Review / The Light Jar

Book: The Light Jar (2019)
Author: Lisa Thompson
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: Nate and his mum are running away from her scary boyfriend. They end up in the middle of nowhere at the cottage of an old friend who recently died. When the mum goes to get food, Nate discovers his old imaginary friend turns up. He hasn’t seen Sam in years. But Sam doesn’t seem to stick around when Nate finds Kitty, the girl who lives in the big house. Kitty’s on a treasure hunt and Nate decides to help her. But then she starts to get a little noisy about his situation and he isn’t sure who he can trust.

Opening lines from the book …
I love Mum’s tunnel-singing trick. She always did it when she drove us to Grandma’s for one of her Sunday lunches.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) I found this book to be quite compelling. It had just enough mystery that I wanted to keep reading. Little by little, Nate’s situation is revealed.

2) Sam was an interesting character. He’s Nate’s old imaginary friend and becomes a literary device of sorts. It’s a way for us to get to know the events that led up to the escape from the crazy boyfriend Gary. And for Nate, it’s a good way for him to process the events he’s living.

3) I loved the treasure hunt. It’s an old game that was set up for Kitty’s aunt, who tragically died before she could follow all the clues. So, now it’s up to Kitty and Nate to figure things out. And there are hedge mazes involved. Who doesn’t love a hedge maze?

4) The place where Nate and his mum are hiding is a cottage on the property of an old estate in England. Since friend who used to live there has died, the place is in disrepair. Which, of course, makes for an interesting setting.

5) I did figure out one of the twists in the story. I suspected early on and so I wasn’t surprised. But there was another part of the twist that I did not guess, so that’s good. (No spoilers.)

6) This book talks about some tough subjects, but I felt it was done in a good way. It wasn’t too graphic, but it did show the danger of how domestic abuse (even if it’s just verbal/mental abuse) can develop. And how important it is for people like Nate and his mother to get out of that. 

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) The cheese scone. I’m not going to say much about it except, where did it come from?

FINAL THOUGHTS

I found this book quite compelling. The setting is great and so is the treasure hunt. Or rather, solving the clues was the fun part!


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / Unplugged

Book: Unplugged (2021)
Author: Gordon Korman
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: Jett is a spoiled rich kid who gets into trouble just for the fun of it. So, his millionaire dad sends him to Oasis, a place where he has to surrender all his devices and becomes “unplugged.” Jett isn’t too happy, but he soon makes an uneasy alliance with some of the other kids at the retreat center as they attempt to rescue a poor little lizard they call Needles. However, Jett isn’t above the rules, and he leads the charge in “illegal” visits to the nearby town to get food for Needles, only to discover a mysterious house that seems to be hiding a secret.

Opening lines from the book …
Matt says I could see the majestic beauty of the American Southeast if I’d bother to glance out the window. So I glance. “Clouds,” I report. “Whoop-de-do.”

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) Jett’s pretty spoiled, and he’s pretty much your typical Korman-esque protagonist. He’s got an eye for trouble, but he will also undergo some sort of character growth.

2) The story is told through multiple POVs. There’s the mysterious Brooklynne, the eager-beaver Grace, and the guy who’s allergic to everything: Tyrell. A motley crew who work together for the sake of the poor rescue lizard, Needles. That’s part of the fun of reading a Gordon Korman novel, to get all these different points of view.

3) There are a couple nice little twists in the story, although I did guess them before their revelation. But I didn’t guess them all. There was still one that I kind of got right but not all of it! I won’t spoil it here, but if you’ve read the book, you should know what I mean.

4) In the story, the retreat is the brainchild of Magnus Fellini. He even has his own salutation: “Be whole.” And he completely embraces the life of a healthy, off-the-grid type of living. Jett doesn’t waste any time coming up with the nickname “Nimbus” whenever he wants to reference Magnus. There’s a scene where Jett stands up for Magnus, but calls him “Nimbus”. And he does it in front of Magnus! I love how Magnus seems completely chill with the nickname!

5) The most interesting part of the story for me was the idea of living in an unplugged world. In many ways, I love the idea, but I also know how much we depend on the internet and the online world. Anyhow, I found it fascinating.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re a Gordon Korman fan, you should probably enjoy this one. 🙂

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / Measuring Up

Book: Measuring Up (2020)
Author: Lily LaMotte
Illustrator: Ann Xu
Genre: MG, Contemporary/Graphic Novel

Basic plot: Cici misses her grandmother, A-má, who lives all the way in Taiwan. When she sees a kids’ cooking contest, she hopes she has what it takes to win because that prize money would be perfect to buy that plane ticket for A-má.  During the contest, she’s teamed up with a girl named Miranda. Soon, Cici begins to doubt her ability to cook and turns to learn from watching the great Julia Child on TV. As one contestant after another is eliminated, Cici soon realizes that she’ll soon be competing against her teammate.

Opening lines from the book …
My life in Taiwan is sweet. My favorite is mango flavor but Siu-Lian and Siu-Khing always get Lychee. We never get tired of watching the panda… or running on the Dragon Bridge… but A-má is the best part.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) Cici is such a likable character! I love her connection to her grandmother and how she decides to do something about the fact that they live so far apart.

2) The cooking part of the story was really fun. Seeing Miranda and Cici come up with their amazing culinary delights made me hungry to do a taste test! And ditto for when Cici is experimenting with Julia Child’s recipes. 

3) I like the relationship that develops between Cici and Miranda. They don’t quite start off on the right foot. And, let’s face it, Miranda is a bit of a know-it-all. But Cici does take this as an opportunity to learn from her (because Miranda does actually know a lot about cooking). But in the end, Cici decides to take a risk that would go against some of Miranda’s “expertise”. I loved that Cici was able to see where her own “expertise” clicks in.

4) Now for the three judges! If you’ve seen any reality show that involves judges, you will know there’s always that one judge. In this case, it’s the bald one, Mr. Bonze. I loved his little snarky remarks, although I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of them. And nor did I want Cici to be criticized either! But as a reader, he did add a little spice and drama.

5) I loved how Cici’s mentor becomes TV’s Julia Child! The montage where Cici is trying to flip the potato pancakes is great. Courage and conviction!

6) Ultimately, I loved how Cici brings her A-má’s Taiwanese cooking into the story. While it’s nice to see Cici branch out with other foods, it was even nicer to see her embrace the simplicity of her heritage. And be able to come up with her own modifications to old recipes.

7) I thought the graphic novel format worked really well for this book.

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) Not much to report here.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Such a fun book! I won it in a giveaway contest by Completely Full Bookshelf! Yay! I really did enjoy it and would recommend it for anybody who enjoys watching those cooking shows or competitions.

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / The Safest Lie

Book: The Safest Lie (2015)
Author: Angela Cerrito
Genre: MG, Historical [WWII]

Basic plot:  Anna Bauman is no longer Anna Bauman, all because she’s Jewish. She has to learn a new name and a completely new identity. First, she ends up in an orphanage, and then with a Polish family. She just tries to survive the war …

Opening lines from the book …
Mama’s arm is draped over me, soft as a butterfly’s wing. Papa clears his throat and pats at his coat pockets. He’s been awake all night guarding us from the two men who arrived yesterday.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) I found it fascinating how Anna manages to learn all about her new Catholic identity, and yet still remains true to her Jewishness. She may be Anna Karwolska during the day, at night she’s Anna Bauman. And I found it interesting to see her

2) The book spans several years of the war. It was interesting to see the various places she stays… from the initial mother and daughter team who rescue her to the nuns at the orphanage to the family who distribute a secret resistance newspaper.

3) Which brings me to my favourite part of the book. I loved the part Anna plays in helping out with the resistance newspaper. It was nice to see her idea actually work and how she becomes part of the solution in finding a new supply of paper. Go Anna!

4) We never meet the grandma, but her Yiddish sayings permeate the story. And being in Yiddish, they also are quite dangerous for young Anna to repeat out loud, which may or may not happen in the story! I’ll leave you to read all about it.

5) I love authors’ notes and this one did not disappoint! I loved learning about the spark that ignited this story into being… about the real-life woman (Irena Sendler) who rescued so many children from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. There is even a photo of Irena Sendler and the author!

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) [*Slight Spoiler] The ending fell a little flat to me. I wanted a more definite ending and it ended up being kind of neither here nor there. I guess I wanted her to have a family… either to be reunited with her parents or to be happy with adoptive parents. They do mention the aunt in Canada, but that wasn’t super exciting for me since we don’t really know about her. Although, I wouldn’t mind meeting an aunt in Canada… Maybe Book #2??? [End Spoiler]

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love a good book about people who summon the courage to do things that are just plain scary (like defying the Nazis). I think it’s so important to know that it is possible to do what’s right even when the world around you has gone crazy. Definitely recommend this one for readers interested in history, and especially the history of World War II.

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / The Friendship War

Book: The Friendship War (2019)
Author: Andrew Clements
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: When Grace visits her grandfather, she comes into the possession of a collection of old buttons. She brings the buttons to school and, bam! A fad of button-collecting is started. But soon she’s at odds with her so-called best friend, Ellie. This time, Grace doesn’t want to give in to her friend and so begins the Friendship War …

Opening lines from the book …
Flying from Chicago to Boston by myself hasn’t been as big a deal as my dad said it was going to be. But nothing ever is.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) Let’s start with all the cool buttons! I’ve never thought too deeply about buttons, but I did very much enjoy learning about the different types of buttons, especially the vintage ones. I thought this information was handled nicely through the character of Hank, Grace’s new friend.

2) Since I love old things, I definitely felt a kinship to Grace as she wanted the buttons. I think, however, I might be a little more like Hank in wanting to know the history behind them. He does all the research.

3) This was an interesting study in how fads work. Grace has a very scientific approach to things, and this whole button thing is no different. I like the scene where she discusses the idea of supply and demand with her older brother. Which, of course, leads to the thing that gets her into trouble!

4) The war between the two friends was the focus of most of the book. I was definitely on Team Grace. But I do like what Andrew Clements did at the end to make Ellie a little more sympathetic. And how the friendship is eventually saved.

5) I liked the Grampa. (I like grandparents in stories like this.) I just wish there was more with him in the book!

6) Favourite Quote: “Of all the kids you knew back when you were in sixth grade, are any of them still your friends?” This is Grace talking to her mom about the trouble in her friendship with Ellie. If I were to ask the same question of myself, I can answer and say: “Why yes, yes I am!” 🙂

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) There were moments when I couldn’t fully believe in Grace’s motivation. One particular section is when she does decide to launch a full-out war against Ellie. I didn’t totally buy it. (I just had to remind myself to just keep reading.)

FINAL THOUGHTS

I found this interesting, especially compared with The Button War by Avi. While that book is historic fiction, both books deal with button collections. I enjoyed this book by Andrew Clements. (I believe it was the final book published before his death in 2019.)

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / Henry and Beezus

Book: Henry and Beezus (1952)
Author: Beverly Cleary
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: Henry Huggins wants a bicycle more than anything. And so, he sets out to figure out a way to make his dream possible which includes a scheme to sell bubble gum at school. But things aren’t easy when your nemesis (Scooter McCarthy) constantly asking about your progress. And then there’s Beezus. She’s okay, but her little sister Ramona just makes Henry’s life miserable …

Opening lines from the book …
Henry Huggins stood by the front window of his square white house on Klickitat Street and wondered why Sunday afternoon seemed so much longer than any other part of the week.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) Henry Huggins is such a likable character. I love how he can’t really stand Ramona Quimby, and yet, he’s so nice that he just puts up with her. And THEN, she always seems to turn out to be the key to his success! (Although, in this book, she doesn’t come into the climax as she often does in the other books.)

2) I love Beezus! I love how she has all these games to help her deal with her sister. Like the “Waiting for the Bus” game, just to name one. In this book, she’s forever practicing with her baton in hopes of twirling it in the Rose parade. And of course, she becomes the key to Henry figuring out how to leverage his embarrassing win at the end of the book so he can get that bicycle.

3) Scooter McCarthy makes my blood boil! Which is good. Cleary was definitely able to make us feel for poor Henry in his every attempt to get that bike, only to have Scooter be the thorn in Henry’s flesh. I also like how Scooter isn’t necessarily “bad.” He’s just annoying.

4) Who doesn’t love the name Klickitat Street. I want to live on Klickitat Street!

5) The ending (like all the other Henry books) is quite satisfying. It will make you want to go out and ride around on a bike, whether it’s red or not. My bike is blue, by the way. 🙂

FINAL THOUGHTS

I decided to read this book when the news that Beverly Cleary had died late last month. And since I did a blog post on all the Ramona Quimby books last year, I decided to read one of the Henry books this time. I really like how the Henry books are connected. We have Ribsy and Henry’s desire to have a bike and a paper route. And of course, there’s Ramona the Pest. It really is a delightful series. And while some parts may have aged a bit, overall this book (and the series as a whole) is still very much an enjoyable read. Thank you, Beverly Cleary!

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / One Last Shot

20210324ma_0820Book: One Last Shot (2020)
Author: John David Anderson
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: Malcolm’s dad is always trying to get him into some extra-curricular sport. When they discover that Malcolm is actually quite good at mini-golf, guess who gets signed up for a tournament, not to mention his own private golf lessons! In addition to all things golf, Malcolm has to deal with a new relationship with a girl he meets at the mini-putt as well as the increasing fighting between his parents. And that’s not to mention the voices of doubt inside his head …

Opening lines from the book …
It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, where twenty-four talented young golfers are getting ready to tackle this monster of a course.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) I think my favourite character in the whole book is Frank, the cranky coach! I love how he ends up connecting with Malcolm. By the end of the book, when he (*SPOILER) is in the hospital, I felt genuine concern! (End Spoiler) This book is worth it just for the character of Frank! He definitely added some spice. 🙂

2) I also enjoyed the friendship between Lex and Malcolm. I loved all of Lex’s little trivia facts. And how she brought in Pac-Man and the “One dot at a time.” And I especially like how she helps brings everything together by the end of the book.

3) The mini-golfing was fun. I don’t think I’ve read a book about mini-golf (or even, golf!) before. There was enough information to help me understand the scoring and such, but not so much that I grew frustrated. (Note: It’s been a while since I’ve play a game of mini-golf! Kind of made me want to try my hand at it. Although, I know I’m not nearly as talented as Malcolm.)

4) I thought it was interesting how Anderson brings in Malcolm’s big opponent: Jamie Tran. We don’t really get to know Jamie, other than that he has his own youtube channel and is serious about mini-golf. I think it’s an interesting decision on the part of the author to deal with Malcolm’s “nemesis” in this way. And Malcolm’s choice at the end of the game is particularly interesting to me.

5) Then there was the situation with the parents. I find “divorce stories” hard to read sometimes. In this book, Malcolm lives through the constant bickering of his parents. And, at one point, (*SPOILER) Dad even moves out. But then, while the end is not resolved about whether or not the parents will go through with a divorce, there does seem to be hope. And I like hopeful endings. (End Spoiler)

6) Of all the “voices” that Malcolm experiences (voices of doubt, etc.) my favourite ones were Bill and Jim, the fictional Sports Commentators who chatter about each golf move. It was a nice technique to bring some fun to how Malcolm sees the game unfolding before him. (Note: It’s Bill (or is it Jim) who speaking the opening lines of the book. See above.)

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) This story begins with the big tournament, and throughout the book, the tournament is the anchor to all the flashback scenes. I liked that. What I had trouble with was knowing what was flashback and what was happening in real time. By the end of the book, I was getting it; but it took over half the book of me being slightly confused! I think there might have been a better way to do this.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed this story, even though golfing is not really my thing. I particularly liked the ending and thought it fit in well with Malcolm’s character. Overall, it’s a fun book that also deals with some very real issues that kids face.

 


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / A Boy is Not a Bird

20210321ma_0807Book: A Boy is Not a Bird (2019)
Author: Edeet Ravel
Genre: MG, Historical [Soviet Union – 1940s]

Basic plot: Natt and his friend Max are the “two musketeers.” But war comes to his village, and so do the Russians. Suddenly, Natt’s no longer going to Hebrew classes and then his father is arrested. When his mother goes away, suddenly Natt is in the interrogator’s chair. He starts to wonder if Stalin really is the friend of children.

Opening lines from the book …
My best friend Max and I are playing a game called Life and Death on the High Seas. Max came up with both the game and the name. He gets all the good ideas. I’m more of a go-along type of guy.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) I loved the friendship between Max and Natt. I think I was particularly drawn to Max because, while Natt buys into the lies being taught at school, Max seems to know something is a little odd about it. I love how Max comes up with various “illnesses” to get out of going to school!

2) I did like how the teachers are not necessarily “evil” in this book. Comrade Martha and Comrade Minsky are shown more in a complex light, especially Comrade Minsky (who we learn *slight spoiler* is also Jewish). While Comrade Martha pushes the Russian and Soviet agenda, she doesn’t vilify Natt, even after his father is arrested. She actually gives him Soviet prizes. I found this interesting and made me think she, like others, is just caught in Soviet web and just tries to do her best to survive.

3) I loved the theme of negative numbers which Comrade Minsky introduces during math class. I loved how it plays into the plot as Natt loses things, one by one… his dad, his house, etc. The book is even separated into sections labeled ‘Minus a House’ and ‘Minus a Town.’

4) I also enjoyed Mr. Elias, Natt’s Hebrew teacher. Later in the story, Natt becomes very close to his little daughter, Shainie (who seems about three or four years old). At one point, they are separated, and the little girls reaction shows how much she adores her big kid friend. I like how the author manages to incorporate her into the very end of the story.

5) The author’s note at the end of the book explains the true story behind this book.

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) At times, I was confused by Natt’s age. There are spots where he seems to be twelve (I think that’s his age in the story), but there were other times when he seemed much, much younger. He seemed very naive, especially compared with Max. Since this book is based on true events, it’s possible that this is part of the real “Natt,” but I do think kids these days will have a hard time connecting with him at times.

2) The book also ended a tad abruptly. It seems like there is a lot more to Natt’s story. And in the author’s note, she does mention that it’s supposed to be a trilogy. That’s fine, but I did want just a little more at the end of this one.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think this story is such an important one. I love historical fiction, and I do have soft spot (if you can call it that) for stories about the Soviet Union since that is part of my heritage. I would recommend this to anybody who’s interested in history. I look forward to reading the next two books to find out what happens to Natt!


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / Echo Mountain

20210314ma_0727Book: Echo Mountain (2020)
Author: Lauren Wolk
Genre: MG, Historical [1930s]

Basic plot: Ellie and her family have come to live on Echo Mountain during the Great Depression. When her father is put into a coma after being struck by a tree, Ellie is determined to wake him up. She ends up finding the hag who lives at the top of the mountain, only to discover that the mysterious woman is facing her own medical emergency. Ellie seeks ways to help the hag with hopes that she might in turn help her father as well.

Opening lines from the book …
The first person I saved was a dog.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) The Great Depression has always fascinated me. This book isn’t quite your typical middle-grade book set during the Depression. Rather it’s also a survival story of sorts where the town family must learn to live off the land on the mountain, including dealing with life-threatening medical emergencies.

2) I enjoyed Ellie’s growing relationship with the mysterious “hag”, Miss Cate. I have always been fascinated by natural medicine/remedies. And this is a great part of the book, especially with Miss Cate teaching Ellie about the use of maggots and honey and even vinegar! (I am glad I didn’t need to “see” the injuries talked about in the book!)

3) There are some nice little twists and connections between the various characters in the book. This is especially true with Larkin, Miss Cate, and the dog Captan. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t say any more about that right now.

4) I like the arc of the mother. At first, she is not on Ellie’s side. As she deals with being the only parent (since her husband is in a coma), she does her best as the mother of three children. Ellie causes her quite a bit of grief when she wanders all over the mountain. But as the book progresses, the mother at least tries to understand the daughter that has so embraced the mountain life.

5) I love the little brother Samuel! (The sister, Esther, is harder to like.) But, it’s nice to see Ellie interact with her brother’s endless questions. And of course, there’s Quiet, the dog. I love it when Samuel and Quiet start to bond. (And to be truthful, I was more interested in the relationship between Quiet and Samuel than Quiet and Ellie.)

6) There’s a little story about Florence Nightingale that Miss Cate tells that absolutely won me over. (Florence Nightingale has been one of my childhood heroes since forever!)

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) It was a little bit of a slow start for me. Just take that into account. I’d say that about half-way through, I became more interested in finding out how the book will turn out.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you love a good survival/pioneer type story, this book is for you. Ellie takes to life on Echo Mountain like a fish to water. And it’s part of the fun of the book to see her find solutions in nature.


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Review / Kid Spy: Mac Cracks the Code

20210228ma_0334Book: Kid Spy: Mac Cracks the Code (2019)
Author: Mac Barnett
Genre: Lower MG, Espionnage

Basic plot: Mac is a kid spy who works for none other than the Queen of England. When the Queen tries to put Mac behind a desk, he decides to go rogue and set off on what seems like a wild goose chase around the world, only to end up facing his nemesis: KGB Man.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…

1) Mac Barnett has such a good sense of humour! This is a “mock” memoir of his days as a spy (when he was a kid, of course). And I especially love the fact that his boss is the Queen of England. There are some great interactions between Mac and her Majesty! (Including talk about underoos, i.e. underwear!)

2) I love the gag with the phones. Somehow, the Queen is always able to track Mac down, including that first time in the movie theatre. I love how she always asks for Mac, expecting her phone call to go through on the payphones around the world. (Since this is supposed to be 1989, there are no cell phones. But apparently, the Queen doesn’t let that stop her!)

3) The video game thread is definitely a fun hook. I enjoyed how Mac talks about Zak, the video game kid who has exactly three letters in his name, which is perfect for getting his full name when he scores during the video gaming competition! Funny how Mac does seem to realize or acknowledge that he has the same three-letter name advantage!

4) It’s fun how this kid just ends up going around the world, all by himself. Totally, unbelievable, but that’s part of the charm.

5) This was definitely a quick read. There are lots of illustrations, which is great for struggling readers. And fun for all readers!

THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…

1) Not a lot here. This book has a lot of tongue-in-cheek, not-true-to-real-life events. So, if you can’t handle that, this is not the book for you. I think most kids will eat this up!

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is apparently the fourth book in the series of Kid Spy books. I haven’t read the other books, but this book does reference them a bit. I must say that I enjoyed this one a lot and will be looking up the rest. If you liked Mac Barnett’s Brixton Brothers (which is a spoof on the Hardy Boys), then I think you will enjoy this series! (And this one has the Queen in it! Bonus.)


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday