Showing posts with label Middle Grade Adventure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Grade Adventure. Show all posts

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Student Saturday: Boys of Blur by N.D.Wilson


Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure
Student Reviewer: Dominick O.

This mystery fiction book is a book about Boys in Taper, Florida. These boys only like one thing and that is football. But when they aren't on the field they are running through the miles of muck. But when they go at night, they are not the only ones there. Things roam at night. Things that cannot be explained, and these boys are about to find out why. In my opinion this is a pretty good book. I would recommend this book to people who like suspenseful books or movies. I would also recommend this book to people who like the author N. D. Wilson.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Student Saturday: Killer Species: Ultimate Attack by Michael P. Spradlin


Genre: Middle Grade Adventure

Student Reviewer:  Elizabeth R.  


      This book is about two scientists named Emmet Doyle and Calvin Geaux that created this killer species but in that time Dr. Catalyst was making a creature called swamp cat to hunt Emmet. But that is most of it with a little twist and turns but you will have to find out for yourself. If I had to recommend this book to someone it would be people that like watching or reading about exotic creatures because this book has other series about creatures that are not even created but fascinating. Overall, I honestly like it, it is remarkably interesting and cool.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Student Saturday: Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure

Student Reviewer: Nikita K

Foxes are adorable creatures that are mainly wild, but a lucky few in the world are able to own them as exotic pets. Foxes are exotic because of their natural attachment to the wild, making them hard to grow close to. However, if they become close with their human owners, foxes, with their unique intelligence, will remain loyal and become natural best friends. 

Sara Pennypacker’s “Pax” highlights the rarity of foxes and their loyalty to humans, by displaying a boy named Peter, who lived alone with his father and fox for years, until his father had to leave for the army to take part in an oncoming war in the area he lived in. Since his mother was gone and his grandfather did not want any pets, Peter had to release Pax to the wild, a place where his fox had not been exposed to for years since he was a kit and rescued after losing his own skulk. With them growing up together, they achieved a loyalty and bond to each other that many normal friends and pets don’t typically share. With that being obvious, Peter felt he had an obligation to go out into the wild, with zero experience and a broken leg, to look for his fox and reunite with him.


After rereading “Pax” for the third time, this book still manages to hold a spot in my top 5 favorite books of all time. This beautifully written story by Pennypacker does a wonderful job at making the reader feel as if they were right next to Peter and Pax in their journey and help you feel what they feel in the moment. This book comes highly recommended from me to readers from middle school and up who are looking for an adventurous and heartwarming book that is highly realistic and reflects problems in modern day society. 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Student Saturday: Diamond Willow by Helen Frost


Genre:  Middle Grade, Adventure, Novel in Verse

Student Reviewer:  Anna H.

 “Diamond Willow” by Helen Frost is a beautiful book with many different perspectives from a variety of characters. Diamond Willow (Willow) is a twelve-year-old girl from Alaska who lives in a cabin with her mother, Father, and Zanna, her little sister. Willow and her dad train dogs to pull them on the sled and teach them the way around the forest. Willow’s father was on a dog sled the day willow was born and found a diamond willow stick which is where she got her name from. Roxy is their best sled dog who leads in most of their rides and knows her way around the entire area. Willow feels as though her parents view her as a little kid and no one sees who she really is, but there is more to Willow than others see. Shes not much of a social butterfly and only has one friend, not including Roxy, named Kaylie. Kaylie is too focused on her crush, Richard, anyway which makes Willow seem like she really is alone. Willow's grandma and grandpa adore her and only live only about twelve miles down one of the sledding trails. Willow had been begging her parents to let her drive the dog sled by herself to her grandparents for forever, but they always thought she was too young. One day both of her parents agree that she may venture alone to her grandparents. Her and her father set up the sled with Roxy as the lead dog and she was on her way. Her ancestors watch over her in the form of animals to ensure that the trip goes smoothly. Sadly, on her way home, Willow and the dogs were going too fast to see a fallen tree and crashed. Willow got stabbed in the leg with a stick and poor Roxy had her gorgeous sparkling eyes jabbed with branches. Willow rushed over to Roxy and stopped the bleeding that gushed from her eyes and began her way home not sure what would happen. Willow told her parents, and they were furious, but they held themselves together well. Turns out that Roxy had been blinded and now their best sled dog could never see again. As willow eavesdropped on her parents, she heard that they were going to put down the dog. She couldn't let this happen so the next day she loaded the sled and took Kaylie with her to her grandparents' house. She put Roxy safely in the sled and left without her parents knowing. They happened to take a wrong turn and got lost in the woods where they decided to camp in a small shelter. They were found by Richard who brought Kaylie home, but Willow proceeded on to her grandparents' house. When she arrived, her entire family had a heart-to-heart conversation about Roxy and events from the past. They told Willow that she had a twin sister whos name was supposed to be Diamond but when she perished four days after being born Willow took both names. Where they had gotten lost on the trail is where Diamond's ashes had been laid. It would be crazy to think that is just a coincidence, wouldn't it?

   “Diamond Willow” is a book of many secrets and plot twists. You never know what will happen next, but in the end, it turns out to be a very heartwarming story. I loved the way Helen Frost incorporated a diamond shape when writing about Willows thoughts and feelings and adding messages that relate to the paragraph. This book reminds me of what it feels like to be getting older while your parents seem to think you are still five. I recommend this novel to anybody between the ages of 10-14 since they will be able to relate to the main character well. 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Student Saturday: Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure 

Student Reviewer:  Clayron R.

There is no stopping a little boy who loves his grandfather. Stone Fox is about a 10 year old boy named Willy who is faced with adult challenges on a small potato farm in Wyoming. One day Little Willy woke up to be amazed that grandfather was still asleep. He and his dog named Searchlight went to Doc Smith's house to get some help. Once she had checked Grandfather out she said that he was as healthy as can be, and his grandfather just didn't t want to live anymore. Little Willy started to do everything he could to get Grandfather to feel better including doing the potato harvest, paying the bill at the general store and even getting all of the winter supplies, but Grandfather still wasn't better. To make matters worse,Mr. Clifford Snyder, a state of Wyoming tax collector, came to collect 10 years of back taxes. Little Willy had never heard of taxes and didn't believe the man because he knew Grandfather had always paid everything on time. There was a big problem if the taxes weren't paid. They would lose the farm. To solve the problem, Willy and Searchlight entered a race. The prize was the exact amount of money they needed to save the farm - $500. Searchlight and Willy were up against some of the best. Some things I really liked about this book was that Willy had to deal with real life problems. A connection I had with this book was little Willy and I share the same love for dogs. Did Willy win the race? Did he save his grandfather's farm? Read the book to find out! 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Student Saturday: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz


Student Reviewer:  Robert M

Genre:  Middle Grade, Adventure

Alex Rider is back in the eighth installment to the series called Crocodile Tears. He yet again has to save the word, and this time, there is a virus so powerful that it can destroy a country’s resources, and while doing that also making sure he secret doesn’t get out.

The story begins with Alex, Sabina Pleasure, and her dad— Edward Pleasure— going to a party hosted by a millionaire named Desmond McCain in the Highlands of Scotland. Quickly, Alex finds himself in danger as the tire of Edward's car blows on the icy road and they plummet into the deep below-freezing lake. Back in London with his housekeeper and closest friend— Jack— he fights people claiming to be an employer of Major Yu, the main antagonist of the previous story. Long afterward, Alex is taken to Africa and tortured, and a man who he had seen after he had gotten out of the lake saves him. Some of this book reminds me of a movie called “Breakthrough” about a boy who falls into a frozen lake and eventually comes out safe. This is a very good book for people with time on their hands because once you start, you can’t stop reading it.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

The Rise of Balakrik by Melody J. Bremen


Genre:  Middle Grade, Adventure, Fantasy
Source: I purchased a copy

This is the sequel to "The Quest for the Luminae".  This was just as action packed as the first one. The tension was definitely tight in this one. The Prince of the Above Ground has decided to do whatever it takes to get control of the country. If that means he must get rid of the people below ground he will. When Milo and Rod return from their quest to find the luminae, they are attacked. They have brought back the potion that will heal their people, but are met at the dock by soldiers who bust up the barrels of the cure. Rod is arrested and Milo gets away.  

He seeks an audience with the King only to realize how crazy the man has become. Lady Mariel sends him with a message to the Prince's castle to give the message and explain to the Prince's granddaughter. She is not what Milo expects. There is a rebel in her that wants to save the people and she is willing to join Milo in whatever mission is necessary to do so.

There is danger all around those involved. Another legend turns out to be true, the legend of the Giant Balakrik who came to the area collecting gold and fell asleep underground.  Lately there have been a lot of earthquakes to add to the tension of the story.  After reading the first one you definitely need to read this one.  

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Student Saturday: Unschooled by Allan Woodrow


Student Reviewer: Mako C.
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

This book was very enjoyable for me, as it wasn't too wordy and kept me interested. The book has 270 pages, and the two main characters are Lilly and George. Lilly and George are best friends in the book. Lilly is described as a happy, go-lucky, energetic girl. While George, on the other hand, is described as very neat and a germaphobe, he is constantly applying hand sanitizer in the book. The time during the book is never clearly stated, but the setting is clearly described; it takes place at Lilly and George’s school; they are in the 5th grade. It also sometimes takes place at Lilly’s and George’s house, but their school is the main setting. 

The main plot of the story is a 5th grade spirit week, where each day is something new and the final day is a field day with games. The 5th grade is split into two teams: the red team and the blue team. Each day the students compete to win that specific day, and the team with the most points at the end of spirit week is awarded a special prize. That prize, however, isn't revealed to the students until the end of the book, which arouses many wacky and weird ideas of what the prizes could possibly be.

This book reminds me of when I was in 5th grade, and we had a spirit week and field days. There weren't any prizes or teams, however. Each day was something new, and Friday was a field day; one of the days was a pajama day, and I wore a monkey onesie. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a lighthearted, good read. This book is very interesting and has a good plot. It is also really funny at times. I didn’t really have any expectations for this book, because I’ve never read any other book by this author, but if I did have an expectation for this book, it definitely would have exceeded my expectations

Friday, January 5, 2024

The Quest for the Luminae by Melody J. Bremen

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure, Fantasy
Source: I purchased a copy

I just discovered this author's books. Milo is the apprentice to a Bounty Hunter. He helps capture criminals. His bounty hunter master, Rod found him beside his dead parents and took him to his sister's house to be raised. One day Rod and Milo are summoned by the Prince of the Above ground kingdom. They are also summoned by the King of the underground kingdom where they live. A sickness his wiping out the people who live underground. Both want them to go in search of something called the Luminae. This is a legendary creature that has the ability to heal the sick. Rod doesn't believe in them, but he will do anything when his sister get the illness. So the two of them set out in search of the legendary lunimae.  But, not everything is as it seems. Someone doesn't want them to succeed?

I read this in one sitting. I stay up into the night to finish it because it was that good. The world building is awesome and  the different lands are so well described you feel like you are there. The adventure is so tension filled you find yourself leaning forward and sitting don't he edge of your seat to find out what is next. Here is another book I will recommend to my local and my school library.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

A Wolf Called Wander by Roseanne Parry


Genre: Middle Grade, Animal, Adventure
Source: I received a copy from BookBub to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This book is based on an actual wolf somehow separated from his pack. Anyone who loves stories that tug at your emotions will love this book. Swift wants only to be the head of a pack. His life is not an easy one. He faces many challenges in his life. His will to survive is strong. What I loved most about this book is that both kids and adults will enjoy this book. There is information in the back that will reach out to that person who loves reading nonfiction information. The story carries you along to a satisfying end. As a teacher I enjoy reading books that I can recommend to my students. This is one that I know they will really enjoy.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Student Saturday: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls


Student Reviewer Clayton
Genre: Adventure

"Where The Red Fern Grows" is a story about a ten-year-old boy named Billy Coleman. He has lived in the Ozark mountains with his family.Billy is very intelligent when it comes to the mountains. One day he heard some coon hounds in the mountain and wanted some. A little while later he was walking down by the creek when he found a piece of newspaper, on the paper was a listing for some redbone coonhounds for twenty-five dollars apiece. Billy spends the next two years saving up for the dogs. Once he saved up the money, he had his grandpa send a letter to the seller. The seller told his grandpa that he had just had a litter of puppies and that he had lowered the price. Later that month Billy left home  one early morning heading to Talequa without telling his parents. When he got there, he got his puppies and with the leftover money he bought his mother some fabric and his father some overalls. He got home and immediately started training them. Once they were all trained, they were the best hounds in the country. He went back to that place where the newspaper was found and there were two names carved into the wood. Once said Dand and the other one said Ann.  Knowing that the male was bigger than the female, he named them big Dan and little Ann.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Student Saturday: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Student Reviewer:  Malia W.
Genre: Elementary, Middle Grade, Adventure

" I couldn't possibly", said Despereaux, backing away form the book.  "Why? Um," said Despereaux. "It would ruin the story." You see this might not seem like much but Despereaux was always the odd one in his family, but from this point on ...everything would start to go downhill. To me he had an emotional intelligence that the other mice did not - it made the reader feel more connected to him but for the mice in thebook, he wasn't normal -- that wasn't normal. Regardless of that when Despereaux said he couldn't possibly because it would ruin the story it reminded me of myself. There's often times I want to tell my friends something but then I don't because I'm afraid it would ruin our friendship.

You know when you were little and your mother might say "I'm disappointed in you" yeah, well I'm starting to think that's just a mom thing. In the book Despereaux's mother gave birth but all the other mice died except him -- and even he was so frail that she said he would die like the others. "All that work for nothing," said the mother. She sighed. "It is so sad. It is such the disappointment." Disappointment was something she said often, it was her favorite words.Sometimes it makes me wonder if it's my mom's favorite word too. There was just this time where my mom would always say she's disappointed in me, little me didn't reallyunderstand why at the time but Ido do now. I guess much hasn't changed since I still make selfish-idiotic choices that give my mother al the rights to be disappointed in me - to give everybody that right in fact. It often makes me wonder why people like me, still have faith in me. 

"But his existence was cause for much speculation in the mouse community," You know that feeling when you're the odd one in the family or on the side lines in the friend group? I think that is what this quote feels like. Like the guild-eating, self-conscious that's telling you that whatever you're thinking is 99.iiii% correct. When you feel like your existence is something to question, not just for you but for others too. It's almost like everybody you know and consider your friend starts to blur out and blend in with the darkness and start to questions why the even became friends with  you and why you're even here. Though in Despereaux's case, it was worse, even so he ignored it all and just did him. Sometimes I was ore like that instead of focusing on what others think about me.

This small book has so many lessons to teach and I highly recommend it.


Saturday, March 25, 2023

Student Saturday: My Cousin's Keeper by Simon French


Sttudent Reviewer: Humberto G.

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

The characters in "My cousin's Keeper" are Benn,Kieran, Renee, and Gina The setting takes place at his home and school.

Kieran, and Ben are related. At the start of the school year a boy shows up, which is Kieran ' cousin he doesn't know. Ben is in a really bad conditiona at home and at school. There are people at school who bully him. Kieran wants to be in a popular group with teh popular kids. When seh found out that they were relatedhe feels embarassed because of the way Ben looks. At home Ben has a mom who doesn't take good care of him. Ben has long braids, a babyish hat, and has a funny voice. Ben has an only friend which is Julia who likes Kieran.

Things I would do in this situation would be stand up for family. As we know Kieran and Ben are relatives and Kieran feels embarrassed to be Ben's cousin. Kieran lets people bully his cousin. I I was in this situation I would stand up and not be embarrassed over family and the way they look. This story has a big meaning to it and would recommend it to people who dealt with this tough time. I would also recommend this book to people who love drama.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Snake Food by Kristin Fulton

Genre:  Middle Grade, Adventure
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing

Theo and Olivia's parents are suddenly called away to Africa to help after an earthquake. Olivia and Theo's summer plans are changed. They will be spending their summer with their great-uncle Hazelsmith. They have never met this uncle. Their father tries to tell them how much fun they will have. He relates the fun times he had with his uncle. Arriving by train, their uncle never picks them up. They take a taxi to his house, where a grumpy-looking housekeeper meets them.  She shuts the door on them and returns a few minutes later with another man who claims he is their uncles lab assistant. Something doesn't seem right. They tell the kids that their uncle has gotten forgetful and has sailed his boat to Florida. When they meet the young man who mows the grass they are told not to listen to anything he says because he is a liar.  Something is definitely not right and they must figure it out quickly.
This was an, on the edge of your seat page turner. I loved it.


Monday, January 2, 2023

Sled Dog School by Terry Lynn Johnson

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure
Source: I purchased a copy.

I remember reading “Ice Dogs” by this author and recommending it to my students. When I brought this one in I didn’t get a chance to read it first. It was checked out and passed around my room. I understand why my students loved it so much.

Matt, the main character struggles with math and knows if he can’t get his grades up he will be put in remedial math. My students hate being in remedial class. I too struggled with math, so even I could identify with Matt.

Matt is given the opportunity of an extra credit project to keep out of the remedial class. He must create and start a business plan. What better way to teach math than through real world experiences. He begins the project creating a “Sled Dog School”. He learns how much he will have to juggle.

I think what kids take away from this is that sometimes they have to ask an adult for help. When I get those kids who are in remedial classes and don’t give it their best because they are embarrassed, I let them know that sometimes even adults must get extra help. I tell them that I had to take remedial math in college and even had to repeat a math class. I want them to understand it is okay as long as they are trying and learning.

I am glad I finally got the opportunity to read this book. This is the perfect book to teach kids problem solving. I loved how it showed how it is sometimes difficult to teach something to others. Just understanding yourself doesn’t mean it is always easy to teach.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Wild River by Rodman Philbrick

 Genre:  Middle Grade, Adventure, Realistic Fiction

Source: I purchased a copy

    One thing I really enjoy about Rodman Philbrick's books is the reality of them. So many authors who write for middle grade students create an ending that is satisfying yet often lacking. In Philbrick's books characters are injured, go through hardships, catastrophes, and yes, some of them even die. They have to fight for survival. 
    In this book five kids are chose to go on a white water rafting trip as part of their school's new "Project Future Leaders". Their two guides on this trip don't get a chance to teach them much about survival. On their first day they change their entry point into the river. They are unable to get their satellite phone to work so they have not been able to call anyone and let them know of their new location. They raft down the first leg of the river, make camp and get to know each other. Sounds like a nice story so far doesn't it? Each of these kids have things the others don't know about them. Some of them are fears, some of them are cover ups for hurts they have experienced. In the middle of the night they are awaken by their two guides and told to run to higher ground because the dam has broken. They are pushed to the top only to watch their guides washed away. Now they are on their own.  That is where I will end my summary. 
    These kids show what they are made of. They show who they are in desperate times. They show what it means to build friendships and rely on each other. My husband looked at me and asked, "You're done with that book already?"  when books are as good as this one is you can't help but read it straight through. I can't wait for the school year to start so that I can put this in the pile for my first week activity that introduces students to my large collection of books.  This is definitely on the top of my list of loved books for this year.

Friday, March 11, 2022

I Survived The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 by Lauren Tarshis

Genre: Upper Elementary, Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Adventure

Source: I own a copy 

Hugo, his sister Gertie, their parents and their dog Panya are going to America on the Hindenburg.  They had spent the previous year in Kenya. Hugo’s parents are scientists. They have loved it there, but Gertie got malaria. They have only the hope of new medicine in America to save her life. On the Hindenburg, Hugo and his family are introduced to the man in charge of the Hindenburg and his daughter. There are Nazi soldiers on board because they are looking for a spy.  All of this is tense enough. When the actual event happens you get a small feel for what it was like inside the Hindenburg when it burst into flames and hit the ground. All of this took a little over thirty seconds. I was handed this book by one of my students and told I needed to read it over Spring Break. I am glad I did. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Alone by D.J. Brazier

I'm not sure what it is with me and survival stories. I absolutely love them in any form. This book reminded me of Gary Paulsen's "Hatchett" and also of the book I recently finished, "The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong.

When the plane Sam and his Dad are on crashes, Same is forced to find a way to survive. It helps that he is befriended by a baby otter. He has to face the elements, animals, and bugs and the basic needs of survival, food, water, and shelter.  This is an on the edge of your seat read, the kind you just can't put down.  Highly recommended. Can't wait to talk this one up to my students.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Great wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Adventure
Source: I purchased a copy

I had purchased this book and then another reading teacher recommended it. She was reading it to her students and my students who are in her reading class kept telling me how wonderful it was. So, yesterday, the first day of the new year I sat and read it cover to cover. This is the story of not only a physical loss, but the loss of trust and belief in someone. When Ben, Dylan and Gerry lose their mother to a terrible car accident their father sells everything they own, buys a sailboat and tells them they will be sailing for a year. There is no discussion, no answering of questions, just the order to pack and go. Fifteen-year-old Ben is angry. He of course sees things from his skewed view as a teenager. It isn't until they have been sailing for about six months and he has decided it doesn't help to argue with his dad that things go from bad to worse. He has been a faithful crewman on his dad's boat the Chrysallis. Each of the boys have certain "jobs" they are required to handle and they must all learn to do everything. Then Ben comes up top to discover their dad missing.  Add to that a storm that maroons them on an island and you have a heart-stopping book.  I felt bad for the boys the way their father talked to them. However, as a parent and adult I understood the underlying cause that the boys might not understand. The three boys were well developed. You had headstrong Ben, the oldest who felt responsible for everything and had the most trouble with his father. Dylan was the studious son who had the book knowledge that would help in a lot of situations. Then there was six year old Gerry who was terrified of the water because he couldn't swim. All of these issues and what happens to all of them made for a story you had to read from cover to cover. Can't wait to talk this up this week at school. It is a must read.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick

 Genre:  Middle Grades, Adventure

Source: Purchased

    This book definitely kept me reading. One of my biggest fears is fire. The main character makes a bad decision to go back to his cabin from which they are being evacuated, because he left his phone. That one decision led to him being left behind. He found his phone but on the way back to the bus he finds himself surrounded by fire. He runs to save his life.   Along the way he finds a jeep and then a girl who is also trapped in the fire. Together they must find a way out to survive.

     This definitely would have been my nightmare. The fact that Sam's father is ex-military and has taken Sam camping and taught him survival skills may just get him out of this alive. I loved when I started feeling really comfortable with their situation the author through in a black bear and a pair of people helping set more fires.  This is one of this year's Sunshine State Reader books. I try to buy them every year. I had forgotten how awesome this author's books are as it has been awhile since I have read any of them.  This is one I will promote with all my heart to my students.