The True Meaning of Smekday and its sequel Smek for President are comedic science fiction romps for middle school students. These are the books that inspired the animated movie Home, which is a family favorite. If you haven’t seen it, you should.… Read the rest
While Scriblerians focus almost exclusively on middle grade and YA fiction, the occasional picture book review adds some extra fun, especially if a personal story is attached.
I’ve been on “Baby Watch” for all of February. Three little granddaughters are waiting for their baby brother’s arrival.… Read the rest
Killing Patton is an excellent historical account of the European theatre during WWII. While the other books in this series that have been reviewed, Killing Jesus and Killing Lincoln, have been rated as suitable for middle grade up, this book should categorized as new adult because the book was not written for children.… Read the rest
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers is not only a true coming-of-age story set in the early 1900s, but it also records old, satisfying values and codes of conduct that made the USA the strong nation it became.… Read the rest
Icarus Down by James Bow is a YA Sci/fi that takes the reader on a fast-paced journey to a planet far from Earth. Sixteen-year-old Simon Doud lives in Iapyx, one of thirteen cities suspended down deep chasms. The sun on the diamond lands above can kill a human in less than five minutes.… Read the rest
Anthropomorphic. What a mouthful! But many children’s stories are anthropomorphic. Simple definition: a literary device attributing human qualities to animals or objects. However, Robert O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, an anthropomorphic story, is not merely fantasy.… Read the rest
Killing Lincoln is an excellent historical account of the time surrounding the end of the Civil War. While it’s suitable for middle grade up, it should be categorized as young adult because the book was not written for children.… Read the rest
All of the Above is a contemporary, based on a true story, middle-grade novel dealing with inner city kids and their hardships.
Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world’s largest tetrahedron.… Read the rest
May B., by Caroline Rose Starr, is an inspiring Middle Grade story about twelve-year-old Mavis Elizabeth Betts, a girl with dyslexia who dreams of being a teacher someday.
Written entirely in verse, the 240-page book is a quick and engrossing read.… Read the rest
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is an engaging contemporary Young Adult novel most suited to high school readers. It addresses some of the concerns and problems of overweight teens.
My favorite of the two Jennifer Niven books I’ve read
I’d like to see more contemporary realism like Holding Up the Universe that encourages teens to draw upon their personal power and offers them hope of happiness without being sugary-sweet.… Read the rest