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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Review of the Day: Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon

If you have kids looking for outright, down and out, horror horror (the ones who’ve watched Stranger Things but balk at the heft of a Stephen King novel) this little book is an answer to your prayers. Prayers / nightmares.

Review of the Day: A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese

It’s a mystery. It’s a game. It’s filled with puzzles and riddles and clues. It’s funny, and it’s deadly serious. Parts are evocative and parts are heartfelt and parts are completely unforgettable. Having a rough day/week/month/year? Cuddle up to this. Challenging enough to intrigue you. Enticing enough to keep you.

Review of the Day: Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

May casual cruelties fall by the wayside in the presence of such books as this ione. May our children find it and love it and read it repeatedly. And may we see more such books from Ann Clare LeZotte and authors like her, that put work and care into the very folds of their stories.

Review of the Day: Wink by Rob Harrell

They say, write what you know. And if what you know is how to lie on a steel table, your head screwed into place, a laser pointed at your face, that might be a good place to start. We live in dark times. How dark are they? SO dark that a book about a kid with a potentially deadly eye cancer is the bit of lighthearted levity we all need and crave.

Review of the Day: Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Not every 12-year-old is going to be ready for the abuse and pain addressed in Bradley’s latest. But for those kids that want a book can be honest with them about the world, written at their age-level, with funny parts and a happy ending where things get better, this is that book. It ain’t easy but it’s there for you.

Review of the Day: Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

Hats off to Stand Up, Yumi Chung! Sure it’s a funny story couched in a meaningful one, but for what it’s saying and how it says it, I award it a great big rubber chicken. It may not be a work of grit and suffering, but it’s fun and that, to my mind, is worth all the hoity-toity awards in the world.

Review of the Day: Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

Hand this to the kid that yearns for that freedom. For wide-open spaces and mysterious figures hiding in the shadows and snot nosed brothers and lots and lots of puppies. Hand it to someone who needs their own mountain. Even if it’s just a literary one.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2019 Middle Grade Novels

Consider this just a sampling of titles that I found particularly toothsome in 2019. You will miss some of your favorites, no doubt, but these are the books that truly made my little heart sing.

Review of the Day: Rat Rule 79 by Rivka Galchen

This book doesn’t look like anything but itself. It doesn’t read like anything but what it is. It is not flashy but it is weirdly engrossing. I think it could have been truly great, but there’s no shame in being merely grand. A book that bucks conformity with every pretty page. Swings big. Aims for the stars.

Review of the Day: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

It’s kind of gratifying to know that the story has been finding its audience. And what child wouldn’t find the notion of living on a school bus, tricked out like a long, yellow mobile home, enticing?

Review of the Day: The Usual Suspects by Maurice Broaddus

You know why you haven’t heard more people talking about this book? Because nobody knows how to sell it. Well, sorry folks, but the secret is out now. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read for kids, and maybe the best school rated children’s novel I’ve encountered period. This, right here, is the book of our times.

Review of the Day: I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

Set in contemporary Seattle with a Suquamish/Duwamish protagonist, Day (Upper Skagit) highlights a historical injustice by writing a book a kid might actually enjoy reading. No mean task. I think I may have devoured it entirely in one sitting.

Review of the Day: Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Good news. I know exactly what to do with this particular middle school book. You need to weigh it down with awards, so many that it can no longer stand under its own weight and is forced to stagger to the display unit that stands front and center in the library where all the best books go. Then, and only then, will it have found its true home.

Review of the Day: A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

Lisa Moore Ramée has taken the complexity of the real world, with all its police shootings and racism and destructive tendencies and made it personal for young readers. I don’t care what kid you hand this book to. Every single one of them will understand what’s going on here and, maybe, what’s going on in the wider world. The new required reading.

Review of the Day: Maximillian Fly by Angie Sage

“I am Fly. Maximillian Fly. I am a good creature. I am not bad, as some will tell you.” Considering that Maximillian is a human/cockroach hybrid of sorts, this is not particularly surprising news. Meet the dystopian/Steampunk/action adventure novel that’s like nothing you’ve ever read before.