Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Top Ten(ish) Tuesday: MG Reads


This week's Ten:
Four Middle Grade Books Recently Added to My TBR List

Just four this week, not ten because things have been crazy busy lately and I haven't added much to by TBR list, at all. 




Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder


From acclaimed author Laurel Snyder comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

The Gravedigger's Son by Patrick Moody

“A Digger must not refuse a request from the Dead." —Rule Five of the Gravedigger’s Code
Ian Fossor is last in a long line of Gravediggers. It’s his family’s job to bury the dead and then, when Called by the dearly departed, to help settle the worries that linger beyond the grave so spirits can find peace in the Beyond.

But Ian doesn’t want to help the dead—he wants to be a Healer and help the living. Such a wish is, of course, selfish and impossible. Fossors are Gravediggers. So he reluctantly continues his training under the careful watch of his undead mentor, hoping every day that he’s never Called and carefully avoiding the path that leads into the forbidden woods bordering the cemetery.

Just as Ian’s friend, Fiona, convinces him to talk to his father, they’re lured into the woods by a risen corpse that doesn’t want to play by the rules. There, the two are captured by a coven of Weavers, dark magic witches who want only two thing—to escape the murky woods where they’ve been banished, and to raise the dead and shift the balance of power back to themselves.

Only Ian can stop them. With a little help from his friends. And his long-dead ancestors.

Equal parts spooky and melancholy, funny and heartfelt, The Gravedigger’s Son is a gorgeous debut that will long sit beside Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener.



The adventure continues in the third installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling Hero series by Jennifer Li Shotz.

Ben and Hero, the incredible search-and-rescue dog, have saved the day before—but never like this. Ben’s town is in trouble when two convicts escape from a nearby prison. His dad, a police officer, sets off to find the men and bring them to justice, but then Ben’s dad disappears and the trail goes cold.

Ben knows that it’s up to him and Hero to solve the case. As they embark on their most dangerous mission yet, the two best friends must stock up on their bravery and courage in order to outwit the fugitives and bring Ben’s dad home. Are the two heroes up to the challenge?

Get ready for another canine adventure full of danger, loyalty, and the unbreakable bond between a boy and his best friend.

Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

"Without you, there'd be no hope for the world. Because you are the whole world."

That's what Teacher says, and twelve-year-old Eider knows she's right. The world ended long ago, and the desert ranch is the only thing left. Still, Eider's thoughts keep wandering Beyond the fence. Beyond the pleated earth and scraggly brush and tedious daily lessons. Eider can't help wishing for something more-like the stories in the fairytale book she hides in the storage room. Like the secret papers she collects from the world Before. Like her little sister who never really existed.

When Teacher announces a new kind of lesson, Eider and the other kids are confused. Teacher says she needs to test their specialness-the reason they were saved from the end of the world. But seeing in the dark? Reading minds? As the kids struggle to complete Teacher's challenges, they also start to ask questions. Questions about their life on the desert ranch, about Before and Beyond, about everything Teacher has told them. But the thing about questions-they can be dangerous.

This moving novel-equal parts hope and heartbreak-traces one girl's journey for truth and meaning, from the smallest slip of paper to the deepest understanding of family. The world may have ended for the kids of the desert ranch . . . but that's only the beginning.
Praise for Watch the Sky:

"Strong characters drive the carefully crafted novel. . . Hubbard's sparse, elegant prose captures the rural landscape's desolate beauty as well as its dangers and palpably expresses the family's escalating tensions. . . [An] atmospheric, ultimately hopeful novel."
-School Library Journal, starred review

"Hubbard writes fluently and accessibly. . . An absorbing tale."
-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Haunting, tense, and moving. . . Caleb's efforts to safeguard himself and his family will stay with readers."
-Publishers Weekly

"Hubbard gets Jory's emotions just right. . . The pacing moves smoothly, balancing the everyday with the impending Crisis, and the ending ties up every loose thread. An excellent choice for discussion."
-Booklist

"The conclusion is a satisfying one. . . Timely."
-VOYA

Please leave a comment and let me know what MG - or other genre, etc - books you've added to your TBR list recently!

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