraft zombie’s life. It wasn’t my favorite, but I can totally see the appeal. Maybe if I did like/understand Minecraft I would have liked this one more.
Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm – I loved, loved, LOVED this book so much! I loved that it was fun comic that easily taught kids cool science things (I learned a lot from it myself, and I’m way older than the intended audience). Besides the cool science-y things, I loved that he wasn’t the traditional superhero. That he’s a good amoeba who isn’t afraid to do what’s right. And still, that he loves tacos, because who doesn’t love tacos!?
Owl Diaries: A Woodland Wedding by Rebecca Elliott – this is a book about an owl named Eva. Obviously I loved it because a) it’s about an owl named Eva and b) she’s super cute! And smart! And stylish! What more could I want from a book!
Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatues by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater – This book has been sitting on my self since it came out, and I just now got around it. And I’m glad I did! The writing is sharp, Pip is a great leading lady (she’s smart, brave, and unafraid to be herself no matter what), and it’s chock full of cool magical creatures like unicorns and fuzzles! (If you don’t know what a fuzzle is, you’ll just have to read the book). And I’ve read it via audiobook and the reader is really great!
So you see, I’ve been reading a whole lot! I’ve read all of those books within a week! Crazy, right?
In non-middle grade books I’ve also read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Full reviews of both of these books are coming, but for now I will say this: WOW! And that wow! goes for both books for different reasons.
I’ve been busy reading, but I’ve also been busy cooking up features and future blog posts for this, and my new makeup/beauty-centric blog. I’ve been writing book and product reviews, I’ve been brainstorming new posts and features for both blogs. (I won’t spoil anything, but a new feature is coming your way next week! And it’s a feature that I think you are really going to LOVE!).
So that’s it! That’s what I’ve been up to lately. That’s why I’ve been missing in action lately.
What have you been up to lately readers?! What books are you currently reading and loving and or hating? And do you read middle grade? If so, I’m taking suggestions!