***Disclosure: I received complimentary samples to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
One thing I have always loved, even as a child, is reading. During recess, I was that kid, sitting on the bench with her nose stuck in a book. After all, magical worlds were far more interesting than swings and slides. Plus, I never felt like waiting in line to take a turn on the monkey bars.
So....Books were my best friend. They still are today, in fact! I've got thousands of books and a library that is absolutely to die for.
Now that I have kids of my own, I try and make sure I have a wide variety of books on hand. Whether it's beginning readers or young adult books, our library is stocked with tons of books for my children to dive into, head first.
Recently, I got the chance to check out 3 new middle grade books from the folks at Sky Pony Press. These are entertaining stories sure to draw in even the pickiest of readers.
Here's some more info about each title:
SNAKES AND STONES by Lisa Fowler (ON SALE NOW, ages 8–12, historical fiction)
Twelve-year-old Chestnut Hill’s daddy stole her and the triplets away from their mama. At least, that’s how Chestnut remembers it.
It’s 1921, and after nearly two years on the road with his traveling elixir show, Daddy’s still making no move to go back to Kentucky and buy Mama that house. So Chestnut is forced to come up with her own plan to get home. At night, when Daddy and the triplets are in bed, she draws up flyers with the name of the next town they’ll be traveling to. Before they leave each town and hoping her mama will see them, she nails up the flyers, leaving Mama an easy trail straight to her children.
When that doesn’t work, Chestnut is forced to try something bigger. But when her newest plan lands Daddy in jail and Mama has to come to the rescue, Chestnut discovers that things are not always as they seem. Written with a wonderful mountain hillbilly voice, Snakes and Stones has a mystery at its heart and lovable, strong, and complicated characters.
EARNING MY SPOTS by Mark Eastburn (ON SALE NOW, ages 8–12, supernatural)
Sam and his family are the only werehyenas in their town, and they do their best to keep up their cover in front of the humans while the other more aggressive shifters mock the werehyena family for being weak and passive. But Sam sees no other life for himself, as he believes what he is told: he is inferior to the other shifters.
One night, a pack of shifters raids Sam’s house and takes his family, leaving him all alone. With the help of some new friends, Sam sets off on a journey from Vermont to South America to rescue his family. Along the way, he meets various shifters who aid him on his quest. He even meets a tribe of werehyenas in Louisiana who teach him how powerful his kind actually is and how far his ancestry goes back. From them, Sam learns he has a great destiny to fulfill.
As Sam draws closer to finding his family, he begins to understand how different the world of shifters is that exists outside of his small hometown. Shifters are tired of humans destroying their homes, and they want not only revenge but also to force humans into submission. It becomes clear that Sam is the only one who can stop a war that’s on the brink of erupting.
Fans of the Spirit Animals and Warriors series will enjoy accompanying Sam on his quest as he discovers not only that his destiny and inner strength are greater than he thought, but also that being a werehyena is not as laughable as he assumed.
SPIES IN DISGUISE: BOY IN A TUTU by Kate Scott (11/22/16, ages 7–10, adventure and espionage)
Joe thought he had the hang of this undercover thing. Sure, he has to dress up as a girl and change his name to “Josie” to keep his family safe, but he can still play soccer, and his new friend Sam knows his secret so he at least has someone to talk to. Not to mention, it’s finally time for Joe and Sam to learn how to be proper spies—gadgets and all! Joe is prepared to prove to his parents that he’s ready for a big mission.
Their first mission isn’t exactly what either of them had in mind, though. Joe and Sam have to go undercover . . . as ballerinas! Joe isn’t thrilled about the idea of wearing a tutu, but he’s more than ready to track down the potential thief of a soccer memorabilia exhibit at the local community center. He will dance like a flamingo if it means keeping the coveted keepsakes of his favorite sport safe.
Unfortunately, Joe and Sam have very different ways of approaching the mission and their tactics clash. Once best friends and partners-in-spying, they now are determined to crack the case without each other. When Joe’s parents get word from HQ that an enemy spy is on their trail, there is no other option for Joe and Sam except to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case.
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