Monday, October 27, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Masterpiece

Happy Monday! I'm sorry I've been absent for a couple of weeks, but I have a great book to share today. When I first heard the premise of Masterpiece, I knew it would be a fantastic read, and it didn't disappoint!

MASTERPIECE
by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt and Company 2008

From Goodreads:
Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.

I loved this book! It has everything: great voice and characterization, amazing description and setting, a variety of relationships between the characters and beetles communicating with humans. As a fan of the Littles and the Borrowers growing up, I loved reading about Marvin and his family and how he was able to communicate with James in their own personal way. The art heist and following story (I don't want to ruin the ending) was exciting and fun and the mystery even had me guessing for a bit. This is a great book for both boys and girls and is a true middle grade novel.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you all have a great week. I'm not sure how regularly I will be posting for the rest of 2014, as everything starts to get busy, but I do appreciate all of you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday Mash-up: Laura Ingalls Wilder and Frank Einstein

For today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, I would like to share two brand new books. One I had to read as soon as it was released and the other is the first in a new middle grade series that my son enjoyed.

LITTLE AUTHOR IN THE BIG WOODS - A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder
by: Yona Zeldis McDonough with illustrations by Jennifer Thermes
Christy Ottaviano Books 2014

From Goodreads:
Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don’t always realize is that Wilder’s books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura’s real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete with charming illustrations, points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities. It’s a fascinating story of a much-celebrated writer.

What can I say? This is a wonderful companion to the "Little House" books and can even serve as a great introduction to the entire series. I definitely recommend!



FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR: Book One
by: John Scieszka with illustrations by Brian Biggs
Amulet Books 2014

From Goodreads:
Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual. After an uneventful experiment in his garage-lab, a lightning storm and flash of electricity bring Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—to life! Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wisecracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank nonetheless help Frank attempt to perfect his Antimatter Motor . . . until Frank’s archnemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! Using real science, Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction—an irresistible chemical reaction for middle-grade readers.

My nine-year-old enjoyed the first book in this new series and is looking forward to the next book coming out in early 2015. He enjoyed the robot characters and all the action. Definitely sounds like a fun book for boys!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you have a great week!


Monday, September 22, 2014

SCBWI - Michigan Fall Conference

Hi everyone! Sorry I don't have any books to share today. I spent the weekend on Mackinac Island for the SCBWI -Michigan's fall conference. It was such an inspiring weekend catching up with friends, getting to know friends better and making brand new friends. And that was just with the attendees! I also was able to chat with editors Christy Ottaviano and Arthur Levine who are both so smart and funny and so gracious to spend their weekend with us away from their families. Authors Candace Fleming and Laurie Keller were amazing to listen to and illustrator/author Eric Rohmann is just so talented. (Since I'm not an illustrator, I didn't end up in any of his breakouts.) I also attended agent Jodell Sadler's intensive on Pacing and it was chock full of so much good writing advice.

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next week!