Here’s my bingo card for Middle Grade Carousel’s Reading Bingo challenge. This month, I got TWO bingos! Yay!
In all, I finished 14 middle grade books that fit the descriptions on the bingo card.
How Does It Work?
Pick your challenge, grab a book, and fill in the squares. Try and get 5 in a row, or attempt to fill in the whole sheet if you’re a speedy reader.
- Because this is a Middle Grade Carousel challenge, all of the books on your Bingo board should be MG reads. Find out more about Middle Grade books here.
- Each square needs to be filled with a unique book. You cannot use the same title more than once, even if it fits multiple themes. Choose wisely!
- You should only be filling in your Bingo board with books you’ve read during this month.
Here are my results… (The * means that’s the book that got me my Bingo!)
Just So Stories // by Rudyard Kipling
Classic, Short Stories (1902)
I listened to an audiobook for this one. And it’s narrated by Boris Karloff!
Kipling has such a way with words! It’s really quite delightful to read. I think my favourite stories include the one about the Elephant’s child, and how the leopard got its spots. [4 stars]
*Title Starts with an “F”
Front Desk // by Kelly Yang
MG, Near-Historical (2018)
I loved this book about Mia (a recent immigrant in the 1990s) and her adventures at the Calivista Motel. It was a fun read, but it was more than just that. I enjoyed the themes of courage and never giving up.
My favourite part is when Mia thinks she’s going to get an A on a school paper, but (SPOILER!) she doesn’t. Even though she’s discouraged, she keeps trying. And it’s the fact that she does try that she ends up succeeding. I highly recommend this book. 🙂 [4.5 stars]
*A Book About Twins
11 Birthdays // by Wendy Mass
MG, Magical Realism (2009)
Okay, so they are NOT biological twins, but the two main characters (Amanda and Leo) share a birthday. And this is quite important to the plot.
If you like the movie Groundhog Day, then this is the book for you. The story is told through the eyes of Amanda. It’s about her feud with her former best friend Leo. These two characters definitely make the book! I loved the character growth and how they figure things out together.
Note: This was also a re-read for me. I enjoyed it just as much as the first time around 🙂 [4 stars]
*Set During the Civil War
Days of Jubilee // by Patricia C. & Fredrick L. McKissack
MG, Non-Fiction (2003)
This book takes a look at the Civil War, from the Emancipation Proclamation to the 13th Amendment. I really enjoyed all the stories as well as their clear and concise way of handling different events during the war. The part about Gettysburg was quite moving.
I also liked how the authors didn’t steer away from the complication found in history. BUT that they didn’t dwell on the ugliness. Instead, they focused on hope for the future. [5 stars]
*’Sugar’ in the Title
Sugar and Spice // by Sarah Mlynowski
Lower MG, Fantasy/Fairy Tale (2016)
This is actually a series of books where a sister and brother get to travel to various fairy tales. As you can probably guess from the cover, this one feature Hansel and Gretel.
I did not know this was a series when I picked this up, but that wasn’t a problem. To be perfectly honest, this isn’t really my cup of tea when it comes to books. (I’m probably being kind when I give it three stars.) I DO love fairy tale retellings, but this one didn’t quite do it for me. It does have a cute premise. I would possibly recommend this book for younger readers. [3 stars]
*Character with a Place Name
One-Third Nerd // by Gennifer Choldenko
MG, Contemporary (2019)
Okay, so the character with a place name is Dakota. (Aside: this was the one character that drove me batty!)
While I liked this book, I didn’t love it. It’s basically about saving a dog from a nasty landlord. But, to tell the truth, I didn’t really care about the dog. I wish I did. I love fictional dogs. (Shiloh? Ribsy? Old Yeller? Winn-Dixie? Yep. I love those dogs.)
Still, the book was entertaining. I really liked the whole “one-third nerd” thing. And the friendship that springs up between the main character Liam and Moses. And Izzy the sister. She was one of the best things about this book! [3.5 stars]
Almost Identical // by Lin Oliver
MG, Contemporary (2012)
This story follows Sammie and Charley Diamond. They are twins and tennis players. But when as they get older, Sammie begins to see something: she and her twin are entirely identical. They like (and want) different things.
I love this coming-of-age novel. It’s told from Sammie’s POV. I definitely felt for Sammie, and at times, was furious with Charley! (Although, Sammie makes her own gaffes.) I loved how the tennis was incorporated into the book. This book gets a definite recommendation from me.
Note: This was a re-read for me. Just as good as the first time around 🙂 [4 stars]
*Pick Your Prompt / Book for Black History Month
Finding Langston // by Lesa Cline-Ransome
MG, Historical Fiction – 1940s (2018)
This book got 5 stars from me! Yeah, I enjoyed it that much. It’s probably the library in the book that did it. For me, you almost can’t go wrong if you have a library. (That’s probably not true, but for this book, it IS true!)
It’s short, but it’s beautiful. I loved Langston’s voice. And I liked watching how the characters developed from the beginning to the end. One of the best books I’ve read this year. Yeah, I know it’s only February. [5 stars]
*Seashells on the Cover
Daisy Dawson at the Beach // by Steve Voake
Lower MG, Contemporary/Magical Realism (2011)
Daisy Dawson can speak to animals. In this book, she makes all sorts of friends when she and her parents take a vacation at the beach. She dances with the crabs and even saves a… well, I won’t spoil it.
One weird thing that sort of puzzled me was that her parents seem to be unaware of her special ability. And I’m not sure if she really can speak to animals or if it’s all in her imagination.
If you are looking for in-depth character growth, this book is NOT for you. But it’d be a fun read for younger kids who love, love, love animals. (Also to note: each page has some sort of illustration which is a bonus for those kids just learning to read.) [3 stars]
Other MG Books I Finished this Month…
- Second Book in a Series // Finally // by Wendy Mass
- Title Starts with an “R” // Rules // by Cynthia Lord
- Hands on the Cover // Thirteen Gifts // by Wendy Mass
- Talking Animals // The Cricket in Times Square // by George Selden
- Dog on the Cover // Swindle // by Gordon Korman
February Bingo: Complete! Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them.