Category Archives: middle grade fiction

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (9)

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For the month of May, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite reads by/about Asians/Asian Americans. Side note: I am going to try not to repeat books I mentioned already in my #kidlitwomen posts, so for more on Asian American books I loved, make sure to peek at that list, too!

For the final day of this month, the feature book is:

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh.

In an alternate/future world, there are no countries, only states, but even so, war breaks out as those in power try to remain in power, while rebels try to bring them down. Jaewon Lee, abandoned by his rebel father; is part of an elite military group – and he is assigned to Tera, a weapon/super soldier. As they work together, he sees her as a girl, a friend, and possibly something more. This complicates matters as rebel forces threaten life as they know it, and Jaewon must make a choice. I’m thrilled with the all-Asian cast.

I’d like to take a moment here to inform you that I will be on a panel at the NCTE Annual Convention with authors Axie Oh, Andrea Wang, and Veera Hiranandani, moderated by Dr. Jung Kim: Asian American Stories and Voices: Not All the Same on Saturday, November 17, 2018 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Thank you for spending the month of May with me. Next up, I’ll be sharing a list of Asian Pacific American books that are on my very tall TBR pile!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (7)

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For the month of May, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite reads by/about Asians/Asian Americans. Side note: I am going to try not to repeat books I mentioned already in my #kidlitwomen posts, so for more on Asian American books I loved, make sure to peek at that list, too!

Today’s featured book is:

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser! The Vanderbeekers, a large family of Mom and Dad, 12-year-old twins Isa and Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and almost 5-year-old Laney live in a brownstone on 141st Street in Harlem. Until they might not. Their mean, reclusive, grumpy landlord won’t renew their lease and they have to move out by the new year. All this as they prepare for the Christmas holiday. The kids decide to make it their mission to get the landlord to change his mind, but that may be an impossible mission. A heart-warming and sweet story. I loved the large cast and the loving family. And guess what? There’s a sequel coming on September 25th: The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden! Pre-order now! I can’t wait to join the Vanderbeekers on a new adventure!

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (6)

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For the month of May, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite reads by/about Asians/Asian Americans.

Today’s featured book is The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not know the history behind the Partition of India in 1947. The Night Diary did an amazing job of not only engrossing me in story but educating me.

On her 12th birthday, Nisha receives a diary and she decides to write to her late mother. Nisha writes of her sadness that her twin brother Amil is bullied by the boys at his school, her joy at cooking with Kazi, and as things start to go bad, about her worries. This is 1947 when the British give India their independence, but when the Partition between India and Pakistan is drawn. Now Muslims must live in Pakistan and Hindus and Sikh in the New India. Though Nisha and Amil are half Muslim (on their mother’s side) they must flee their home, leaving behind their beloved Kazi who is Muslim. During their journey, Nisha, Amil, their Papa, and Dadi (grandmother) encounter many heart-breaking hardships and danger. I cried for them. Splendidly written.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (1)

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I’m starting a day late, but for the month of May I’ll be sharing some of my favorite reads by/about Asians/Asian Americans. Starting next week, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and Thursday. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments! I’m always behind on my reading and I don’t want to miss any great books!

Debut author Kelly Yang is coming out with a four-star middle grade novel, Front Desk (Scholastic/Arthur A Levine Books). Though this book doesn’t release until May 29, be sure to pre-order now because you don’t want to miss this. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC (Advance Review Copy), and I’m definitely buying the hard cover to add to my home library. So, I’m going to send the ARC to one lucky winner. Just comment on this post by Sunday, May 6 by noon EST and I’ll randomly draw a name. US mailing addresses only.

Mia Tang at 10 years old has a big sense of responsibility, helping her parents run a motel for a crooked and mean property owner. Mia takes over running the front desk while her parents run themselves ragged taking care of the motel. This was not at all the life Mia and her family expected when they came over from China. While Mia makes friends with the weeklies who live at the motel, she runs afoul of Jason Yao, the son of the mean motel owner. Mia sees and experiences first hand discrimination and cruelty and she tries to make things right. Based on the author’s childhood, this story broke my heart and put it back together again. I absolutely loved this book!

Comment below for a chance to win the ARC and to read it before the release date! Be sure to sign in with or share your email address so I can contact you if you win!

EDITED TO ADD: The winner of the ARC giveaway (using a random number generator) is Kristin C! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone for entering! I’ll be running more giveaways in the future!

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (30)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s book is middle grade novel An Unlikely Story of A Pig in the City by Jodi Kendall.

A story about a girl in a big family who feels invisible, but then feels a sense of purpose when the family inadvertently adopts a runt pig. But they can’t keep it because they live in a city, so Josie convinces her parents to let her keep the pig while she searches for the right home for Hamlet (while secretly hoping to convince them to let her keep him). Sweet story that made me tear up during the Christmas gift exchange scene. I’m a sucker for animal stories! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (27)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today I’m wishing a very happy book birthday to Lights, Camera, Disaster by Erin Dionne, one of my favorite people! I loved her previous middle grade novels, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking and Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting, so I know I’m going to love her newest and can’t wait to dive in.

From the publisher: Hester Greene loves making movies. With her camera in hand, she can focus, make decisions, and have the control she lacks in life, where her executive function disorder (think extreme ADHD plus anxiety) sabotages her every move. But middle school is not a movie, and if her last-ditch attempt to save her language-arts grade–and her chance to pass eighth grade, period–doesn’t work, Hess could lose her friends, her year, even her camera. It will take more than a cool training montage to get her life together, but by thinking outside the frame, she just might craft a whole new ending. Written partially in script form, with STOP/PAUSE/PLAY/REWIND moments throughout, this laugh-out-loud story will speak to any budding filmmaker, or unintentional troublemaker, in every act of their lives. Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

 

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (26)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez.

I loved this book! Twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa) is not happy about moving to Chicago for two years, because of her mom’s (whom she calls Super Mexican) job, leaving behind her dad and everything she loves. As school starts, Malú feels out of place and tries to embrace her inner punk, something she associates with her dad. Her mother makes her feel “not enough,” especially when she keeps trying to push her Mexican culture on her. Malú can’t speak Spanish well, hates cilantro, and doesn’t want to be una señorita – at least not the kind her mom wants her to be. When Malú finds a group of kids and decides to form a punk rock band for the school talent show, she finally feels like she might like her new home, but will it last? And will her mom prevent her from being in this band? I rooted for Malú! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (25)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is Cilla Lee-Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan. I’ve had the honor of not only meeting Susan, but doing an event with her. She’s super nice, and talented, too!

Cilla Lee-Jenkins is not overly thrilled that she is soon to become a big sister to The Blob (the nickname she gives to her sister after seeing the sonogram). To ensure that her family doesn’t forget about her, she writes a story about the one topic she knows best, herself. Cilla is full of honesty, great imagination, and humor as she embarks on her quest while dealing with feelings of jealousy over her soon-to-be sibling. Buy the book!

And in two days you can buy the follow up book, Cilla Lee-Jenkins, This Book is A Classic! Pre-order the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (24)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is middle grade novel The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky.

Miranda, age 13 and a high school graduate, is chosen as one of six kids for a mission to Mars. She is sent off to a base in Antarctica for intensive years-long training where she meets her team, the brightest and best from around the world. But things don’t go as smoothly as she’d hoped. This action-packed adventurous book is a page-turner, and readers will fall in love with Miranda (and her robot, Ruby) and cheer her on. Author Katie is also a scientist and her love for science infuses her story. Buy the book!

Her next book, The Seismic Seven, is due out on June 5th!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (22)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today I’m featuring Lou Lou & Pea and the Mural Mystery by Jill Diamond, illustrated by Lesley Vamos!

Lou Lou and Pea live in El Corazón, a tight-knit neighborhood where the two best friends can wander to visit their favorite neighbors and shops. But when bad things start to happen, from a ruined Quinceañera dress to Lou Lou’s prize camellia, the girls are determined to solve the mysteries, especially when they notice clues popping up in murals in the neighborhood. Buy the book! And keep your eye out for the second book, Lou Lou & Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza coming out on 4/24!

#kidlitwomen