Middle Grade Carousel is hosting another Reading Bingo challenge. I wasn’t sure if I’d participate this month, but since I normally ready MG anyway, I figured I’d at least try to get a bingo.
And I did! This month, I finished nine middle grade books.
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.
- 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 June.
Here are my results… (The * means that’s the book that got me my Bingo!)
*A Book About Puzzles
You Go First // by Erin Entrada Kelly
I’m claiming puzzles on this one, even though it’s about Scrabble. I figure that Scrabble is about word puzzles, right?
This book has two protagonists: Charlotte and Ben. I liked both of them and enjoyed reading both their stories. Their only connection is through online Scrabble. Although, at one point, they actually speak to each other on the phone.
This book is about the masks we wear. And about how one friend can change things for us, for the better. Interestingly our two main characters never meet. And they never do get the full picture of what the other’s life is really like. Basically because neither of them will “go first”. However, both kids find their one friend among the kids they already know at school… Kids they have overlooked in the past.
I keep vacillating between 3.5 and 4 stars for this book. I think I’ll go with the higher rating. [4 stars]
There’s No Wifi on the Prairie // by Nicholas O. Time
I wish I liked this book better. I did like the premise about how the girl needs to learn that you can’t always depend on doing a Google-search in life. I probably would have liked this book as a kid, though.
I think the random cows that kept cropping up at the school was a little weird for me. [3 stars]
*’Princess’ in the Title
A True Princess // by Diane Zahler
This is a delightful retelling of one of my favourite fairy tales. I won’t say which one, because it’s more fun that way. The main character is Liliana* and she’s a spunky one. I loved how the chapter titles connected with the story.
If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, I’d definitely recommend this. I found this one have enough surprises to make me happy, while keeping to its inspiration. [3.5 stars]
*A Boy and His Dog
Kindred Souls // by Patricia MacLachlan
This one is more like a book about a grandfather and his dog! But there’s a boy, too…
This was interesting, especially with the dog. Billy (the grandfather) just happens to come across the dog, Lucy. He’s growing old, and he’s hoping that his grandson, Jake, will build him a sod house (like he had when he was younger). And when he lands in the hospital, Jake decides to do what he can.
I really like how the family comes together in this book to make Billy’s dream come true. And, of course, Lucy the dog is there for it all. [4 stars]
*Pick Your Prompt // Historical Fiction
The Fences Between Us // by Kirby Larson
I’ve read quite a few books about the internment of the Japanese-Americans during World War II, but this is the first book that talks about it from the perspective of a non-Japanese protagonist. But what’s cool about this book is that it’s based on a real person.
In the story, Piper’s father is a minister to a Japanese congregation in Seattle. So, when his church is shut down (because all the congregants are interned), he [SPOILER] takes Piper and moves with them. Piper’s not too happy to leave her friends and school behind, just because of her father’s convictions. [END SPOILER] A good, solid historical novel. [4 stars]
A Window on the Cover
Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe // by Tricia Springstubb
A cute book about a girl (Cody) who welcomes a friend (Spencer) to the neighbourhood. he’s not the only new kid on the block. There’s about the Meen girls: Molly and Maxie. And let’s just point out that Molly and Maxie live up to their last name.
I enjoyed Cody’s imaginative outlook on life… how she tries to protect the younger Spencer. I also like how she also gets things wrong! [4 stars]
Character Shares Your Name
Anna Maria’s Gift // by Janice Shefelman
The protagonist in this one is an orphan by the name of Anna Maria. (I don’t share the Anna-part, but my name is Maria!) It’s a cute story of her and her special violin. (As an adult, I don’t know how realistic the plot is, but a kid would probably like it!)
I did love the historical setting in Venice. And I learned a little about Vivaldi. I didn’t know he was a priest who taught violin to orphans! Definitely a story for lower-MG readers. [3 stars]
A Book About Photography
Northern Exposures // by Eric Walters
This was a fun story about a boy who wins a photography contest by accident. The prize? Photography the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. And because he’s not really a photographer, he has some madcap adventures. Not to mention, the other people in his group are a bunch of senior citizens!
I enjoyed learning about polar bears and getting a little geography/history lesson (which I see as fun!) about Churchill. Plus, as a photographer, I would have loved to be on this trip with Kevin and all the senior citizens! (Oh, and because the book was first published in 2001, I loved all the film-talk. It brought me back to the days when I first started taking pictures.) [3.5 stars]
A Book You Borrowed
Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf // by Jennifer L. Holm
This is a story told through “stuff”: Report cards, notes, homework, etc. The protagonist is Ginny and she’s having former-friend trouble, brother trouble, and school trouble. In fact, this book reminded me of Kate Messner’s Breakout in its style.
Actually, I’m guessing this story led to Holm’s graphic novel Sunny Side Up. Many of the plot elements are the same. The one exception is that this story is contemporary whereas the other is set in the 1970s. [4 stars]
September Bingo is complete!