Book Review: The Wild Robot Escapes

The Wild Robot Escapes
Written & Illustrated By Peter Brown

My Edition:
(Personalized & signed) Hardcover, 279 pages
2018, Little Brown
ISBN: 9780316382045

Roz has left the island she calls home due to badly needed repairs and now finds herself working on a farm. As she tends to cows and plots her escape, Roz comes to know the farmer and his two children. But she still misses her goose son, Brightbill, and she is determined to be with him once more. Roz must hide her creative, inquisitive side and her ability to speak to animals, if she hopes to see her son again and return to the wild.

This will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, but I loved this book and thought it was adorable. Not quite as strong as its predecessor, true, but still a strong sequel with illustrations that I’d love to see in color!

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: The Night Parade & Hear the Wolves

This is my weekly post where I highlight beautiful books from my collection. We all judge book covers to some extent – I created this feature to highlight and appreciate the art and design elements of some of the books I own. If covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many wonderful editions!

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Book Review: Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow
By Lauren Wolk

My Edition:
Hardcover, 291 pages
2016, Dutton Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781101994825

Annabelle’s town is a quiet one until Betty Glengarry arrives, staying with her grandparents and attending Annabelle’s school. Betty instantly dislikes Annabelle. Annabelle does her best to avoid the bully, but there’s a target painted on her back. But soon that target moves to Toby, the strange but quiet war veteran who lives the life of a hermit near Annabelle’s family farm. Annabelle might be the only one willing to stick up for Toby and she will need all her courage to stand up to the charges leveled against him.

I read this book because Danielle mentioned it on her IG feed. A Newbury Honor middle-grade that sounds like it could be depressing? Sign me up!

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Book Review: A Little Taste of Poison

A Little Taste of Poison
By R.J. Anderson

My Editon:
Paperback, 362 pages
2016, Atheneum
ISBN: 9781481437752

Isaveth is a talented spell-baker, but as a poor Moshite she never dreamed she’d see the inside of Tarrenton college to learn advanced Sagery – especially not after the recent scandal surrounding her father. When she’s offered the chance to attend on a scholarship, she accepts, though she knows it will be difficult given her background and the attitudes of the rich, elites who attend the college. Now, however, she has the chance to meet with her friend Esmond so they can continue to uncover the plot behind the crime Isaveth’s father was framed for. Attending classes turns out to be more difficult than she imagined and Isaveth soon finds herself in more trouble than ever before.

It’s a struggle to talk about this book without giving away too many details. You should, of course, read its predecessor, A Pocket Full of Murder, first. Then we can talk about how spectacular this middle-grade duology is!

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Book Review: Poison is Not Polite

Poison Is Not Polite
by Robin Stevens

My Edition:
Paperback,  321 pages
2016, Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481422161

The Wells and Wong Detective Society is back in action while the girls are on holiday at Daisy’s family estate. Her mother has thrown her a birthday party, but amidst the festivities, one of the guests falls deathly ill. Due to a massive storm and flooding, the family and their guests are on their own for a few days, so the girls are determined to solve the case before the police arrive, and avoid being murdered themselves!

This was a charming sequel to Murder is Bad Manners (yes, I’m referring to middle-grade murder mysteries as charming) and as usual, I was totally stumped as to who the murder was.

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Book Review: The Swallow

The Swallow
By Charis Cotter

My Edition:
Paperback, 317 pages
2017, Tundra
ISBN: 9781770495920

Rose and Polly are neighbors, opposites in many respects. Polly is energetic, boisterous and fair-haired and her house is loud and full of family. Rose is quiet, ghostly pale and wears dark clothing and her house is mostly empty with the exception of the housekeeper. But when the two girls meet they discover what they have in common – the constant feeling of isolation and the desperate desire for a friend to call their own. While their friendship forms, Polly begins to suspect that Rose might be a ghost; after all, she’s pale, quiet and no one else seems to notice her aside from Polly. When the girls find a tombstone bearing Rose’s exact name, they set out to unravel a dark family secret.

We all know I make grabby hands at any middle-grade that sounds remotely dark and I was tickled pink to find that I’d won The Swallow from Librarything. This book didn’t disappoint!

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Book Review: Murder is Bad Manners

Murder is Bad Manners
By Robin Stevens

My Edition:
Paperback, 307 pages
2015, Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481422130

Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells have their secret detective club, but until Hazel finds the dead body of one of their teachers in the gym, the pair has never investigated anything as serious as a murder. When they try to alert someone of the body, they return to the gym and find it go. Now they must not only solve the murder but prove it even happened.

I heard about this book over at Richard’s Book Nook and bought it straight away because it’s a middle-grade murder mystery set in the 1930s and I can’t think of anything more perfect! I’m not even sure if he’s read it yet, but I loved it.

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: Middle Grade

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I do purchase special editions of books and multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

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Book Review: The Wonderling

The Wonderling
By Mira Bartók

My Edition:
ARC paperback, 450 pages
2017, Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763691219 (hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: September 26

The Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures houses creatures that are not quite animals and not quite humans and is run by the malevolent Miss Carbunkle and her allergy-ridden (and aptly named) henchman Sneezeweed. At The Home, the creatures, known as groundlings, toil away in Miss C’s widget factory and suffer through hideous lessons like how to be better servants. One groundling, known only as Number Thirteen, has a desperate wish to find out where he came from – all he has is a scrap of a baby blanket, a gold key and the memory of a song. When he saves a new student from a group of bullies and she renames him Arthur, after the great king of old, he finds his courage and starts his quest to discover where he came from.

This is an adorable middle-grade fronted by a timid character who learns to stand up for himself and embrace his hidden talents.

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