Between the Lines Reviews

READER REVIEWS

FEBUARY 2024 REVIEWS

Uprising By Jennifer A. Nielsen Cover ImageThe moment I finished Jennifer A.Nielson’s newest novel, Uprising, I knew no review Icould ever write would be a tribute. This unforgettable book is based on the life of a Polish teenager, Lidia Durr, during WWll who was one of the most important members of the Polish resistance during Germany’s occupation of Poland. Lidia’s mother has never loved her and with her father joining the army and her brother secretly joining the partisans Lidia has never felt so alone. Especially in the midst of a war that has claimed so many lives of those she loved. She wants to take action, Lidia doesn’t want to become a nurse or work jobs - she wants to fight the Germans who stole her country. After adopting the code name, “Cello”, the teenager develops a renowned reputation as a talented messenger; smuggling everything from grenades to letters for Poland’s underground resistance. Nielsen’s way of portraying Lidia makes her feel so real; as she cries over the fallen members of her family and her organization, as she whispers secrets to her friends, and as shE smiles and laughs with the boy she loves - Lidia Durr lives and breathes within these very pages. This book is gut-wrenching as its readers are left sobbing over tragedies and heartbreak, but this book is also lively and will have anyone smiling and laughing. This book is beautiful, bittersweet, and nonfiction - as Lidia Durr truly did exist and fight. Which is why this novel is one I will never forget and can guarantee it will become a valuable part of your bookshelf. -Neilsie H.Thapa, grade 6

JANUARY 2024 REVIEWS

Anne Ursu is no stranger to weaving masterpieces. Every line of her work is sewn in with care and will leave you grappling for the next string. However, Not Quite a Ghost, is a book unlike any other - the moment I held the book in my hands I wasn’t able to put it back down. In this story, the Hart family has outgrown its small home, and moves into an old house in a new neighborhood. For Violet Hart that means having to live in the attic bedroom, which is covered in a strange wallpaper adorned with flowers and blossoms that creepily resemble eyes. But Violet has to deal with more than just a deviant room, middle school comes with its own problems - homework, changing friendships, and gym class.

But then Violet falls ill and doesn’t seem to be getting better. Soon enough, she is confined to her room. Forced to study the eerie wallpaper day after day. The days slip into weeks and Violet gets weaker and weaker. Yet every test comes back negative and every doctor believed Violet was faking illness for attention because they weren’t able to find a diagnosis. But Violet is sick, so sick she feels dizzy at every motion and she can’t get out of bed. Feeling hopeless, Violet spends the days alone in her room - until she realizes she’s not alone, and just what’s been causing her illness.

Ursu has created one of her best pieces yet as the reader finds themselves in Violet’s attic room, with the yellow wallpaper and the secrets that it holds within its flower blossoms. I love Ursu’s intricate way of leaving subtle clues in every chapter that leads the reader on an adventure of their own as they try to connect all the dots. This will draw in any reader and keep them hooked on every page. This is a book that will tug at your heartstrings, chill you to the bones, and make you question everything all at once. I can promise that any soul willing to pick this up; won’t put it down until the very last line. - Neilsie, grade 6

Backcountry By Jenny Goebel Cover ImageBackcountry, by Jenny Goebel, is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves thrillers. The book involves a character who goes through many changes and obstacles in a short period of time. The story also shows great bonds between friends, family and pets. Since it takes many unexpected turns and has many cliffhangers, it is nearly impossible to stop reading! -Oryan, Age 11

 

Unstoppable Us, Volume 2: Why the World Isn't Fair By Yuval Noah Harari, Ricard Zaplana Ruiz (Illustrator) Cover ImageUnstoppable Us, Volume 2: Why the World Isn't Fair. I really liked reading this book because it explained how humans went from gatherers, trying to have enough to eat, to many people becoming farmers or enslaved people in huge kingdoms like Egypt. It is also very well written. This book was extremely interesting from start to finish. I think Yuval Noah Harari explains brilliantly the hard topic of why the terrible rules and system they had in ancient Egypt actually worked. I highly rate this book, I think it will sell very well. -Luke D. age 9

 

 

NOVEMBER 2023 REVIEWS

Stuntboy, In-Between Time By Jason Reynolds, Raúl the Third (Illustrator) Cover Image

Stuntboy: In Between Time is about a boy and his friends who think they are super heroes.  In their apartment building, they go around having adventures.  They find an unlocked door, and go in and start drawing on the walls of the apartment.  When they do that, a big surprise happens and they go on a super adventure.  This book is good for kids ages 8-10 who like graphic novels and super hero stories.  I liked the book and I would highly recommend it. -Evie F. age 9

 

The Puppets of Spelhorst By Kate DiCamillo, Julie Morstad (Illustrator) Cover ImageT he Puppets of Spelhorst: Five puppets hang in the window of a toy shop, which is all they have ever known, waiting for someone to buy them and tell them the story they are in together. They are powerless to stop themselves from being bought and given away, sold and gifted. Will they ever be able to do the things  they have always wished for?\ Will they ever get to tell a story together, or have they loved and\ lost, the ever-repeating story of the world? Become a part of the story and find out. -Keeva A.

 

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, Book 1 By J. D. Peabody Cover ImageThe Inkwell Chronicles; The Ink of Elspet: Can they save the Ink? The Ink of Elspet is a magical tale about two siblings whose dad goes missing. On their quest to rescue him, they encounter giant pigeons, miraculous Ink, horrible Blotters, and much more! The Ink makes wonderful things... can they make sure the Ink won't be shut down for good? Blotters are trying to close all of the Inkwells... will they stop them? Everett and his younger sister Bea are about to learn that magic is real... and that it can be dangerous! Can they save the world made by the Ink? You'll only know if you read it! -Zayna A. 

OCTOBER 2023 REVIEWS

Spell Bound By F.T. Lukens Cover ImageI really liked Spellbound because it can connect with a wide range of readers. Whether you like romance, fantasy, or adventure. This short read by F.T. Luken will captivate your heart. Furthermore, there is a lot of LGBTQ+ representation, seeing as Sun, one of the main characters, identifies as non-binary, and will resonate with many readers. Every reader will surely fall in love with Luken's charming characters and dramatic plot. Overall the magical characters (each unique yet they still connect) and the author's brilliant writing makes the story come alive. - Siran A. age 12

The Encanto's Daughter By Melissa de la Cruz Cover Image

“The Encanto’s Daughter” by Melissa de la Cruz is an excellent story. When MJ is whisked away from the human world in to the Encanto world she learns she is supposed to become princess as her dead fathers heir. Except the road to royalty isn’t easy. While navigating rival courts trying to claim the rule and the mysterious death that struck her father, MJ must prove that she can claim the crown. And, meanwhile, not die. A exciting middle grade read, great for fans of Princess Academy or the Selection. ~Teagan S.  age 11

 

First Day, Worst Day (The Very Worst Ever #1) By Andy Nonamus, Amy Jindra (Illustrator) Cover ImageI think that First Day, Worst Day is a good book because it is a very funny book. Things go very unexpectedly and the main character  has to do funny things and crazy things to find his classroom. Readers of Dogman and Investigators would enjoy this book. -Theo age 8

 

Like a Charm By Elle McNicoll Cover Image

Like a Charm by Elle McNicoll. I picked this book because of the cover that looked interesting and beautiful. I thought it would be a book about adventure but it was wizardry and magic. I was disappointed and did not enjoy the book that much. I finished it though to see if the end would be better. I would not like to recommend this book to a friend unless they are into magical stories with monsters. My favorite character is Opal because she is funny and adventurous. I like that she follows her instincts and that is brave. I love Harry Potter but it was not that kind of magical setting. -Nina K. age 11

SEPTEMBER 2023 REVIEWS

Scariest. Book. Ever. (Goosebumps House of Shivers #1) By R. L. Stine Cover ImageHouse of Shivers Scariest. Book. Ever. is a fantastic, thrilling story filled with excitement, surprises, imposters, amazing, terrifying fantasy creatures, and most importantly, THE SCARIEST BOOK EVER. So scary that if it's ever opened, everyone's lives would be ruined. So scary every evil book collector is after it and would do anything to have it in their possession. Will Billy and Betty make it out of their Uncle Wendalls house-right where the book is hidden? Or will they be crushed of monsters and imposters and the scariest book ever? - Alicia Z. age-9

The Beast, the Queen, and the Lost Knight By Alexandria Rogers Cover Image

The Queen, the Beast, and the Lost Knight, by Alexandria Rogers is a fantastic book! When Cameron and Ellie return to school as knight in training, they must complete three quests before the end of the year. Or else they'll fail and be stuck to relive the year again, forever. But when Ellie's magic is revealed and her magic gets clamped, she must make a deal with an evil wizard. Ironically Cameron's quest is to protect the very thing she is instructed to steal. But when the time comes, the duo must choose between their quests and each other. A beautifully written book, perfect for fans of School of Good and Evil, I would reccomend it to anyone. -Teagan, age 11

Free Throws, Friendship, and Other Things We Fouled Up By Jenn Bishop Cover ImageFree Throws, Friendship, and Other Things We Fouled Up by Jenn Bishop, This book is about friendship and mystery. When Rory, one of the main characters, moves into town, she quickly makes friends with Abby, another girl in her school. Their dads have had some rough times in the past, so Rory and Abby are trying to figure out what happened between them and fix it. In the process they play basketball, meet people, and learn more about each other, themselves, and their family. A fun read and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves basketball and mysteries. -Oryan age 11

The Secret of the Dragon Gems By Rajani LaRocca, Chris Baron Cover Image

The Secret of the Dragon Gems. By Rajani LaRocca and Chris Baron, I loved this book the whole time I was reading it. I would recommend this for anyone who likes fantasy and magic. This book has some mystery in it and the magic and fantasy are beautifully blended in with the mystery. The book is about two friends that find a mysterious object and as they learn more, they go to solve a mystery. But they have competition. And now the great race is on the go! As the book goes on and on it gets more exciting and then it all comes to a halt for a very satisfying ending. - Douglas T, age 11

 

AUGUST 2023 REVIEWS

The Cursed Moon By Angela Cervantes Cover ImageThe Cursed Moon is a thrilling, spooky, and exciting story. It kept me hooked for days on end, and is quite the roller coaster. It lets you feel all sorts of emotions throughout  the story, like scared, sad, angry, happy, surprised, relieved, ect. The way the story is written sweeps you in like you're part of the adventure! You feel what the characters feel and you see as they learn and grow. In my opinion, it's in the slightly scarier side of stories, but overall an amazing book. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a fun and adventurous story! -Alicia Z age 9

Bite Risk By S.J. Wills Cover Image“Its hard to spot the monster…” Bite risk by S.J. Wills is a suspenseful book with many plot twists. It is impossible to stop reading because you always want to know what happens next. It is fun to read about a different world with werewolves, also know as Rippers, being the biggest threat. In the process of solving a mystery Sel makes friends and finds truths about others. He is very clever and always is looking for a way to help the world, only to realize how different his world is from anyone else’s. Definitely a must read! -Oryan, age 11

Shiver-by-the-Sea 2: The Were-woof (Shiver by the Sea #2) By Erin Dionne, Jenn Harney (Illustrator) Cover Image

Shiver-by-the-Sea 2: The Were-Wolf by Erin Dionne is a good story about a girl and her friend who find a puppy at an adoption center and she fosters the puppy.  But then the puppy gets rowdy at night.  The girl needs to figure out how to get enough sleep with the puppy being active.  This book is both funny and a mystery.  I would recommend this book for kids ages 7-9 who enjoy reading comedies and mysteries.   

 

Dear Rebel: 145 Women Share Their Best Advice for the Girls of Today By Rebel Girls Cover Image

Fantastic, amazing, and bold, "Dear Rebel," by Rebel girls is a deeply empowering book. 125+ letters from incredible women sharing how to take on the world and be brave. More than that, it's filled with stories of women overcoming problems and empowering others. The perfect pick me up, this book is incredible! Fans of the confidence code or the goodnight stories for rebel girls will love this book, because it is just truly spectacular. -Teagan

 

The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours By Mary Winn Heider, Chad Sell Cover Image"The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours” by Mary Winn Header and Chad Sell is a very good book. I really like the plot of it. I’m really excited for the next one to come out. I also think its funny when he gets spiky bones. -Theo, age 8

 

 

Death & Sparkles and the Sacred Golden Cupcake: Book 2 By Rob Justus Cover Image“DEATH & Sparkles AND THE SACRED GOLDEN CUPCAKE” by Rob Justus is a very good book. It is about a unicorn and a skeleton who are trying to find a hip dance club so that the unicorn can become a real unicorn. I liked that the book is really funny. I think other kids would like this book because it has a good storyline, the whole thing is funny, and the pictures are really good. -Theo, age 8

 

Oliver's Great Big Universe By Jorge Cham Cover Image

Oliver's Great Big Universe is an awesome book. Oliver is very interested in space. On Career Day, Dr. Howard (a scientist) comes to Oliver's school, and they become friends.  Dr. Howard tells Oliver about the universe.  Oliver also makes friends with a girl named Eve and they make comics about the universe together.  There is an unexpected twist in the story.  I enjoyed reading this book because it was funny and I enjoyed the comics about the planets.  I recommend this book for kids 7-12 years old who like comedy and learning about the universe. -Evelyn Fuller age 9

Infested: An MTV Fear Novel By Angel Luis Colón Cover ImageInfested by Angel Luis Colón was a great book. I would definitely recommend to a friend. And there is so much more to it than the cover and back blurb portray. It is for a more mature audience, but if you like fiction-horror-thriller this book is totally for you. The books is about Manuel (Manny) who moved from Texas to the Bronx. Manny is left feeling angry at his parents for this sudden move. He has many problems with it and as do others. Little does Manny know this is just the beginning of some crazy, scary, and life changing events. 

Worst Broommate Ever! (Middle School and Other Disasters #1) By Wanda Coven, Anna Abramskaya (Illustrator) Cover ImageHi I'm Cameron! The book I read was Middle School and Other Disasters (#1). It was SO good. I love the story it is very interesting. Five out of five stars. Personally my favorite part was when she did surgery on a banana. There is a lot of funny nonsense going on at Broomsfeild academy. I love that Heidi's special gift is what it is. All the secret codes to bullies. Is what I love about this book. Heidi always has a trick to pull! I think that everyone will love this book. You can't find a way to slow Heidi down! That's why this is my favorite book! -Cameron

The First Magnificent Summer By R.L. Toalson Cover ImageThe start of The First Magnificent Summer is so sad! Imagine driving in a car from Texas to Ohio with a dad you haven't seen in years and his new family, who in your journal you call "The Replacements". Imagine leaving the family you have lived with for two years with expectations, only to have them replaced with a whole different character. Picture your dad slowly crushing your dreams of being a writer with one insulting joke at a time. All of this combined equals this book, which has a sad story wrapped around lots of suspense all in a diary-type book. I liked the format with poems and quotes and dates at the start of all the chapters because it looks so much like a journal entry. If you like personal storiess, written in a diary format, The First Magnificent Summer is for you! -Anne K. age 10

House of Roots and Ruin (SISTERS OF THE SALT) By Erin A. Craig Cover ImageA cursed sister. A mysterious house. A thrilling secret. House of Roots and Ruin had me on the edge of my seat every chapter. A spinoff sequel to House of Salt and Sorrows, this book follows Verity, a girl with a secret. She can see ghosts. After receiving a commission to paint for a duke and duchess, Verity goes to their house, determined to keep her powers a secret. But something suspicious is happening there, and Vertiy must uncover the secret before it changes her life for the worse. House of Roots and Ruin captivated me from the first word and held on for the rest of the book. It was wholly unpredictable and the plot twists left me in shock. I would recommend this to fans of horror, magic, and romance. -Meera P.

Ways to Build Dreams (A Ryan Hart Story) By Renée Watson, Nina Mata (Illustrator) Cover ImageWays to Build Dreams by Renee Watson is an amazing, interesting book that I would definitely read again. This book teaches an important lesson about dreams and what it really means to grow up. Ryan the main character is in fifth grade and is very interested in learning about black history. But when her teacher and dad ask her the same thing, “Who do you want to be?” Ryan gets off focus and thinks that maybe she doesn’t know what's going to come next. In the beginning she just wants to be a chef, but now she doesn’t think that's enough. I liked this book because it teaches you a lot about what dreams really mean, and that it is not just a job you’d like to do but what you would like to do, as a person. Sometimes even little things can save the world or the people around you, and that means that you succeed. -Abigail A. age 10

The Bravest Warrior in Nefaria By Adi Alsaid Cover ImageI think that The Bravest Warrior in Nefaria is a great book. It is an awesome story that shows even the loneliest and least noticed person can be brave enough to risk the wrath of a very powerful wizard in order to save a bunch of people, most of them quite literally not even knowing he exists, which would obviously take a lot of courage. This story is about a boy named Bobert, who is completely invisible to everyone but his family. One day he finally gets noticed and makes a friendship with three popular kids at school, Candelabra  (who has a secret) Stanbert, and Jennizabeth, who later help him defeat a guy named Matt, a wizard who kidnaps 200 children through a gumball machine, (Bobert being the last one) and makes them his army and trains them alongside Imogene Petunias, the most celebrated warrior in all of Nefaria. Matt created this child army so that he could use them to make himself king, because why would anyone attack a child? Imogene eventually goes against (king) Matt and saves the day again, fueled by the fact Matt had lied to her about giving her what she wanted most in the world, which was the only reason she agreed to help train his army. She uses this anger to overthrow Matt, get all the children back home, and save the day. It is an amazing, exciting and intriguing book that you'll want to read until the very, all in one go, because you'll always want to know what happens next. Read to find out what exactly Imogene wanted so bad she agreed to help an evil wizard, what exactly is Candelabra's secret is and how thrilling this tale really is. - Alicia Z. age 9
 

JULY 2023 REVIEWS

I think Dogtown is a very good book because it has so many feelings. It is also good for read aloud because each chapter is nice and short. — Theo, age 8

 

Fans of The Marvellers and A Taste of Magic will love this book! Greenwild by Pari Thompson is about a girl who has magic to work with plants. When her mother leaves to "Chase a story" in the dangerous amazon, Daisy embarks on a trip to the magical world to figure out where her mother went. With help from the Five O'Clock  Club, consisting of The Prof, Indigo, and Acorn, the four friends must find the missing Botanists and still pass in school. Packed with adventure, everyone will love this story. A great read! — Teagan, age 11

 

 

 

The book Sky Ropes, by Sondra Soderborg is a very exciting book. I liked it because it was suspenseful and relatable. The chapter book is about a girl named Breanna, who is going into 6th grade at a school who highly encourages all future students to attend a team building summer camp. Breanna doesn’t want to go and is determined to hide all the pamphlets and emails of the camp from her mom. She knows that if her mom finds out about the camp, Breanna will go for sure, so when her mom does find out, she surrenders and goes to camp. Her friends were going, and it was only for a week, but the reason Breanna was so scared of camp was a rope course high up in the trees, called the Sky Ropes. Breanna is terrified of heights because of her young memories of her father’s abuse. Throughout the course of the book, Breanna meets new people, plays her favorite sport, softball, and plans the biggest camp prank of all. But when the Sky Ropes come at the end of the week, she experiences emotions and memories. The course is optional, but Breanna feels obliged to do them to protect her reputation of the “Fearless Breanna”. I loved this book and think that Sondra Soderborg did a wonderful job of capturing the main characters thoughts. I would give it a great review. — Cailin, age 11

 

I loved Graveyard Girls #2: Scream for the Camera. It is an exciting story that I think readers who like spooks and surprises would enjoy very much. My favorite character is Zuzu, whom the long dead Ginny Baker possess in order to try to come back to the world. She died in the early 1900s, killed by her school janitor, Silas Hoke, whose disgusting rotting corpse was mysteriously robbed by a mortician. But there was a reason the corpse was stolen. I really recommend this book-it even has it's own creepy story stuck in there! Read to find out why Silas hoke's grave was robbed and how the girls were able to get Zuzu un-possessed before it was too late!  — Alicia Z, age 9

 

 

 

JUNE 2023 REVIEWS

Beneath theses stars and on this sea, an ancient spell once carried me, borne by wood and left on stone, I bid your ship come take me home….  Twelve-year-old Yara Sulimayah’s mother has just passed away.  She leaves behind a mysterious letter with a set of instructions.  It leads Yara to the mystical land of Zehaira, once full of great and beautiful magic.  Now, the practice of magic has been deemed illegal.  And, to enforce this rule, the alchemists of the Sultan have created a poison that seeps into the earth — if anyone attempts to draw magic from the earth, they will be poisoned. This book, Kingdom over the Sea, follows Yara as she journeys across this mystical land to find a cure for, and put a stop to, the evil toxin and bring joy and magic back to Zehaira. I found this book engaging; I read it all in one sitting.  I recommend this book to kids who like fantasy, magic and quests, and especially to fans of the Aruh Shah series. I really liked this book. Henry M, age 11

 

Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko is everything I look for in an entertaining book - characters you want to root for, a riveting plot, and a story that is flushed out, but not so long as to feel stale. The story follows Coley, who just moved to a new town after the heartbreaking death of her mother. Coley struggles to navigate the relationship between her and the girl she’s in love with, while also trying to adapt to her new surroundings and living with her dad for the first time in years. — Anonymous, age 13

 

 

 

Secret of the Moon Conch: 9781547609895: Bowles, David, McCall, Guadalupe  García: Books - Amazon.com

The Secret of the Moon Conch, by David Bowles and Guadalupe Garcia McCall, was an overall good read, and a good step to Indigenous representation. The world building was amazing, and the concept was super good however the character development was more on the minor side and it felt as if the ending was both rushed and muddled together. Overall I would recommend, however I encourage the reader to keep this in mind. -Malia Thompson-Leong, age 14

I didn't think I was going to like Middle School & Other Disasters: Worst Love Spell Ever! because usually I don't like books about middle school crushes, but this book surprised me.  I liked this book because it has ongoing action that kept me excited.  This book is about a girl going to a school for witches and wizards.  She really wants a guy to like her, so she tries to put a love spell on him.  The girl's  attempts to create the love potion don't work, but create a fun adventure.  I would recommend this book to kids ages 8-11 who like witches and wizards, middle school crushes, and stories about female friendship.  — Evelyn, age 9

Super Boba Cafe is an AWESOME book.  I really, really liked it.  The story is about a girl and her grandmother.  Her grandmother has a secret thing that she does every day at 6pm.  One day she forgets to do it, and something big happens.  This book is a fun and silly adventure that is sometimes tense.  I would recommend this book to kids who like graphic novels, ages 7-10. — Evelyn, age 9

 

 

 

MAY 2023 REVIEWS

Ready, Set, Dough! by Kelly J. Baptist: 9780593429174 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Zoe Sparks has a problem. She works for the middle-school newspaper but can’t write her articles efficiently because her home computer is a piece of junk that breaks frequently. She wants to buy a WordPro, a tablet made specifically for writing, but her parents think that it costs too much.  So, Zoe takes matters into her own hands. Her school fundraiser is taking place, and the top prize is exactly what she wanted: a bright orange WordPro! Teaming up with her best friend Felix, she is determined to sell more cookie dough than any of her schoolmates. So is so focused that she ends up forgetting about Felix’s swim meet and annoying her family with all her talk of selling cookie dough. Should she put everything on the line to pursue her dream? This book, Ready, Set, Dough!, is about a girl who wants something and instead of just whining about it, puts her mind to it and tries. I loved how the character persevered and worked to achieve her goal. I recommend this book to kids who like stories about perseverance in middle school, like Boba Time for Pearl Li. Highly recommend this. -Henry M, age 11

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain - Toni Buzzeo, Children's Author

In the mid-1930’s, 11-year-old Cora Mae Tipton was living on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky.  Little does she know, big change is coming.  The government is intending to provide electricity to rural towns across the US, through the Rural Electrification Act.  Cora is excited, but is surprised to learn that not everyone supports the bill, including her own mother!   With her close friend, she starts a campaign to bring electricity to her school.  This involves starting a school newspaper to spread the word and selling pies to raise money.  But things don’t go quite as planned.  This book, Light Comes to Shadow Mountain, can be considered historical fiction. The story of the electrification of the US is interwoven with the story of Cora’s deep yearning for her mother’s love and acceptance.  This book made me realize that there was resistance to electricity during this time (many people felt the same way as Cora’s mother), and it made me think — perhaps for the first time — what life would be like without lights, refrigerators or computers.  I recommend this book to kids who like historical fiction, especially US history. I learned a lot.  -Henry M, age 11

The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours: 9780593427309:  Heider, Mary Winn, Sell, Chad: Books - Amazon.comThe Stupendous Switcheroo by Mary Winn Heider. I really love The Stupendous Switcheroo because there are a lot of surprises! And if you like action then you’ll like this book! There are some funny characters in this book! All of Switcheroo's powers are like a piece of the mystery that he tries to solve throughout the book. Switcheroo gets new powers every 24 hours. Another thing I really like is that there practically is a mini preview on the front cover just from the pictures! It is very interesting that his mom is a scientist. Out of all the jobs the author could have chosen I think that a scientist was the right one. Sometimes he has to figure out his new powers. I really like this book and I think that you might like it too. - Lino T, age 7

Amazon.com: More Tall Tales: A Graphic Novel (BONE Companion):  9781338726398: Smith, Jeff, Sniegoski, Tom: LibrosBone: More Tall Tales, by Jeff Smith,This is a great book for all that like the Bone series. It has lots of action and many familiar characters. Fone Bone shows up again and so does Smiley Bone! There are familiar feelings and places like the canyon that the three Bones originally split up and the feeling of being lost and not knowing what direction to travel in. There's a lot of comedy and fun involved. There are many fun stories inside of one overall story. I would recommend reading the nine books in the Bone series before you read this book so you know the characters! - Douglas T, age 10

The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall Book 1

The improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall by Ali Standish Is easily the best book I have ever read. This book is about a time-turning clock that takes living things and makes them young again. From tiny cute dinosaurs to crazy teachers The improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall is a jam-packed book filled with adventure and mystery: you finish a chapter and you are hooked for the rest of the story. - Karolina Lipinska-Kowalik

 

Time After Time (Best Wishes #3): Mlynowski, Sarah, Soontornvat, Christina:  9781338628319: Amazon.com: Books

Best Wishes: Time After Time (Book 3) By Sarah Mylnowski & Christina Soontornvat. Be prepared to get stuck in a loop, reading this book over and over again! I recommend Time After Time to readers who like fantasy and magic. Time After Time is written by reading through a notebook that the main character – Lucy Usathorn – writes in. In the story, Lucy wakes up to field trip day, expecting it to be a perfect day. Instead, field trip day turns out to be a very bad day for Lucy. Towards the middle of the book, Lucy gets a magical bracelet. She makes a wish and ends up getting stuck in a never-ending loop, where she stays in the same Friday over and over again. In the end, everything ends okay. I have never read the first two Best Wishes books, but the third one – Time After Time – is so good, I’m going to read #1 & 2 of the series, the first chance I get -Sadie ( age 9 and a ½)

The Golden Frog Games (Witchlings 2) (The Witchlings, 2): Ortega, Claribel  A.: 9781338745795: Amazon.com: BooksWitchlings: The Golden Frog Games, by Claribel A. Ortega, is an amazing book. When the golden frog games start and witches begin being turned to stone, no one knows what to do. So between uncle practice, costura trials, and Valley’s new friend, the three witchlings must save their town and fix all of their stone competitors. This second book is amazing. It’s full of magic, but yet is full of real worries and the pressure of being different. Readers of Amari and the night brothers will love this book, but really, everyone will. - Teagan, 11

 

Not Really Buddies by Jan Carr: 9781682635346 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

Buddy and Bea: Tiny Tornados is about when Buddy and Bea's class wanted a special name for their class.  The book is very funny because Bea is very wacky.  Bea does things that no other student in the class would do.  For example, she steals from another class!  I would recommend this book for kids 7-10 years old who like who like funny books. - Evelyn F. age 9

 

Not Really Buddies by Jan Carr: 9781682635346 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  BooksBuddy and Bea: Not Really Buddies is about a new girl in Buddy's class.  Last year there was someone new in his class that was a no-show, and he and his friends played a joke that they were saving the chair for the no-show.  When Bea joined the class, Buddy thought she would be a no show.  Buddy got mad when Bea showed up.  They got to know each other and became friends...sort of.  This is a very funny book, but in a way that makes you say "oh no!"  I really liked this book because they have adventures that are very unusual, for example, Buddy gets himself stuck in a very weird situation.  Overall, I would recommend this book to kids 7-10 years old who like unusual comedy. - Evelyn F. age 9

 

 

APRIL 2023 REVIEWS

The Problem with Gravity a book by Michelle Mohrweis

Two girls, Maggie Weir and Tatum Jones, were assigned to work together on a community service project focused on aerospace engineering: their goal is to make something useful for astronauts in the international space station (ISS).  If they win, an astronaut will come visit their school!  Tatum is a baton-twirler, very focused and very popular. Maggie, however, is a bit nerdy, messy and disorganized, and likes to talk about space with her only friend Shawn.  Maggie has had a crush on Tatum since the beginning of the school year, after Tatum helped her when she tripped.  So, when Maggie is partnered up with Tatum, she is both nervous and excited. This book, The Problem with Gravity, is about two very different girls and their life in middle school with LGBTQ+ themes.  The two BIG questions are: will the girls win the contest? and will Maggie share her feelings with Tatum?  In this way, the book was suspenseful, and you don’t find out the answers until the very last chapter, which was arguably the best part of the entire book!   I recommend this book to everyone, especially those who like to read middle school romance and, of course, those who like space and engineering. Awesome book.  -Henry M, age 11

The Sinister Secrets of Singe: 9781645951834: Ferrell, Sean, Carter,  Graham: Books - Amazon.com

An eleven-year-old boy, Noah, lives in an ever-expanding house (that is, every day a new room is added), but he is not allowed to enter these new rooms while they are under construction. He only has the company of his annoyingly strict mother and a robot companion named Elijah.  However, one day, he has had enough and enters a growing room.  There he encounters a giant robotic spider — The Spideratus — that is building the new room. The Spideratus grabs him!  During the attack, Noah remembers the blueprints for The Spideratus that he saw earlier among his father’s belongings.  He quickly pushes down simultaneously on  two eyes (that didn’t appear to have any practical function) and deactivates the mechanical spider.  This sets off a series of events   HIs mother decides to bring him to the big city, where his uncle, the town mayor, locks him up because Noah is deemed dangerous (i.e. too good with machines), just like his father.  This book, The Sinister Secrets of Singe, follows Noah and Elijah and their journey to the Island of Singe to confront Noah’s father and his army of robots.  While this book was very well written and had a unique plot, there were no major twists or surprising turns to pique the reader’s interest.  Overall, the book lacked intrigue and was a bit bland.  Nonetheless, I recommend this book to kids who want to read a story that is completely different, and especially those who like robots. Four out of five stars.  -Henry M, age 11

Amazon.com: Ellie Engle Saves Herself: 9781368085557: Johnson, Leah: Books

Following a dramatic earthquake, middle-schooler Ellie Engle develops superpowers: necromancy (in this case, the ability to bring dead things back to life) and enhanced hearing (the ability to hear things from far away).  In her first act of magic, Ellie resurrects her dead fish named "Burt the Betta Fish". But her super powers don’t stay secret for long.  In science class, students injected frogs with formaldehyde before dissecting them.  Ellie accidentally brings her frog back to life, after becoming frustrated at an annoying classmate. A recording of the incident went viral on YouTube, and suddenly the whole world knows! This book, Ellie Engle Saves Herself, chronicles Ellie’s new life out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Although her powers have many benefits, they also come with a cost (but you have to read the book to find out about that). This book focuses on friendship, and how maintaining friendships can be tough, especially at her age.  You will like this book if you like quirky characters and middle-school drama, with a little bit of a twist!  Highly recommended.  -Henry M, age 11

Sweet & Bitter Rivals | Book by Jessica Burkhart | Official Publisher Page  | Simon & Schuster

In the book Saddlehill Academy Sweet and Bitter Rivals by Jessica Burkhart, the main character Abby St. Clair goes through many challenges with her new stepsister Emery Flynn. She is jealous because her dad and stepmother, Natalie, are paying more attention to Emery than her. The sad part is her mom left when she was seven and now she’s stuck with Natalie who tries to be a mom but it just doesn’t feel right to call her mom. They go through equestrian competitions, with their horses Beau and Bliss, in their free time. Rebecca, the horse teacher, makes both of them believe in their equestrian dreams. Abby is a school tour guide for Emery which causes even more problems with their awkward conversations. Problems start with a mystery email, leaving suspense until the last chapter. With the help of her friends Abby is able to solve the mystery and find the culprit. Abby is determined to leave her mark at her boarding school, Saddlehill academy. I liked this book because there was a lot of suspense and mystery, and the ending was a total surprise. - Abigail A

 

MARCH 2023 REVIEWS 

Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi | GoodreadsNigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi is an electric, captivating read! It follows the protagonist by the same name who is in a dilemma between carving her path or following in her father's footsteps. Her father, the leader of a Black utopian movement that aims to rid the US of systemic racism, is firm in his beliefs, bordering on controlling. This book was a heart-wrenchingly beautiful read. Ibi Zoboi deals with challenging topics in a manageable and personal way. Nigeria Jones was beautifully remixed, with details from the past and present that made it appeal to younger readers while shining a light on the parts of history not taught in classes and the systemic racism that has shaped this country. - Meera P 

102 Days of Lying About Lauren: Jortner, Maura: 9780823453627: Amazon.com:  Books

Mouse, a 12-year-old girl, lives by herself on the abandoned top floor of the Haunted House ride at an amusement park.  Yes, you read that right!  She spends her days roaming the park and evading security. Each morning she has a bagel, which appears daily on the table at the bagel stand with a note “To the Ghost of the Haunted House of Horrors”.  A few years earlier, she pretended to be a ghost in the window, where she was spotted by several tourists, which ignited rumors that the house was truly haunted. But, no one knew it was her.  One day walking around the amusement park, she meets Cat.  Cat asks her if she knows a girl named Lauren.  Mouse hadn’t heard the name “Lauren” since she was dropped off at the amusement park over 100 days earlier.  This book, 102 Days Lying About Lauren, tells the story of Mouse’s (aka Lauren’s) secret life and her adventures in the amusement park.  This book is truly unique: it is sad and heartwarming at the same time.  I liked the fun setting and imagining how she survived all on her own. If you want to read something really different, this is the book for you! -Henry M, age 11

Camp QUILTBAG by Nicole Melleby | Goodreads

Camp Quiltbag by Nicole Melleby and A. J. Sass is about two kids Kai and Abigail that spend the summer at a inclusive camp for queer and trans kids. They can’t wait to find a community where they feel like they belong. They compete in camp games, share secrets and go on a ton of adventures. I liked that this story is told alternating between characters, because it’s interesting to get two perspectives. After reading this book I feel like I have better knowledge about how someone who identifies as transgender might feel. - Abigail, age 10

 

If I See You Again Tomorrow | Book by Robbie Couch | Official Publisher  Page | Simon & SchusterIf I See You Again Tomorrow, by Robbie Couch, is a perfect fast pace queer time-loop book to curl up and read. The characters really grow on you, and while it seems predictable, the book is filled with twists and turns. While a lighthearted book, it also packs an emotional punch, leaving you wanting to read more. I loved this book, and I could not put it down! I definitely recommend it. -Malia T-L age 14

 

A Spoonful of Time: A Novel: Ahn, Flora: 9781683693185: Amazon.com: Books

Maya, a girl of Korean descent, is growing up in America with her mom, who is aloof, and her grandmother, who is growing forgetful.  One day her grandmother (who she calls Halmunee, the Korean word for grandmother) cooks her a traditional Korean dish that is called Patbingsu (it’s like a snow cone).  After devouring the delicious treat, something unexpected happens: Maya suddenly is transported back in time to a scene from her grandmother’s past. Maya quickly learns about this special form of magic and endeavors to time travel again by cooking Korean meals by herself. After several more trips to her grandmother’s past, she finds and befriends a boy from the 1990’s who can also time travel. Soon after unveiling some shocking truths about her new friend, she attempts to travel into his past, before the accident…..  This book, A Spoonful of Time, is full of twists and turns, including two major plot twists that were completely unexpected.  A unique aspect of this book is that it includes recipes of the dishes the characters prepare and cook. By reading this book, I learned about Korean culture and food.  I recommend this to kids who like books about magic, food, family or all of the above. If you liked the Love, Sugar, Magic series, you must read this!  -Henry M, age 11

The Golden Frog Games (Witchlings, #2) by Claribel A. Ortega | Goodreads

In this thrilling sequel to Witchlings, Seven Salazar and her two best friends, Valley Pepperhorn and Thorn Leroux, are faced with the most dangerous enemy they have ever encountered.  A mysterious witch is using archaic magic to calcify people (i.e., turn them to stone), who are competing in the Golden Frog Games, an annual competition between all of The Twelve Towns. The winner is given the chance to touch the Golden Frog, which gives them a vision of the future that can assist them or warn them of grave danger.  The competition begins with Thorn, the first Spare to ever compete in the Golden Frog Games.  (A Spare is a witchling, who instead of being sorted into one of the five covens, loses their magic unless they decide to take on a dangerous quest. See book 1). Thorn is immediately targeted by the mysterious witch, who throws a stone hex, but misses her and instead hits her teammate. Thorn perseveres in the competition and wins!  After touching the Golden Frog, she has a vision that will resurrect the calcified witches (stay tuned for book 3). This book, The Golden Frog Games, is full of mystery, magic and intense competition.  A major theme is forgiveness.  I recommend reading the first book, and if you like that one, you will definitely like this one! Hope the third book is just as good!  -Henry M, age 10

Love Letters for Joy by Melissa See | GoodreadsLove Letters for Joy, by Melissa See, is a truly wonderful book. The author's deliberate choice of words convey the characters' feelings to a point where you feel them yourself. Not only is the book cute, it also does a wonderful job writing about difficult topics such as homophobia, acephobia, dysfunctional families, and more. It is also a very diverse book, with characters who are panromantic, disabled, and asexual. You truly become invested in the story and the characters, to the point where you can't put the book down! -Malia T-L age 14 

Suitehearts #1: Harmony and Heartbreak: 9780063069398: Kann, Claire: Books  - Amazon.comOK so suite hearts mostly talks about two girls named Rose and Cora and they are special. Because there are these things called a matchmaker, families and kids. They find a perfect pair to people. Rose and Cora are like in their teens. At some specific time they receive something called a red letter, which tells them who they’re going to have to match.  In the story it talks about  how they match them and  they use magic and charms. At one point Rose runs out of magic. And then they have  a lot of drama in  their matchmaking.  they are cousins and they learn how to create love connections out of San Francisco hotel Coeur where they live. they are called Fledglings Rose and Cora most perfect there charms and enchantments to pass a test that will determine their future but neither of them expects all the drama that lies ahead. Rose has this person named Samantha and Cora has her own like crush or date and it’s really hard for Cora to give it away to someone. at the end she ends up giving it to someone named Ariel and it’s just really hard kind of  and then at the end the way that Rose describes her kindling is oh I wouldn’t call a magic resistant solo kindling with a two week time limit hard. she’s talking to Julian oh, and have I mentioned that she hates Julian.  then what happens is that like I think they have the same kindling or something I don’t understand that part but they are talking About how hard it is or something. and they think that nothing can go wrong. I don’t know if there’s gonna be a next story or not but if there is a next story then hotel Coeur is going to be turned into one of the training places where  they like become an official matchmaker (Rose and Cora already did that though). - Gwenn Z.

Spellbinders: The Not-So-Chosen One by Andrew Auseon: 9780593482711 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksSpellbinders: The Not So Chosen One by Andrew Auseon. Ben absolutely does not feel “chosen”: his parents are divorced (and he barely sees his mom), he doesn’t have any friends in his new town, and his old friends didn’t even show up to an event — the annual fantasy convention — they have been going to together for many years.  Abandoned at the convention, he runs into a girl, Niara, who tells him that he is “The Chosen One”, chosen to save the world Lux by acquiring a legendary weapon that belongs to the mighty prophet.  Thinking this is merely a game, he goes along.  Little does he know, this is anything but a game!  Once he travels (via an inter-dimensional nexus) to the world of Lux, he realizes that this fantasy world is real, and there is no going back now.  In Lux, he discovers strange things:  the statue of the mighty Prophet is wearing flip-flops, the flag depicts an emoji, and the notebook he has been using to write down his adventure novel can make things come true.  This book, Spellbinders: The Not So Chosen One, tells the story of Ben on his many fantastical adventures in the wonderfully odd world of Lux.  I like this book because it is whimsical, silly and perfectly suited for the (incredible) sense of humor of 10-year-olds.  Wink, wink.  While this book is truly one of a kind, kids who like quirky books about fantasy, role-playing, and magic will like this one. Can’t wait for the next book! -Henry M, age 10

The Immeasurable Depth of You by Maria Ingrande Mora: 9781682635421 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksThe Immeasurable Depth of You, by Maria Ingrande Mora, is an emotional YA novel featuring Brynn, who is sent to live with her dad on his houseboat for the summer, intentionally distanced from her life back home. As she adjusts to her dad’s minimalist lifestyle, she struggles with her anxiety, which is complicated when she meets Skylar, a mysterious girl that suddenly gives Brynn a purpose. Overall, this book turned out to be different than I expected, but the theme of learning to face fears and a few plot twists along the way kept it interesting. It was both a powerful and enjoyable book! - Emily, age 13

FEBUARY 2023 REVIEWS 

I liked Off the Bench. One reason I liked it is because it’s about basketball and I don’t know a lot about basketball. Another reason I liked it is because at the beginning he wanted to be in the starting 5 on his basketball team and at the end of the book he was still in number 6 slot, but he realized that he was still a good player and important to the team. I would recommend this book to a friend because it’s about sports and it was fun to read. I think this book is similar to Shoot Out because in that book the main character is trying to help a side character feel like he helps the team. - Carter

Delphina, nicknamed Del, lives with her grandmother. Only occasionally, her father, who is on active military duty, is at home too. Her mother passed away when she was young. Del’s life is often uprooted because her family moves from city to city (to follow her Dad), which means Del is constantly switching schools, having to make new friends, and learning to survive in new places.  Her one constant is her grandmother. That is until…. her grandmother gets sick while her Dad is deployed, and she is forced to live with her great grandmother, Nana Rose, who she never knew. Nana Rose runs a local school for magic on an island off South Carolina. Del learns her grandmother once attended the school, where she was a star student. As the story progresses, Del finds out more and more about the once hidden reasons why her grandmother had mysteriously left the school many years ago. This book, Conjure Island, reveals the story, bit by bit, of a family mystery.  This book is suspenseful, wonderfully strange and full of magic (in addition to one little shadowy ghost, a talking alligator, and a crab lady). I recommend this book to kids who liked Love, Sugar, Magic or books with magic.  -Henry M, age 10

One day at school, Celia Cleary has a vision — a vision of herself opening her notebook with the name “Patrick” written repeatedly across every page. When she awakens from this vision, she finds herself holding her notebook and the name “Patrick” is written all over it, just like in her vision.  With a little bit of help from her family guidebook (and her cousin Mary), she discovers it was an omen for a Doomsday, specifically for her 8th grade class, and time is running out fast. She realizes that there are three Patricks in her grade: Patrick Adams, Patrick Bell and Patrick Conners. One of them has been having increasingly good luck, like making two half-court shots in basketball and winning the prize in a large lottery. Could this be him? This book, The Drama with Doomsdays, is about Celia’s race to stop the prophecy and save her 8th grade class from imminent doom. This book was so good, I stayed up past bedtime to finish it. I needed to know what happened in the end! Because this is the second book in this series (it is the sequel to The Problem with Prophecies, in which Celia first develops her prophetic powers), I recommend you read the first book first. This book is perfect for kids who like middle school drama, mystery, and magic.  -Henry M, age 10

Geetanjali’s family sings, which wouldn't be that much of a problem if she didn’t have stage fright. But, when she picks up her aaji at the airport, her aaji isn’t alone. Heena auntie is acting strange, and Lata auntie, someone Geetanjali has never met, came home with her. This mystifying mystery enchanted me, and the story is amazing! I like how at first it seems like the story isn’t fantasy, but by the end, you're spellbound.  You really should read The Cobra’s Song, and you should really read it soon! - Anne K, age 10

 

On one ordinary day, Ryanna’s father receives a letter, but little does he know…the letter is anything but ordinary. The letter is from Ryanna’s grandparents, who she has not spoken to for seven years, since her mother passed away when she was 3 years old. The letter is an invitation, inviting Ryanna to spend the summer at her grandparent’s old defunct summer camp, Camp Van Camp. Ryanna accepts, thinking her summer will be quiet and calm, but in reality it is anything but. Over the summer, she meets crazy relatives, and learns all about her mother and how much they are alike. She also learns that the camp will soon be razed and the land industrialized. A treasure map, found in a haunted cabin, leads her to believe there may be a way to stop the construction. This book, The Firefly Summer, is about an exciting summer filled with mystery, adventure and best of all, campfire s’mores! The plot is compelling and full of surprises. This book is perfect for fans of The Vanderbeekers!  Highly recommend. A page turner.  -Henry M, age 10

The Ultimate Goal (Good Sports League #1) (Hardcover) | ABRAMS

I really liked the book The Ultimate Goal because it was full of action and excitement and had a great overall moral to the story. I think that this is great for parents to give to their young kids because it is focused a lot on how sports isn’t all about winning. It is also about how you should always have fun and always be a good sport whether or not your team wins or loses. This book has a great conflict and resolution and is a must read for any young soccer fans. 4.5 out of 5 stars. -Douglas T, age 10

 

Chloe and the Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto | GoodreadsAlthough I think and speak in a combination of languages, it was another thing altogether to read and listen to conversations in English, Hokkien, and Tagalog. It was an interesting choice stylistically for Mae Coyiuto to write in English with Hokkien and Tagalog phrases, but it allowed me, the reader, to understand more of the unique culture of the Philippines, the setting of Chloe and the Kaishao Boys. I enjoyed the concept of the novel, the idea of a girl not too much older than I following her dreams by moving abroad while battling with the constant kaishaos [blind dates] she is set up on. Chloe Boyswas a genuine protagonist, and I could truly understand some of her most awkward moments as she matured throughout the story to become a strong independent woman. I would recommend this novel for the YA classification as there is a more mature plot, but it was a lighthearted read that I quite enjoyed. - Caroline D. 

 

JANUARY 2023 REVIEWS 

The Search for WondLa - Wikipedia

Eva Nine’s home has been destroyed.  She had lived there her whole life. And, the robot who raised her was wounded. Eva, fearing for her life, flees aboveground. There, she tangles with the evil marauder, Besteel.  During the encounter, she befriends Otto, the water bear (aka tardigrade) and Rovender, an undescribed species.  With her new friends, she returns to the underground sanctuary and repairs Muthur, her robot friend.  Together, the four of them decide to set out on a quest to find any remaining humans on earth (the setting is a million years into the future).  This science-fiction book, The Search for WondLa, is about their incredible journey chasing after humanity with only one clue, a piece of cardboard that reads “WondLa”.  This book is full of twists and turns and is surprising in many ways. One thing I especially liked was that present day species, like tardigrades, were included in the story, but in this case, made gigantic!  I recommend this book to kids who like science-fiction, like The City of Ember.  I can’t wait for the next book in this trilogy.  -Henry M, age 10

Skandar and the Phantom Rider | Book by A.F. Steadman | Official Publisher  Page | Simon & SchusterSkander and the Phantom Rider is one of the best books I’ve ever read! I was hoping for Skandar and Scoundrel’s Luck to win against The Weaver throughout the whole book!  It has just the right amount of mystery to keep you interested and not too much that you think the characters won’t ever solve it, and then they do. I also loved that Kenna’s point of view was consistent throughout the whole story. - Anne K, age 10

 

This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua | GoodreadsThis is Not A Personal Statement is a teenage-level story about a Filipino-American girl who feels pressured by her immigrant parents to be perfect. I loved watching her discover her interests and figure out that her parents dream isn’t hers. It feels like you can guess the whole plot from the beginning but at the same time you are anxious to keep reading about the intense moments watching her find her way, navigate colorism, personal identity, parental pressure, and living life on her own. This story is meant for anyone who loves cliches and embarrassing moments as an escape from perfectionism and constant comparison to peers. - Addie S, age 15

Mixed Up - Kindle edition by Korman, Gordon. Children Kindle eBooks @  Amazon.com.Can you imagine, one day, starting to lose your own memories but mysteriously gaining someone else’s memories?  This book, Mixed Up, is about two children who are each receiving memories from one another — each time a memory is sent to the other, it is erased from the original person. For Reef, who is living with his foster family after his mom died of Covid, it is terrible, as he can’t remember his mom’s face anymore.  For Theo, who lives with his strict father, it is simply inconvenient because he keeps forgetting when to harvest his strawberries.  This book is about how these two boys work together to solve, as they call it, “the phenomenon”.  It explores the complicated family dynamics, especially in the time of the covid pandemic, of two very different kids in two very different families.  I recommend this book to fans of Gordon Korman, who enjoy his earlier books, such as Restart.  This book will make you laugh, think, and be thankful that your memories are yours to keep.  -Henry M, age 10