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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chapter Books for Middle Grades (3-7)

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am going to share with you a bunch of relatively new chapter books for the middle grades. There is something for everyone in this bunch!! We will start with Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason. 


This is a book of old fairy tales retold with a slightly new twist. All of the tales in this book take place in the same frozen forest where it is always winter. The stories follow most of the basic tales but they have new parts. For example in Red Riding Hood, Red has not met her grandmother. Her grandmother lived in the frozen forest by herself in a house that was always locked and did not want to see anyone else until she became ill and wanted to meet her granddaughter. There are also many connections through the stories as well. The stories in the book are Snow White, The Frog Prince, Three Witches, Toads and Pearls, Red Riding Hood, The Three Great Noodles, and Hansel and Gretel.

Each tale has one illustration on the title page. The tales are fun to see how Emily has changed some of the traditional tales. I find the characters to be a bit more developed than the old versions. Hazel and I both really enjoyed these tales and some were new to us. This book is recommended for grades 3 to 7. 



Next we will look at The Emperor's Ostrich by Julie Berry. This story has a bit of fantasy and chaos. The emperor is missing and so is Alfalfa, Begonia's cow. Begonia is on a big adventure searching for Alfalfa and she meets many various characters along the way. The ostrich gets sent to rescue his human, the emperor. Will Begonia be able to make sense of the chaos and save the empire? The story has sibling issues, magic and more. It was hard for me to follow at first and figure out what was happening, but once in the story it is interesting and a page turner. 

What would happen if thought bubbles appeared over people's heads so you could literally read their thoughts? This is the premise of our next book, Bubbles by Abby Cooper. Twelve-year-old Sophie starts to see bubbles over people's heads. What does it mean? Can these bubbles help her get her adventurous mother back instead of the cautious one that she has become since breaking up with Pratik? This book is about life and how important it is to understand other people. It is a fun book and an easy read. I can see tweens loving this book. Sophie wonders about so many of the things tweens worry and wonder about. It is a look into the others in her life and trying to figure it all out. This book is recommended for grades 5 to 7. It deals more with relationships and dating, so it is for a bit older child. 



Our next book is Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar. In this book twelve-year-old Carol (Carolina) spends the summer at her grandfather's ranch out in the desert of New Mexico. It is the first time she has been there and the first time she is meeting Grandfather Serge. Her family is trying to fix up and pack up the ranch since Serge's dementia is getting to a point where he cannot live alone. However Serge tells Caro-leeen-a a magical tale about a man named Sergio and a woman named Rosa. She finds it interesting that he is using his and is late wife's names, but begins to wonder if the tale is really impossibly true. Was the tree that only has a trunk left on the ranch truly a magical gift from God? And why do the bees seem to follow her even though there should not be bees in the desert that has had a drought for 100 years. This story is about finding ones roots and priorities. It shares about respecting elders and listening to one's elders. Carol's family seems a bit dysfunctional with her half sister who tries to push their mother's limits and a father who does not want to talk to his own father but now has to take care of him. This book pulls you in and has you questioning what is really true. This book is recommended for grades 5 to 9.



Our final book is a non-fiction Christian book. It is Run with Me by Sanya Richards-Ross. Sanya shares the lessons she learned while becoming an Olympic champion runner.  Sanya shares her training and methods that brought her to success and describes how they can be applied to everyday life. This book is inspiring. Throughout the book there are scriptures and personal looks at her own life and what has worked to bring her success. Whether it is training for a big race or studying for a big test there are ideas in here that will work to help you meet your goal.  Where is your focus? How does this focus help you reach your goals? Sanya shares the actual things she did to succeed and one of them was prayer.  The book is full with her positive outlook, perseverance, and determination. It is uplifting and inspiring. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to get moving on a goal and needs a little inspiration as well as anyone who wants to learn from a champion. 

I hope you will check these great books out! Be sure to check out our other reviews of middle grade books like Summer Reading Suggestions, Books for grades 2-5, Chapter Books with Fantasy & Magic, Multicultural Books for Different Ages, Religious Chapter Books, The Mystic Princesses, The Treasury of Glorious Goddesses, Chapter Books for Various Ages, Hamster Princess, Back to School, and Pack 'n Go Girls.