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In Middle Grade Book Review on September 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

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by Gordon Korman

Realistic Fiction/©2017/Stand Alone Book/Recommended for Middle School

Book Description (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Chase’s memory just went out the window.

Chase doesn’t remember falling off the roof. He doesn’t remember hitting his head. He doesn’t, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name.

He knows he’s Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets.

Pretty soon, it’s not only a question of who Chase is–it’s a question of who he was . . . and who he’s going to be.

My Thoughts:

Gordon Korman is one of my favorite middle grade authors, and this book did not disappoint. First of all, it has an intriguing  plot – having the bully lose his memory and then have to figure out who he is.  The author also provides a wide variety of memorable characters – several of whom shared POV with the main character. Quite a feat for the author to get them all to have separate, unique voices, but they did. And woven throughout, there are powerful messages and life lessons about bullying, kindness, the power of forgiveness, and so many more. I think it will give middle schools students a lot to ponder. There are some epic moments of humor and epic moments that bring you to tears. All in all, an enjoyable read that packs a punch.

 

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

In YA Book Reviews on August 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm

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by F. C. Tee

YA Fantasy/©2017/Stand Alone/Recommended for 7th Grade and Above

Book Description (Courtesy of Goodreads)

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined.

My Thoughts:

This was a highly entertaining read. Genie and Quentin are truly unique characters who will make a memorable impression on your heart and soul.  It is beautifully written, and the plot is highly creative, witty and action packed. I found it hard to put down.  With its references to Chinese mythology, I think it will be especially appealing to fans of Percy Jackson.

Wolf by Wolf

In Middle Grade Book Review on July 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm

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by Ryan Graudin

YA Fiction/©

Book Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.

My Thoughts:

A great combination of history and fantasy complete with an engaging plot and memorable characters. The motorcycle race was quite the adventure with its intricate web of evolving relationships, back-stabbing, and twists and turns. Definitely a page turner! And that ending!!! I did not see that coming. All in all, a great read, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.