Tell Me Tuedsay :Author Matt de la Pena and Middle Grade Book Reviews

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Tell Me Tuesday !

TMT is a weekly blog post put on by LaLa in the Library where we discuss what we have read, what we will read, and what we are currently reading.

 

These are the books I am currently reading.

I received this ARC at BookCon in Chicago.

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I made it my goal this summer to read the Outlander series.  I started book one and I am really enjoying it so far.

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I just got The Crown’s Game at the Library today and plan on starting it soon! I have heard great things about it.

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I have been reading some Middle Grade books this week. It was fun to revisit and I look forward to reading more MG in the future.  Reviews of those books are below.

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It was an exciting week because I got to meet….

Author Matt de la Pena!!!

I just got back from meeting Matt de la Pena at my local library.  This is the second time I have met him and I have to say he is one of the nicest authors out there.  Also, he is hilarious.  He has such a great story of how he became a writer.  Matt grew up poor in California near the Mexican border.  He wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford it so he worked really hard at basketball and got a full scholarship to the University of the Pacific.  From there he went to San Diego State University to get a Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing.  In his first couple of books he takes from experiences he had as a child.  I read his second book, Mexican Whiteboy, which I blogged about last week. Click HERE to read my review.  I brought, We Were Here, to be signed and was happy to hear that it is one of his favorite books.  I can’t wait to read it!

Middle Grade Book Reviews

For a change of pace, I read three different Middle Grade books this week and I loved each of them!

gertie

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

5 stars out of 5

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was so stinking adorable! I grew up with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series and Judy Blum’s Fudge series so this book totally took me back to my 10 year old self.  Gertie is a determined, adventurous, stubborn, fifth grader.  She lives with her aunt because her dad works on an oil rig and can only come home a few days at a time.  Gertie’s mom left when she was a baby and believes if she is the best fifth grader in the whole class, her mom will have to take her back.  However, on the first day of school, there is a new girl who threatens to become the best fifth grader.  Her name is Mary Sue and she moved from California because her dad is making a movie.  What ensues is a rivalry between the two of them. I love Gertie’s determination to accomplish all of her goals even when it seems the whole fifth grade class is against her.  There are some laugh out loud moments and adorable illustrations in this book as well.  This is Ms. Beasley’s debut novel and it sounds like it will be a series.  I definitely look forward to more of her books. This book will be out October 4, 2016

raymie

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

5 starts out of 5

What a fun book with such interesting characters! Raymie meets two girls, Louisiana and Beverly, at her baton twirling lesson. Raymie and Louisiana are learning baton twirling in hope to help them win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. Beverly’s goal is to sabotage the competition which worries Raymie because she wants to win so that her dad will see it in the paper and come back home.
Each of the girls are having a hard time in their lives. Louisiana is poor and lives with her Grandma who drives like a maniac. Louisiana wants to win the competition so that she can buy her cat back from the pound. Beverly is angry a lot and hangs out with the girls to keep from having to go home. The author does a wonderful job of creating such diverse and interesting characters, There are many funny and heart warming moments along with some heart breaking and suspenseful moments. I haven’t read any of Ms. DiCamillo’s other books but I know they have won many literary awards. I may have to check those out soon!  This book is currently in book stores.

bird

Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schroder

4.5 stars out of 5

Wren’s father died in a plane crash so her and her mom decide to start over and move to a new part of the country.  In reality, Wren’s mother is running away from her husband’s death.  Wren has to deal with her dad’s death on her own. There was no memorial service or funeral so she copes by finding roadkill and burying it.  (It is a bit morbid but I like the metaphor).  Wren also deals with her pain by visiting a nature reserve, Pete’s Pond, to bird watch like she did with her dad.  A school project at school teams her up with Theo, who has recently lost his mom to cancer.  They discover that Pete’s Pond is in danger of being turned into a landfill and they want to convince the community to save it.  What I loved most about this book is all the adults that help Wren deal with her anger towards her mother and her grief over her dad.  I think this is a great message for kids who are having a hard time dealing with things.  Adults and friends can help. The author does a great job showing how adults deal with grief is so different than how kids deal with grief.  A great book on forgiveness, love, and perseverance. This book comes out September 1, 2016

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Tell Me Tuedsay :Author Matt de la Pena and Middle Grade Book Reviews

  1. Greg says:

    I like a good middle grade read once in a while, and there are so many now that there are a lot to choose from! The MG section at our bookstore is pretty amazing. Also nice to read a bit about Matt de la Pena- I read one of his short stories recently and it was quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

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