0

It’s Real Life: The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante

Howdy!

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette VigilanteI’ve been working my way through the fifteen Florida Sunshine State books this summer like I usually do.  I was recently able to finish my fourth book out of the fifteen, The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante.

Ever since her brother’s death, Dellie’s life has been quiet and sad. Her mother cries all the time and Dellie lives with the horrible guilt that the accident that killed her brother may have been all her fault.
But Dellie’s world begins to change when new neighbors move into her housing project building. Suddenly men are fighting on the stoop and gunfire is sounding off in the night. In the middle of all that trouble is Corey, an abused five-year-old boy, who’s often left home alone and hungry. Dellie strikes up a dangerous friendship with this little boy who reminds her so much of her brother. She wonders if she can do for Corey what she couldn’t do for her brother-save him.

I’m predicting now that this will be a popular one at school based on two things. First, the cover and second the story itself.  A lot of my students pick fiction covers based on if the characters look like them or not. It happens. It is what it is and I sometimes do the same thing. I know my students, and what they check out and talk to their friends about and they’ll like this book for the story too. I’ve mentioned before that a very popular book in my Media Center is A Boy Called It, which tells the  story of a young boy who is abused by his mother. Because The Trouble with Half a Moon deals with a similar narrative, I’m pretty sure my students will be interested. What can I say, they’re intrigued by other people’s pain. I think its part of trying to understand the world we live in.

The Trouble with Half a Moon is the deeply moving and also troubling story of a girl named Dellie who is struggling with intense guilt over her little brother’s recent death, and simultaneously trying to save an abused little boy, Corey, in her apartment building. Dellie is a realistic character dealing with two very real situations. She is compassionate and knows when to stand up against wrong doing, but she is also struggling to break free from the sadness that has overtaken her family, especially her mother. )

The most troubling thing about this book is Corey’s story.  Troubling because it is real life.  Corey’s story happens all the time, I know because I work in the public school system and come in contact with kids who have stories like Corey’s.  His mother, in all her badness and sadness is real too.

What I really appreciate about The Trouble with Half a Moon is that solutions don’t come easy for these characters and the ending is not wrapped up in a tight and pretty bow. The reader is left wondering at the possibilities but is allowed a snapshot into the beginning of Dellie’s family’s road to recovery.  There is hope, which is what is most important, I think.

This book was at times, difficult to read, but I’m so glad I did.  I’d recommend The Trouble with Half a Moon to middle school aged readers and up, but because there is some tough stuff in this book parents you should really read it too and talk about the subject matter with your kids.

Author: Danette Vigilante

Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile (January 6, 2011)

Format: Paperback

Length: 181 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Trouble with Half a Moon

15

Tasty Treats (3)

Well what do ya’ know?!

I am actually posting a Tasty Treats review of books I received recently.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared my new reads with you guys.  I’ve just been lucky enough to receive many books over the past few weeks that I had to share! :)  Seriously, this is an awesome looking group of books!

So, let’s start out with books I was given by other bloggers!  I just have to say that since I’ve been blogging, and especially since I’ve been on Twitter, I have met some really nice and friendly book bloggers who help make my blogging experience that much easier (and fun!).

One of these bloggers is Kyle over at A Reader’s Pensieve  who is incredibly sweet and fun to chat books with on Twitter!  Well, this week she and I decided to do some book swapping (YAY!) so I sent her and ARC of In Too Deep by Amanda Grace and she sent me an ARC of Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale!  This was my first time swapping with another blogger and I was so excited I did a little shimmy and yelled about it to my husband who was on the other side of the house.  hehehe  As you probably already know, I’m a big Shannon Hale fan so I can’t wait to start this one.  Thanks Kyle!

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale

This week I also stumbled across Jennifer Dee’s from Novel Thoughts and learned about her new ARCycling idea on Twitter. I was so intrigued I emailed her about it. It’s an awesome idea!  She pulls select titles from her “donate” pile of ARCs that are about to come out or recently come out and give them to other bloggers, librarians, teachers, booksellers strictly for continuing promotion.  Awesome!  I requested two ARCs and she sent them!  I’m planning on donating some too, to help out.  Thank you Jennifer!

The Sweetest Spell and Lucky Fools

The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees

Additionally this week, I received an audio copy of Forgive my Fins (Fins #1) by Tera Lynn Childs for review from Harper Collins! Mermaids!!!  A bunch of my students told me I needed to read this one so I’m finally able to give it a go!  A huge thank you goes out to Harper Collins!

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

And last but not lease I picked up some more of the Florida Sunshine State books! These are the final four of the fifteen titles I needed.  Now I can focus on reading them all instead of finding them all! I’m not a huge fan of the Happenstance Found cover, but as we all know, you can’t judge a book by its cover! :)  But with that said, My Fair Godmother just looks like my kind of book! haha

Hide and Seek, Happenstance Found, Wild Things

Hide and Seek by Katy Grant
Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese
Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

So, those are some of the tasty treats I’ve been able to get my hands on over the past few weeks, I can’t wait to read and review them! Have you read any of these already?  Did you get any tasty treats of your own recently?

By the way: Tasty Treats is based on mailboxlike memes like In My Mailbox, Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves.

4

Book Trailer of the Week: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

Book Trailer of the WeekHello!

It’s Friday! On Fridays I like to give a shot out to a book trailer that has caught my attention.  I love book 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brodytrailers and hope that other educators can utilize my blog to help them find good ones to use with their students.

Today’s book trailer is for the book 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

Doesn’t it sound like a fun summertime read?  A little Clueless meets fairy tale?  I love it and can’t wait to read this one which just released on July 3.

Now, the book trailer is a little over two minutes, which would be way to long for me to use in my school, since I only get about a minute of air time on the morning announcements, but it’s still a really cute and well done trailer. Check it out for yourself!

What do you think?!  Does the trailer do it’s job?  Do you want to read it now?

2

All Gobbled Up: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Howdy!

My husband I recently finished the third book in the Maze Runner Series, The Death Cure, by James Dashner!  We listened to the whole series on audiobook and absolutely loved them!

The Death Cure by James DashnerThomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Like I mentioned above, I loved this series.  We seriously gobbled all three books up pretty quickly.  Dashner’s writing literally pulls you into the story and the setting so feel everything the characters are experiencing right along with them.  The characters in these books are some of my favorite in all of YA/MG fiction. Thomas, Min Ho, Brenda and Newt are so memorable that I felt lonely after we finally finished the series.  Newt, will forever be one of my favorite minor characters ever.

I do have to say that The Death Cure was not my favorite of the trilogy.  At times the plot felt a little loose and flappy like the characters were doing all this traveling around without a real purpose.  It kind of seemed to me like Dashner packed a little too much into this third book, but the story was still entertaining and it doesn’t diminish my love for these books!

I really liked the suspense scenes where Thomas and his group are walking through the city.  With Dashner you never know what is behind each corner so you’re tense the whole way through (in a good way!).  Like the first two books I still didn’t know who to trust which kept me on my toes!

The Death Cure has an ending that is surprisingly hopeful mixed with a dash of “YES! I knew it!” and I can’t wait to get my hands on the prequel novel The Kill Order which releases on August 14, 2012! It’s going to be really awesome to hear the “before the maze” story finally! I seriously hope Mark Deakins narrates that one too, because his narration on all three on the books in this series is just plain awesome.

So, i you’re looking for an awesome thrilling series, maybe even a Hunger Games read-alike, you should check out this series!  There is some violence but it’s nothing too gruesome, so I’d say these books can be read by middle grade readers and up.

Author: James Dashner

Publisher: Listening Library (October 11, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 8 hrs 55 mins

Narrator(s): Mark Deakins

Series: Third in The Maze Runner series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  The Death Cure (Maze Runner Trilogy)

Standard
14

Waiting On Wendesday: Clockwork Princess

Hi there!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Breaking the Spine where book lovers get to pour some love on their highly anticipated upcoming titles!

So yesterday was the big Clockwork Princess, book three in Cassandra’s Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, cover release day and I (along with millions of others) got to be a part of it! Every tweet made yesterday afternoon with the #clockworkpricess tag revealed a pixel of the book cover image. It was fun to be a part of a big thing like that with everyone. It made the reveal that much more exciting!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareThis is why I chose to highlight Clockwork Princess as the book I’m waiting on this week. I’m sure I won’t be alone in my pick this week because please…just look at that cover. It is so pretty! I want to steal that gown and wear it around town (that rhymes!)!! Also don’t the colors look so good with my blog theme!?

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Oh I love, love, LOVE this series so much I can’t even describe it! As much as I like Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, I ADORE this trilogy that much more! So, the cover has been released and I still have until March 2013 until Clockwork Princess is actually released! I have no idea how I can wait that long, but I guess there are plenty of other books to fill my time until this one comes along. Just know that the books in this series are always highly anticipated by me!

Okay, if you haven’t read any of Clare’s books in either Mortal Insturments, or Infernal Devices series you have about nine months to get through them all before Clockwork Princess releases in March! What are you waiting for?!

19

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series that I Need to Finish

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish.  Each week features a different topic Each book blogger then creates a list based on that topic and gets  to share it with other book bloggers and blog readers!

I’m not even going to think about the fact that it is July.  I’m also not going to think of the fact that pre-planning at school starts in about a month.  Summer don’t run away…I LOVE YOU!!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was officially a freebie and I chose to talk about book series that I need to finish.   Sometimes I start a book series and really, really enjoy it, but for whatever reason, am unable to finish reading all the books in that series.  It is hard to read every book in every series I like, so I try to be picky about which series I continue.  All the series listed below are books that I need/really want to finish.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick1. Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick

I was surprised by how much I liked reading about Nora and Patch.  I’ve read Hush, Hush (#1) and Crescendo (#2), but need to get my hands on Silence, the third book.

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart2. The Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart

I’m a huge fan of the neurotic Ruby Oliver and I’ve read The Boyfriend List (#1) and The Boy Book (#2), but haven’t had a chance to read The Treasure Map of Boys (#3) or Real Live Boyfriends (#4).

The Last Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

This is a two book series and I liked the first book, but number two, The Last Little Blue Envelope eludes me.

Its Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han4. The Summer books by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (#1) was sooo good and I finally picked up It’s Not Summer Without You (#2) at my public library yesterday.

Envy by Anna Godbersen5. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

I was completely engrossed by The Luxe (#1) and Rumors (#2), but still have to read Envy (#3) and Splendor (#4).

Rip Tide by Kat Falls6. Dark Life books by Kat Falls

Dark Life (#1) was my favorite Sunshine State book last year and need to read Rip Tide (#2)

Specials by Scott Westerfeld7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I loved Uglies (#1) but wasn’t a huge fan of Pretties (#2) and I’ve heard things about Specials (#3) that makes me wonder if I will like the end of this series or not.

Bitter Blue by Kristin Cashore8. Graceling Realms books by Kristin Cashore

I adored both Graceling (#1) and Fire (#2) so I have high hopes for Bitterblue (#3) and am proud to say it is in my possession.

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George9. The Princess series by Jessica Day George

I’ve read Princess of the Midnight Ball (#1) but still have the second book, Princess of Glass, to read before the third book comes out.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale10. The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

I’ve read, The Goose Girl (#1), Enna Burns (#2), and River Secrets (#3) but haven’t gotten to Forest Born (#4) yet.

Have you already finished some of these series?  If so let me know which ones I need to make top priority!

Standard
4

I Really Wanted to Like It: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Well hi there!

Let’s talk Beastly by Alex Flinn.

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with Beastly by Alex Flinnfangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

So, Beastly is a modern-day retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, set in New York City. Beauty and the Beast had always been one of my favorite fairy tales ever. I felt a that Beauty (at least the Disney version of her) was a kindred spirit since she always had her nose in a book. She’s bookish and I’ve always loved that about her. I’ve always loved this story so you’d think I would have loved a modern retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales. Well, you’d think so, but you’d be wrong. I was pretty disappointed in Beastly. Flinn’s version of the story just didn’t connect with me.

I’m not usually a fan of male main characters, so maybe that has something to do with my disappointment. I just couldn’t like Kyle Kingsbury. Yeah I know he transforms from his snooty, wealthy, narcissistic self into someone kinder and more gentle, but I still just didn’t like him. I also felt that Linda (our story’s Beauty), although bookish and nerdy (yay!), was pretty boring and one-sided. Now, this could have also been the fact that I listened to this on audiobook and wasn’t impressed with the narrator’s female voices. Oh well.

This is pretty much a point for point retelling of the classic tale without much new to add to it other than the setting. I will say, that I did enjoy the chat room scenes. Kyle joins an online support group for those who have been magically transformed and meets some other famous fairy tale characters, like the Bear in Snow White and Rose Red (another of my faves!), the Frog from the Frog Prince and the Little Mermaid. These scenes are super cute, fun and too far and few between. Other than those bright scenes the rest of this story was slow going and I had to force myself to finish it.

So, overall I was disappointed in this story. I had high hopes because I love fairy tales retold and I’ve so many people recommend Alex Flinn’s books to me. I really, really wanted to enjoy it, it just fell flat with me. Maybe I started with the wrong Alex Flinn book? Suggestions anyone? Now, just because I wasn’t a huge fan, it doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy Beastly, in fact I know many who do. If you’re into fairy tale retellings go ahead and give this one a try, it might end up being something you like!

Author: Alex Flinn

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (June 22, 2010)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins

Narrator(s): Chris Patton

Series: First in The Kendra Chronicles

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Beastly

1

Book Trailer of the Week: Tiger Lily

Book Trailer of the WeekHappy Friday everyone!

It’s time again to showcase a book trailer that has caught my attention.  As a school media specialist/librarian I love book trailers because they help me to promote awesome titles and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Andersonmotivate my students to read.  They’re just awesome and I love them!

This week’s book trailer is for Jodi Lynn Anderson’s new novel Tiger Lily.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the Tiger Lily ARC Blog Tour hosted by Southern Book Bloggers (THANK YOU!) so I got to read this book before the release date which was this past Tuesday, July 3.

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. .. Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

Seriously.  I really, really enjoyed Tiger Lily (you can read my full review here) and think you should check out the book trailer for it now!

I love the colors of the dress/flower on the cover! It is a beautiful cover, one of my favorites of 2012 for sure!

Standard
2

One Hot Romance: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Hello! Glad to see you back!

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

Such a Rush by Jennifer EcholsBut Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.

First, I need to thank the author, Jennifer Echols, for my ARC copy of Such a Rush! When I received it I was so surprised and happy to discover that it is personalized! I love it so much, thank you!

Now, I must admit that I was a little hesitant to read Such a Rush because of the flying and airplane themes. I was worried that I’d come across pages and pages of piloting description that I’d have no interest in, and this was my introduction to Jennifer Echols so I had no idea what her writing style was like. I was pleased to find that this book didn’t bog me down with technical description at all. The flying details were there, but they were woven into the story so gently that they fit in perfectly. The funny thing is that I read most of this book on the airplane to Boston (book about flying while flying!) and became so engrossed that I stayed up late for the first three nights of my vacation to finish Leah’s story.

So, let’s talk Leah. I really loved Leah despite the fact that I didn’t immediately connect with her on a deep level. Leah is not the type of main female character I automatically relate to. She is gorgeous, tough and confident. I usually relate more with the bookish, average, smart girl who uncovers her hidden strength type, so Leah was a little difficult at first. The more I got into the story though, the more I realized that with Leah what you see on the outside isn’t always a reflection of whats going on inside. Her tough confident character is at times a wall she puts up so that she can’t be hurt by others. Leah doesn’t want people to know she is feels deeply and is as vulnerable as she is; she is complex. One thing about her that I don’t get though, is why does she so often just let people misinterpret her? Why doesn’t she stand up for herself when she knows people are judging her unfairly? Maybe she realizes it ultimately doesn’t matter. I don’t know. But I do like Leah.

Oh yeah! Leah also has crazy curly hair, and I laughed at Echols’ description of how Leah finally realized that she needed to embrace her curly hair because I had a moment just like that when I was in high school!

The romance in this book is hot. Yeah, that’s right. I said hot. There is some major pent-up passion just waiting to be released and although I loved the Hall brothers, I’m still not sure if I forgive some of their words or actions at specific parts in the story. I guess that’s okay though because it seems to me as I’m writing this review, that maybe that’s the point. Echols is writing contemporary fiction, not fairy tales, so her characters are ultimately incredibly flawed, but just like real people. Her characters are flawed because people are flawed.

I wouldn’t recommend Such a Rush to readers younger than high school because of some of the content. There is quite a bit of discussion about sex and even a sex scene or two (although Echols does leave us to imagine most of them).

The back of my book says that Such a Rush is “engrossing and intense” and I would completely agree. This is a really enjoyable summerish read for anyone searching for a quality contemporary romance. I’m definitely going to be on the look out for Echols’ other novels!

Author: Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV Books (July 10, 2012)

Format: ARC, Paperback

Length: 336 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Such a Rush (pre-order)

Standard
7

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People who Like Jeff Kinney

20120703-002821.jpg
Before we get started I want to wish my awesome husband a Happy Happy Birthday! Yeah, he’s pretty cool! :)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish so that us book bloggers can talk even more about what we love best, books and all things bookish!

This week’s Top Ten theme is Books for People Who Like X Author. I chose to focus on the middle grade side of things this week and am providing you with a list of books you might like if you enjoy Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The Wimpy Kid books are wildly successful all over (I know the copies in my Media Center are never on the shelf!) and some of those readers might be looking for read-alike books to dig into.

Well, fear not because today I have a list of Books for People Who Like Jeff Kinney! These are all books that are written in a journal-like style and often include little drawings and doodles that add to the story. I will include an asterisk (*) next to the titles I have read. If it doesn’t have an asterisk, I still recommend the title because I’ve heard great things about it!

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger1. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger *

The Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell2. The Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell *

Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton3. Dear Dumb Diary by

The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt4. The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald5. Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald *

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce6. Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce *

Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm7. Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm

Middle School the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson8. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

The Boy Project by Kami Kinard9. The Boy Project by Kami Kinard *

Journal of a Schoolyard Bully by Farley Katz10. Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: Notes on Noogies, Wet Willies and Wedgies by Farley Katz

Hopefully this will help guide your own future reading or help you pick books out for the middle grade reader in your life!