MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT will appeal to fans of mysteries and animal adventures, particularly fans of Humphrey the Hamster, Despereaux the Mouse, and the R...moreMALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT will appeal to fans of mysteries and animal adventures, particularly fans of Humphrey the Hamster, Despereaux the Mouse, and the Rats of NIMH.
McKenna School has a newbie: Classroom mouse Malcolm. He is quickly inducted into The Midnight Academy, a secret society of all the classroom pets at McKenna School. They meet under cover of night and are devoted to keeping the school kids safe. Malcolm loves the school, and he loves the club, but he has a secret… he’s not a mouse at all, but a Rat. And Rats are not trusted. When the group’s leader, an Iguana, vanishes, Malcolm must embark on a grand adventure to both solve the mystery and prove his bravery and worth.
Beautifully illustrated by Brian Lies (NYT Bestseller BATS AT THE BEACH among others), MALCOLM is one of my big picks for middle grade this Fall. This is the type of book that is such a great find as a bookseller, as it is so easy to hand a book like this to any parent or grandparent looking for a gift for a middle grader: It is super cute, gender-neutral, and totally appropriate as either a read-aloud or for independent readers. It’s got a classic feel, but unlike the “big name” books, the giftee is almost guaranteed not to already own it. Plus, the hardcover format and rich illustrations mean it is classy looking, but it won’t break the bank. Perfecto!(less)
Callie is a middle schooler who loves working on plays and is super-excited to be the set designer for an upcoming production. But with boy-drama, fri...moreCallie is a middle schooler who loves working on plays and is super-excited to be the set designer for an upcoming production. But with boy-drama, friend-drama, frenemy-drama, low ticket sales, forever-breaking props and two cute NEW guys on the scene, things are totally hectic. Can Callie and her friends get their drama in check in time for curtain call? (view spoiler)[(Spoiler alert: YES, the show DOES go on. But it is great fun getting there) (hide spoiler)]
This book is basically more perfectly like ME from age 12-14 than any book I’ve ever read. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. A must for graphic-novel fans, and also any kid, girl or boy, who has ever been interested in theater (either behind the scenes or on-stage) will love it too.
I also loved that there are gay characters and brown characters and every other kind of character and it isn’t an “issue” at all, they are just there, doin’ their thing. Like, you know… how they do in real life. Awesome. <3
Note for parents: Though there is relationship DRAMA in the book, it’s on the ‘crush/group date to a bookstore/chaste school dance’ level, not anything naughty. Fine for 10+ ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
“I will never forget the day my family got cut off from the internet.”
Trent lives in the (not-too-distant future) UK where the internet is closely mo...more“I will never forget the day my family got cut off from the internet.”
Trent lives in the (not-too-distant future) UK where the internet is closely monitored and illegally downloading any copyrighted material will result in loss of internet access for a year. The problem: Trent likes to make movies… clever mashups of clips of his favorite actor, edited to tell different stories. And though he thinks he’s being slippery, he gets caught. The resulting loss of internet access is crippling for his family: His sister can’t do her schoolwork, his dad can’t do his job, his mum can’t get her benefits. So Trent runs away.
On the streets of London he meets a hilarious and unforgettable crew of misfits, weirdos, artists, criminals and renegades. He learns to squat and become a dumpster gourmet. He also finds out that there is an entire underground of people who are very much opposed to the government’s unfair laws, laws that make millions of innocent people into felons. If Trent can figure out how use his talents to broadcast their mission in a huge way, they may actually be able to effect change.
So the thing is, Cory Doctorow has an agenda here. Some will say that the story is preachy, or whatever. Me, I disagree… or rather I think that it is didactic in the best fashion. It’s a great story that also manages to deftly explain somewhat complicated political and ideological ideas in an extremely entertaining way.
It’s a TRUTH BOMB. If I’d read this as a teenager I’d have been FIRED UP. (Hell, I got fired up as an adult… I’m just saying, if I’d read it as a teen it would have been MIND BLOWING.)
Obviously it is a tale that will resonate for anyone who feels strongly about online piracy, or who was paying attention to SOPA/PIPA. But it also brings home the larger truth that regular people — KIDS even — CAN FIGHT against giant conglomerates and corrupt and idiotic lawmakers. Their voices CAN be heard, and they CAN change the system if they try. Idealistic? Sure, and why not.
A great choice for: Internet lovers, tumblr-mavens, gif-queens, filmmakers, youtube addicts, gamers, or those who are in the least political.(less)