Cute. I hate to say this one didn't leave a huge lasting impression on me, but I did enjoy reading it.
The writing style was probably my favorite part...more
Cute. I hate to say this one didn't leave a huge lasting impression on me, but I did enjoy reading it.
The writing style was probably my favorite part. The author used great imagery throughout the book. I could imagine the salty taste of the ocean spray as I read about Elin Jean's adventures. It was very realistic. The author also did a fantastic job of developing the setting. Selkies are part of the Scottish folklore, so it is only natural that this tale takes place somewhere near there. Although it doesn't come outright say where, you get the impression that you are on some tiny island near Scotland. The dialect is very distinct, so get your context clues strategies ready.
As far as the story goes, it's a fast read with straight forward action. Elin Jean has a few tough decisions to make, which lead to an interesting outcome. I can't say too much about it without giving away the story. What I can say, though, is that this is a coming of age story at its heart. It is all about Elin Jean finding herself and her place in the world. That theme makes it easy to relate to for middle grade readers-- whether they are part selkie themselves or not. (less)
Do not let the cover of this book fool you! It is not an overly cutesy middle-grades novel.(I was wrong!)
This was actually a solid mystery with sever...moreDo not let the cover of this book fool you! It is not an overly cutesy middle-grades novel.(I was wrong!)
This was actually a solid mystery with several sub plots. The main plot centers around trying to figure out who is attacking the selkies and why. But of course, that would be too easy if that was the only thing to discover in a small fishing town. Enter mysterious new boy, Jamie. The instant connection between Aileen and Jamie starts of a romance that carries throughout the novel. Oh, but that's not all! Aileen's family has secrets of their own to resolve, and the family store (and Aileen's way of life) is teetering on a ledge. All of these story lines meet at the end with a very suspenseful climax! I thought it was really well developed, and I enjoyed it alot.
The characters were pretty good as well. They worked for the story, but I didn't really connect with them. I did notice, though, how well Aileen's character depicted a teenager desperate for more freedom and responsibility. She has some pretty clever one-liners and insights that made me smile. The author did a nice job of giving Aileen a belieavable voice.
I am a huge fan of mermaid books, but selkies kind of gross me out. I think it's the idea of peeling off skin and leaving it in a heap that makes my stomach churn. Luckily, though, Legasea didn't spend a lot of time focusing on the selkie qualities. Instead, it told a good story-- placing it high up on my list of merbooks. So, if you are like me and you enjoy mermaid/selkie stories, give Legasea a try! (less)
This was certainly meant for younger readers! It had a cutesy feel to it, but it was still fun to read.
I thought Mermin was adorable. He looked more...moreThis was certainly meant for younger readers! It had a cutesy feel to it, but it was still fun to read.
I thought Mermin was adorable. He looked more like an aquatic frog crossed with the Creature from the Black Lagoon than a mercreature. He was curious and hyper, which often caused a lot of unwanted trouble for his human friends. The story itself was very short and to the point. There wasn't a lot of plot development or twists and turns. It was very straightforward.
The pictures were nice though. The entire book is in color and very bright. This would be very appealing to younger readers. I think there was an even mixing of pictures with text-- some pages even had just illustrations. The story was easy to follow and smooth. There was no sense of being choppy with the formatting or layout.
If the cover doesn't make it obvious, this is best suited for the 10 and below crowd. Die hard graphic novel fans in the 11-12 year old range might give it a try, but older than that is not likely. (less)
Amazing. Simply amazing. Another hit for Sarah Beth Durst. Ice was one of a kind and exceeded all expectations.
This has to be one of the best setting...moreAmazing. Simply amazing. Another hit for Sarah Beth Durst. Ice was one of a kind and exceeded all expectations.
This has to be one of the best settings for a story that I have read in a long time. It was highly original. You would think that a story that takes place in the Artic tundra would be lacking in descriptive details and originality, but you would be wrong. The descriptions were amazing, and the setting was phenomenal. I have to admit that I was drawn to this book partly based on the location since I visited Alaska this summer. I was able to identify some of the elements mentioned in the story because I saw them with my own eyes. If the author has never traveled to this area, I am highly impressed with her ability to capture its essence. A+ in this department.
The characters were very uniques as well. Cassie is your typical strong-willed teenager, but she is different. She's the granddaughter of the North Wind and the future wife of the Polar Bear King. Yeah, you read that correctly. I will admit, as far as depth goes, there wasn't much. Cassie does grow and develop throughout the story, but that's the extent of things. I didn't really connect with her, but that's ok. The story line was so good that I didn't need to feel that personal connection. Ice read like a myth, which had me engrossed until the very end.
Sarah Beth Durst is known for her original stories. It never ceases to amaze me how she can write books that are so different from one another. Ice is not like any of her other books that I have read thus far. In fact, I would challenge someone to find a book similar to Ice.
If you are a fan of mythology, get ready! You will love all the subtle (and not so subtle) references to mythology hiding among these pages. On the surface, this is a highly original tale of Cupid and Psyche. Complete with the West Wind (in this case the North, South, and East winds) wisking Cassie (Psyche) off to a secluded location. The invisible servants in the original myth are very uniquely described trolls in Ice. There is also Inuit mythology scattered all over the place. You see mentionings of Sedna and Inuit soul keepers.
Simply put, read this. That's all I can say. It's amazing, and it will knock your socks off. (less)
Wow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked w...moreWow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked when I found this one on the shelf at the library. I also thought the hidden references to Irish and Celtic mythology was promising. In fact, I was a little excited… but then I started reading the book. Whoa Nelly. The story is ok. It’s not all that exciting, but it wasn’t horrific either. There was a plot and a few interesting characters that made things lively. I’ll be honest though, some parts of this book just freaked me out. For instance, right up front when the old man finds the baby in the water and brings her home. What happens? His wife tries to breastfeed the babe to “see how it feels” (direct quote) and magically starts lactating. Now, this woman is described as someone in her 50s or older. I was totally freaked out by that scene. It just screams psycho in my mind, but whatever. I’m sure that scene was found someone in mythology, or at least I hope it was because it was too weird otherwise. I did enjoy searching for the parts of the story that were based on mythology. The author did a really good job of weaving everything together so that it became difficult to tell what was an original idea and what was myth. I was already familiar with the story of Sedna from Inuit mythology, so when the crazy lady told Gioga about how her kinfolk (the seals) were made, I got that reference right away. The flip side of this is, however, that since this story is based on so many different myths from various cultures, it feels choppy in some places. There were just key parts of the plot that didn’t fit perfectly. And with only 128 pages, it was hard to form any connections to the characters. They all felt flat. In fact, it read like a myth in the fact that it’s a telling of events and not a story per se. I read this book in a few hours while riding in the car on my way to Orlando. Normally I fall asleep instantly when in a moving car, but I thought I would make good use of my 2.5 hour ride this time. While I can’t say I wasted my time (because my only other option was sleeping in the car), I can’t say I used it in the best way possible either. I had other books I could have read. If this book had been longer and left me with the same feeling at the end, I would have been furious with the time I spent reading it. But since I really didn’t have anything else to do, I say it was ok. Not one I would re-read or recommend to anyone, but ok. (less)
I love this series. It is so super cute. Annie is such a great character! She is Gwendolyn’s (Sleeping Beauty) non-magical sister. Annie received a gi...more I love this series. It is so super cute. Annie is such a great character! She is Gwendolyn’s (Sleeping Beauty) non-magical sister. Annie received a gift from her fairy godmother at birth that would not let any magic affect her, unlike everyone else in the kingdom. Because of this gift, Annie can sense when magic is near. Her power can also cause someone’s magic to falter. I found this to be one of the best parts of the story. I loved the descriptions of characters that suddenly found themselves without their magical qualities and gifts. One of the other qualities that make Annie so endearing is her resourcefulness. Because she has grown up without the help of magic, she has had to learn how to do many things on her own. Her sister, Gwennie, is described as “the most beautiful princess in the world” (with the help of magic of course), but Annie is often overlooked. While this could be lonely and a bit annoying, it makes Annie a great character. She is smart, stubborn, and extremely clever. The perfect underdog heroine.
The plot also weaves together familiar fairytales with slightly altered storylines. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood all make appearances—just not in the ways we are familiar with. How the author used these stories and characters was very creative.
This is a middle grades series, which means it is squeaky clean. A little kissing, but appropriate for younger readers. Older readers would probably find it too wholesome. Maybe I’m a big nerd, but I loved it. Of course, I liked the first book (The Wide Awake Princess), too. Personally, I think all fairy tale fans should read this series. It is charming. (less)
This was actually a super cute read. I really enjoyed it. I wanted to wait until closer to Halloween to read the book, but I thought it would be a per...moreThis was actually a super cute read. I really enjoyed it. I wanted to wait until closer to Halloween to read the book, but I thought it would be a perfect quick summer read… and I was right. I’m glad to say that this will be a series. I really enjoyed the characters. Eve is a human that was adopted by a monster family. She has spent her entire childhood living in the monster realm, so she can relate to the monsters. In fact, she feels more monster than human. That is, until she has to move to the human world. Once there, she finds herself having to overcome many stereotypes that she has held about humans while also trying to fit in at a middle school. The friends that Eve make along the way were also cute. I just got the warm fuzzies from them all. But I do have to admit, that my favorite character was Eve’s mom. She was from a line of Gorgons, so you can imagine the fun stuff she found herself getting into. The idea behind the story was unique. I am anxious to see what will develop in this mystery series as it continues. Eve has a new purpose in the mortal realm which will lead her on many adventures to come. I would suggest this book to 4th-6th grade readers (less)
What I think about this book in one word: Hilarious. Two words: Absolutely brilliant. As a whole: one of THE best fractured fairytales ever. Seriously...more What I think about this book in one word: Hilarious. Two words: Absolutely brilliant. As a whole: one of THE best fractured fairytales ever. Seriously. Let’s start with the plot. Bumbling heroes, an evil witch, a diplomatic giant, vegetarian trolls, and princesses that don’t need rescuing—a perfect combination for a fast-paced plot full of hijinks and adventure. I fell in love with this story on the first page. The opening line says, “Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn’t know that did you?” The light-hearted tone from the opening line runs throughout this book. I literally laughed out loud in places. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, you will love this book. I guarantee it. There are so many twists to the original tales that this book becomes its own version of a fairy-tale. How great is it to make Snow White slightly off her rocker and Cinderella like a ninja? The characters are extremely enjoyable too. The Princes Charming (there was a grammar lesson attached to this name in the book) are pretty ticked off that they go nameless in all the tales. They want people to know who the “Prince Charming” in the story really is. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But when Cinderella goes “missing,” a true hero senses the opportunity for a rescue. And so this team of misfit heroes is formed (in a rather entertaining way). Gustav is one of my favorite characters in the book. Nicknamed “Angry Man” by a troll, he undergoes the greatest transformation throughout the story. Short tempered and often irrational, he is more of a liability than an asset. But he does learn a few lessons along the way. His slowly developing friendship with Frederick—the OCD Prince Charming belonging to Cinderella—is rather endearing. Of course, Frederick is hilarious in his own right. He’s the smooth talker in the group, which is a good thing because he can’t do anything else. Then there are the princes Liam and Duncan. Liam seems to have things together, except that he thinks he’s unstoppable. But Duncan is the life of the party. There is something “off” about Snow White’s beau. The man names animals that randomly appear in the forest! That’s not normal. I would be wrong to discuss characters and not mention the leading ladies in this story. They were independent, strong-minded, and better heroes than the men. Not your stereotyped princesses by any means. Cinderella could be a super ninja. I enjoyed the side stories that told of her adventures sans the Princes Charming. When the stories finally merge, it forms a great team of heroes that I can’t wait to read more about. (And I do hope they will be recruiting more princesses into the team.) I’m happy to say that this book is the beginning of a series. I am anticipating this book becoming a favorite. It should be read aloud so everyone can appreciate the witty humor and antics in the story. Otherwise, people nearby will wonder what’s wrong with you as you laugh out loud with every turn of the page. (less)
It’s hard to describe exactly what I felt while reading this book. Elation at the speed and ease of navigating 600+ pages? Burning biceps as I held th...moreIt’s hard to describe exactly what I felt while reading this book. Elation at the speed and ease of navigating 600+ pages? Burning biceps as I held the book to read (it weighs like 10 pounds—no lie!)? The thing that sticks with me most is the pictures. I loved seeing Rose’s story unfold with every page. It was a constant guessing game. When her story starts to blend with Ben’s story, it becomes this beautiful tale of finding where you belong. Ben’s story is very moving. The poor kid has a rough life and never feels like he belongs anywhere… until he runs away to NYC. It is in NYC that he begins to learn about his past and finds a way to belong in his new life. I really did love this story. It was simple, yet complex. For a MG book it’s pretty deep. Anyone that reads this novel will have mixed emotions. There are so many layers to navigate that it’s hard not to experience many things while you read. A+ novel. (So glad we picked this for book club this month!)
If you’re looking for a book with deeply developed characters and a complicated plot, this is not the book for you. If you want an enjoyable story wit...more If you’re looking for a book with deeply developed characters and a complicated plot, this is not the book for you. If you want an enjoyable story with Native American mythology undertones, then this is the book for you. The Boy Who Flew with Eagles has a certain mythology feel to it. Naa’ki is kidnapped by a desperate mother eagle. Being cunning and brave, he makes a pack with the mother eagle. If she spares his life, he will provide food daily for her young eaglets until they can fly. The mother eagle is wary at first, but agrees. Naa’ki lives up to his promise and eventually begins to think of the eagles as family. In turn, mother eagle teaches Naa’ki a very valuable lesson. I liked the simple story telling aspect of this tale. At about 30 pages, it was short and to the point: There is a problem with the humans and everyone will die if things don’t change. The conflict, of course, comes from the humans being vain and arrogant and not believing the animals’ message. Like all myths and folktales, there is a valuable message to learn. The lesson is applicable to all aspects of our lives, not just to the natural world that surrounds us. I thought the author, Ben Woodard, did a splendid job with his descriptions. I felt like I was sitting around the camp fire listening to this story being told. The descriptive writing was truly beautiful. “They jumped as the old man raised his arms and flames leaped in a tapestry of yellow and red. He lowered his arms and the blaze returned to a flicker.” How could you not find yourself sucked into the story with such great descriptions? I am always on the look out for myths and folktales. Being a fan of such writings, I was instantly drawn to this story. Anyone that enjoys a good myth/folktale would find plenty to relish in this story. (less)
My thoughts: • Innovation– I liked that the majority of this story felt realistic. The situations that Christian, the main character, faced were believ...moreMy thoughts: • Innovation– I liked that the majority of this story felt realistic. The situations that Christian, the main character, faced were believable (i.e. bullying, peer pressure). I think younger teens could relate to his experiences as a freshman in high school. There was an element of paranormal to the plot. I liked how the author used the mystery of Roswell as part of his plot. • Story– I would consider this one a paranormal thriller/suspense book. While many of the conflicts that the main character faces are realistic, his special power that makes him a government interest is far from your everyday occurrence. There was enough suspense to keep the pages turning, even though I found myself scanning over the lengthy football details. (Main character is a football star… more teen boy appeal.) The G-rated romance factor would appeal to girls, but not make the boy readers want to vomit from mushiness. =) I feel that this book is geared more towards the young male reader because there is a lot of detail given to football terminology and team dynamics. I think that would grab the attention of many male readers. The subtle inclusion of the paranormal elements didn’t overwhelm the story, which would act as a smooth “introduction” to the genre for a reader. • Characters– I liked Christian well enough. He’s a typical main character—nothing that really stands out and wows me. I did appreciate his fascination with S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and Clint Eastwood. The characters that I liked the most were Alexis and Christian’s dad. If I grew up in a small town, my own father would be this character: strong and supportive with a corny sense of humor. The whole family dynamic with this set of characters was very wholesome. I liked Alexis because there was a sense of mystery about her. She was rough around the edges and tough as nails. She rocked. She stood up to the school bully in a very classic scene. That brings me to another character… Calvin, the antagonist. I didn’t like Calvin but that is because he was well written. You aren’t supposed to like Calvin. He was a bully and a punk. The author did a good job showing those character traits. • Sticky Fingers – I read this in two nights. The plot had a steady ebb and flow of climax building and suspense. The author’s writing style is easy to read. The characters’ dialogue reminds me of what I might hear in a small mid-western town (a far cry from the urban setting that surrounds me). • Emotional Connection – Neutral. There wasn’t much that I could connect to as a reader, other than my love of S.E. Hinton books. • Overall– 3 stars. It was an easy read that would probably appeal to boys (sports fan). (less)
At first, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because it took me a while to get into it. It was funny at times and rather enjoyable once I mad...moreAt first, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because it took me a while to get into it. It was funny at times and rather enjoyable once I made my brain realize this was geared toward middle school boys. I can see younger boy readers relating to the main character, Eric, very easily. He struggles with hormones and bullies, like almost every middle school child I’ve met. In that way he was believable, even if he was a half-vampire.
Once it got going, the plot was evenly developed. There were a few bullies scattered throughout that added to the conflict nicely. Eric has to deal with not knowing anything about being a vampire, and realizing that knowing his father is not a good thing. He also has to learn an important lesson about standing up to bullies instead of running away from his problems. Isn’t that a lesson that applies to most kids at least once in their lives?
The problems Eric faces throughout the story were resolved by the end of the book without being too sweet and contrite. It has a satisfying ending that doesn’t leave any questions unanswered. I liked that Eric, the main character, learns the value of acceptance and friendship by the end of the book. Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire had several lessons that are relevant to its readers, and that makes this teacher happy. (less)
Am I allowed to say how much I LOVED this book? It was hysterical. Seriously. I snorted many a time while reading.I have to admit that I am a big fan...moreAm I allowed to say how much I LOVED this book? It was hysterical. Seriously. I snorted many a time while reading.I have to admit that I am a big fan of Alan Sitomer's books. I've read them all. Although he doesn't typically write books that I can relate to personally, my students adore his writing. They really hit home for teens in urban environments. Homeboyz, Hoopster, Hip Hop High School, and The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez are geared towards older teen readers (high school); but, Nerd Girls is perfect for middle school students! I have found the perfect read aloud book for my class next year. It's funny enough to keep their attention, and a perfect segue into some "harder" more traditional readings. You know you have to suck the kids in!
Don't read this book if you're looking for deep, complex characters. It's not here. I'll admit that Maureen, aka "Mo," does under go a transformation throughout the novel. She's highly cynical and out right sarcastic (and I love it) for the majority of the book. By spending time with the other "nerd girls" and social outcasts of the 8th grade, she starts to develop real friendships. During this time her self image changes and she realizes that she has something to offer the world, even if she is the subject of an embarrassing top video on YouTube. Another great character is Allergy Alice. She undergoes a transformation throughout the book as well. Now, mind you that Allergy Alice is an absolute hot mess. She's practically allergic to air and everything else she comes in contact with. Her friendship with Beanpole Barbara and Maureen give her confidence and help her to cope with her fears. It's a really nice story of friendship perfect for middle school students.
If you're like me and you tend to be over the top sarcastic, this book is perfect for you. You'll enjoy the witty narrator and the other characters. It is so tongue-in-cheek (but in a middle school friendly way) that I can't wait to read it again. My students are going to die laughing, I just know it! I even bought two hardback (full price mind you) copies today! One for myself and one for my BFF that is teaching 7th grade with me next year. I'm making her read this to her students as well. As a matter of fact, I'm going to call her around 7 a.m. tomorrow morning to tell her that. (less)
I’ve been on a pirate reading kick lately. This book is geared toward the younger readers. There are plenty of illustrations to help the readers’ acti...moreI’ve been on a pirate reading kick lately. This book is geared toward the younger readers. There are plenty of illustrations to help the readers’ active imaginations. I enjoyed the story a good deal. As I read, I had to remind myself that this is meant for middle grade readers. With only 125 pages, it is a little hard to get a great deal of character development, but there was plenty of action.
The story itself is told from the first person point of view (of the ship’s captain). The pirates aren’t your typical pirates either. There is no pillaging and plundering in this book. In fact, Captain Kitt and his crew are more like philanthropists. They seek out treasure in order to help the less fortunate. It’s like Robin Hood on the high seas! The villains in the book aren’t other pirates, but savage beasts of the jungle. There was a chapter full of heart pumping action involving a gigantic spider. Thankfully, it was a quick chapter. I don’t do spiders. There was also an interesting take on riddles and the guardian of Snaggletooth’s treasure.
Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read. Young boys between the ages of 8-11 would enjoy this book. It would also be a great read aloud for younger kids. It’s clean and full of action. Not to mention that the pirates are good hearted and clean mouthed.(less)
I love a good fairy tale retelling. The story of Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. I think it's due to my obsession with long h...moreI love a good fairy tale retelling. The story of Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. I think it's due to my obsession with long hair. I have never been a fan of comic books-- or the more sophisticated name used now "graphic novels"-- because I have an over active imagination. Seeing the pictures that correspond to the text always seemed like cheating. But, when I saw this book by my beloved author Shannon Hale at my son's school book fair (for 5 bucks!) I couldn't pass it up.
This isn't your typical story of Rapunzel. There is no prince pining away saying, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair." (In this book she's a red head.) In fact, this Rapunzel is proactive. She sits around in her tower while she waits for her hair to grow long enough to aid her escape. She's not sitting there waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her.
There is also a kick-butt quality to this Rapunzel. She's not your typical delicate princess-type. She's not a princess at all. Her parents are peasants in this story. Punzie-- as she is nicknamed in this story-- uses her hair in the fierest ways. She can lasso snakes, ride wild boars, hog tie villains... She's a hard-core cowgirl, y'all. I thought that was a fun touch to the story. I also liked that the story itself isn't just about Rapunzel. There is a boy named Jack that has his own story to be told (and a golden goose named Goldy).
What would a review of a graphic novel be without a few comments on the illustrations? I really don't know what to say about them. As you can tell from the cover, they are amazing! Nathan Hale (illustrator) did a phenomenal job. The colors are vivid and extremely detailed. It's not anime style-- which I appreciate-- but more realistic. No one looks overly cartoonish, and there is a great amount of detail given to the characters' faces.
Overall, I give this one a solid 4. The originality of this version of Rapunzel is typical of Shannon Hale's retellings (which are simply awesome) and the illustrations are the perfect compliment. My oldest son wants to read the book after seeing me reading it because he noticed it was a graphic novel. (I'm sure his father will be thrilled to see him reading a fairy tale. Ha!) I guess this book could appeal to both boys and girls on some level. My son adores graphic novels, which is why he wants to read this one. I was drawn to the story and characters. I'm certain everyone could find something to enjoy in Rapunzel's Revenge. (less)
I finally finished this book! Hooray! Starting another school year has been busier and more hectic than I thought it would be, which has put a major d...moreI finally finished this book! Hooray! Starting another school year has been busier and more hectic than I thought it would be, which has put a major damper on my reading for fun. The Odd Job Squad is a middle grades book set in your typical middle school. There are nerdy characters, jocks, vicious socialites in the making, and bullies. Your average middle school population.
I really thought this one was pretty cute. Not fluffy marshmallow and pink bunny kind of cute, but a good clean MG read. There was enough suspense to keep the pages turning. Unlike most MG books, there isn't an overwhelming sense of good overcoming evil. Yes, the Odd Job Squad is all about settling the score for the underdog, but some scores aren't really settled. There were several layers that added to this story that really made it better than the typical fluff read.
The characters weren't overly developed. Ander and Shooter are the more developed off the group. Ander moves from an immature, self-absorbed 8th grader to someone that thinks of others before himself. Shooter is a little more complicated. The reader doesn't get much of a sense of what she was like before the story actually begins, so it's safe to assume we meet her in the middle of her transformation. She has serious life issues that cause her to reflect on her life and the role her friends play in it. It's a pretty deep event for a MG book, but it is handled with delicacy that I think most kids will be able to relate with. If you're expecting a deep, complicated set of characters, you aren't going to find it in The Odd Job Squad. But then again, I haven't found too many MG books that have complicated characters.
The plot was fast paced. It starts off with one of the "getting even" events and keeps going from there. There is plenty to keep a younger reader interested. I honestly (I hate to admit this) did not see one of the events coming in the book. It caught me completely off guard. That's a major plus for this story because I'm really good at guessing plots. The conflict with Stacia (antagonist) is well developed. She is diabolical and the epitome of what I hated in middle school. I knew my own Stacia. I think young readers will be able to relate to this conflict (and the desire to get even) very well! As an adult, I was able to relate.
Currently, I'm reading Alan Sitomer's Nerd Girls aloud to my 7th grade students. They love it. It's funny, suspenseful, and full of the getting even with the bully drama that middle schoolers love. I won't let anyone borrow my copy of the book because it won't be there for our read alouds. I'm going to offer up The Odd Job Squad as an alternative. I think the kids that are enjoying Nerd Girls will enjoy The Odd Job Squad as well. I've noticed them checking out my "What I'm Reading" wall with the synopsis of this book, so it should go over well.
Middle school teachers and students would enjoy this book and should check it out. It's worth the read. (less)