I've been reading a lot of children's books lately and given my rate of reviewing, I thought I could better tackle several of the middle-grade books in a single post. So here they are:
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
A cute chapter book about a girl who finds a weird thing which transports her friend... elsewhere, probably another planet. Zita goes after him to save him, and meets several odd, cute, endearing friends along the way. She manages to send him home but she's stuck, so she has to get home the old-fashioned way--flying home through space. Teaches the meaning of friendship, about loyalty, and about not giving up. All great lessons, in a fun, inventive new setting, with a girl as a space explorer which I love.
My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian
This slightly older chapter book would be perfect for boys that are reluctant readers. Throughout the story, the main character draws little stick figures of his vocabulary words in the margins (drawn by the author's teenage son!) which makes the margins very fat, so the book reads even faster. Derek wants to have fun all summer but he is thwarted by his mom who wants him to go to learning camp. He wants to visit his friend who h as gone to the East Coast for the summer, but again is thwarted. In the end his parents agree to go to Martha's Vineyard to visit his grandmother, which means Derek will have an opportunity to investigate a newspaper clipping he saw that his mom hid, about a teenage girl who died on Martha's Vineyard when Derek was a baby.
The Worm Whisperer
by Betty Hicks
Ellis has to help out around the house in his rural North Carolina town. His father hurt his back and can't work, so his mother has three jobs and Ellis does everything he can (and being excellent example to kids about doing their chores). He wants to win the $1000 annual Wooly Worm race at the Wooly Worm festival and he thinks he has found the perfect Wooly Worm. Meanwhile he figures out that his classmates actually like him for him, not just because he's funny, he stands up to the bully, and he does help his family, just not in the way he thinks.
This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.
All three of these books I checked out of the library.
All three of these books are published by Macmillan, my employer.