Wednesday, November 2, 2022

First Chapter Friday: new in 2022 #iLoveMG

Last month for #FirstChapterFriday I put together a list of books that are debuted in 2022. I was fortunate enough to receive copies of these books through a giveaway on Twitter hosted by 

Check out #iLoveMG for more books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

New 2022 Middle Grade


(Whenever possible, I like to include author photos along with book covers when sharing books with kids. It helps reinforce the idea that authors are real people!)




Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books this year?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Scary Middle Grade Stories #iLoveMG

This year I've been doing #FirstChapterFriday a little differently. Rather than read a single chapter from a book, I've been sharing more sets of books, united with a common theme. Some have been series or books by the same author, while others are more topical. In honor of Halloween, I put together this round up of spooky stories that are pitch-perfect for middle grade readers. 

Check out #iLoveMG for more books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Spooky Stories for Middle Grade


(Whenever possible, I like to include author photos along with book covers when sharing books with kids. It helps reinforce the idea that authors are real people!)




Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite spooky stories for middle grade readers?

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Review: The Wanderer by Sharon Creech #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Wanderer

Recommended by AU


The Wanderer by Sharon Creech is a realistic fiction novel told in ship log entries. It is about a girl named Sophie who goes on a ship journey with some of her friends to visit her grandfather, Bompie. Along the way, she learns how to juggle, goes lobster-catching, and tells the crew some of Bompie’s stories, along with other adventures. I give this book a four and a half star rating because it’s not something I would usually read, but it was worth it.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, April 9, 2022

A Snicker of Magic Recommendation #iLove

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

A Snicker of Magic

Recommended by Arie


My book club book is called A Snicker of Magic and it’s by Natalie Lloyd. It’s a fantasy book and it has 311 pages. 

Let me tell you my summary of the book. So, there is this girl called Felicity Pickle and she is a nomad, she lives in her car and is always moving. She has a problem. She is always hesitant and nervous to socially speak. When she moves to Midnight Gulch, she discovers that there is some magic remaining there. She later uncovers her family’s secret history and learns that her family is cursed. Also nervous for her school’s annual talent show competition, will she be able to find her voice and break the curse, or will she mess up her competition, and will her family be cursed forever? So yeah, that was my summary. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy and a good mystery. I would give this book a 5/5 and once you read A Snicker of Magic, you definitely will too!

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Recommended: My Jasper June #iLoveMG

My Jasper June

Recommended by Lucy


The book that I read is called My Jasper June, which is a realistic fiction book, and it is by Laurel Snyder. The book is set in Atlanta and starts when 13 year old Leah has just finished school and has a whole boring summer looming ahead of her. Her friends stopped making eye contact with her, “afraid the sadness could rub off on them, or something,” after a horrible day last summer. Her family have all turned to “ghosts,” unlike the fun, laughing, parents she used to have. 

However, one day Leah meets a mysterious girl unlike any other, Jasper who Leah discovers also feels lost. As Leah learns some of Jasper’s secrets, they carve out a friendship and a secret “hideaway” in an overgrown space, away from their parents and hardships. But as the fun and exciting days start to fade away, darker realities become more apparent. Leah and Jasper have to decide whether their friendship can save them both. 

Meanwhile, Leah’s annoyance with how distant her parents are is increasing and might bubble over anytime. Can Leah solve everyone’s problems and keep Jasper safe as well? 

I really enjoyed this book because of how vivid the characters were. The author really conveys how annoyed, sad, and lonely Leah was. Laurel Snyder also does an excellent job showing how different Jasper’s situation is and managing to keep the plot interesting, with many problems in the book, but all surrounding a main type of lesson. Although there is some violence and an alcoholic character, I think Laurel Snyder still manages to keep the book not too dark. 

If you liked the book The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser or the picture book A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel, you will absolutely love this book. All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who wants a story of friendship or just a very eventful plot. A 5 star rating for sure.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Review: Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! #iLoveMG

My 5th graders are reading and reviewing their independent reading books, as well as designing a new cover. I love the large baseball on Lauren's version of Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

Recommended by Lauren


Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen is a book written by Sarah Kapit, published by Dial Books for Young readers in 2020. It won the Schneider Family Award Honor in 2021. For those who like realistic fiction books, this would be a good book for you! 
 
11-year-old Vivy Cohen has dreams to be a pitcher in the Major League Baseball team, and she is determined to not let anything stop her, not even being an autistic kid or the only girl on a team. She’s had enough of playing catch in the park with her brother, and when a baseball coach sees her throw a knuckleball, she is invited to join a team. But her mom and therapist are worried about her autism, but lucky for her, she’s got an actual major league baseball player, VJ Capello and her dad on her side. When she finds herself in the middle of an accident, she has to fight her way back to stay on the team, especially when she faces a mean bully and her mom trying to get her off the team. 
 
As I said before, for anyone who likes realistic fiction books, this is a great book for you! I personally think this is a great book, and I would give it a 4.5/5 because I generally don’t understand the rules of baseball so it’s kind of confusing. But it’s great book!

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Starfish - recommended! #iLoveMG

Check out the amazing student cover for Starfish! My fifth graders chose an independent reading book, read it, analyzed the current cover, and designed one based on their interpretation of the story. 

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Starfish

Recommended by Smayana



I read the book Starfish, by Lisa Fipps. I would say this book is realistic fiction. Ever since she wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her 5th birthday party everyone started calling Ellie, Splash. She was made fun of for her weight ever since whether it was bullies or her own family. The whole reason was her own sister, Ana├»s! She has to hear the same things every day including from her mom and classmates so she made Fat Girl Rules to help her not stand out. It’s hard enough when her best friend moves but then things start to look up. She meets a new neighbor, Catalina, who surprisingly doesn’t judge her body. Along with her, she has a new therapist who knows just what to say. Will Ellie find a place in the world after all?

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Book Recommendation: New from Here #iLoveMG

Happy book birthday last week to Kelly Yang's newest, New From Here, which just hit the Indie Top list! I received an advanced copy from NCTE, and one of my students had a chance to read and review it this week.

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

New From Here

Recommended by Lucy


New From Here is a very realistic fiction book by Kelly Yang, about an Asian American boy who fights to stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus, when he is forced to move to the United States, oceans apart from his father (his best friend) at the beginning of the book. 

In California, 10-year-old Knox Wei-Evan struggles with racism. Just because he’s from Asia, his classmates think that he must have brought over the virus and that they will get infected by him, always making him “It” in “Coronavirus tag”. He tries to stand up to hate, but how can you stop bullies when you’re one against a crowd? 

Meanwhile, at home, his Mom got fired from her job and is panicking from the loss of health insurance. Knox also has to deal with living in the same room as his older brother, Bowen, who would rather share a room with a mosquito. And everyone struggles with Knox’s habit of blurting things out. “It drives everyone in my family crazy,” he says, without knowing, just yet, that there is a clinical diagnosis for it. 
 
I enjoyed this book a lot. First of all, big themes like job loss, parental tensions, and money woes are handled carefully. There is also a lot happening in this novel but what really stands out is Knox's development and the relationships within the family. And Knox, a boy who gets “volcano mad” and always feels as if he is on the ridge of getting into a whole mess of trouble, is a moving narrator. Sometimes he cannot control the emotions that bubble up inside him. But the world cannot control the chaos unleashed by the coronavirus either. That truth, as this pandemic novel makes clear, extends to all of us. 
 
In conclusion, I recommended this book to anyone who wants a story that sheds light on the wrongness of racism in the same layered style as Kelly Yang’s Front Desk.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Ghost Boys review #iLoveMG

This week my fifth graders are sharing the new covers they designed for the books they read recently. Several of them have agreed to share their covers and reviews with readers of The Logonauts

(Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders. More 5th grade reviews are at #iLoveMG.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Ghost Boys

Recommended by Shira



My book is Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. The genre is Historical Fiction. 

Ghost Boys is about Black struggles and standing up for rights. It shows the hardships and struggles that Black kids face against the racists. It shows lies and love and friendship when there is none. 

The book is about 12-year-old Jerome, being killed for having a weapon. A toy weapon. As a ghost, he meets Emmett Till, a black boy, like him, killed for saying hi to a white woman, and Sarah, the daughter of the policeman who killed Jerome. 

This book focuses on the real-world struggles both adults and kids are sadly still facing today. It takes a dark but real and in-depth look at racism and the number of lives being taken just because of the color of their skin. 

I like this book a lot because it takes a look at things not many people pay attention to. Yes, it has gory details, but that is what I like. Most books with death have a simple old-age death, they go over the details and why it happened. But this book went in-depth about the reasoning, and the details. 

If I were to choose one sentence or paragraph from this book to sum it up, I would use this: “Doesn’t seem fair. Nobody ever paid me any attention. I skated by. Kept my head low. Now I’m famous.” I chose this because it shows the one time people pay attention, it ends up being a bad thing. Jerome was just trying to protect himself, and it cost him his life. 

I recommend this book to people who are ready to understand the real world. Not fantasy with peace and friendship, the one with blood and war, with love and hate. The one with understanding and stupidity. This book shows the real world. Ghost Boys is a glimpse at the countless lives that have been taken. Mind you, these lives are mostly Black. Just because of the color of their skin and the way they act, they are suddenly bad people. Is this the world you want to shape? Your turn to tell me.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Happy #BookBirthday to Rima's Rebellion!

Happy book birthday to Rima's Rebellion by Margarita Engle! 

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Rima's Rebellion

Recommended by Smayana


My name is Smayana and I read Rima's Rebellion by Margarita Engle. I would describe this book as historical fiction. It has a small bit of romance. The book is, as you might of guessed, about a brave girl named Rima. Rima loves to ride horses with her abuela (grandmother) and women veterans from Cuba's war for independence. 

Later, many people started gathering and starting clubs for equal women's rights but many people also denied that idea. During the 1920's this was abnormal and kids like Rima were bullied and ignored. Does Rima have what it takes to get her rights or will men always overpower her? Read on to find the solution to her problems!

[Thank you to NCTE 2021 and publisher Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are our own.]

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books so far in 2022?