The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty
Random House Children’s Books, 2018
Bluebonnet nomination for 2019 – 2020
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, and this gave her genius-level math skills. Aged 12, she is technically ready for college, but she has to spend a year in middle school before that. It may sound improbable, but actually this is a very compelling and believable read. Middle school is tough to figure out, especially if you are hiding a massive secret, and your life is complicated with OCD. If you love dogs, right there is another great reason to pick up the book. The book just got better and better, and the end will blow you away.
by Ann M. Martin
Grades 5 – 7, 240 pgs.
Winner of multiple awards in the Middle Grade category including SLJ Best Books 2014, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014, Booklist Editors’ Choice 2014, and ALA Notable Books for Children 2015
A remarkable and highly perceptive girl, Rose, has high functioning autism and other important issues to face in her young life. Rose loves homonyms and homophones which only frustrate her father who struggles to understand his daughter. He falls short, period. A dog comes to live, bringing the sweetness and love she needs, and she calls him Rain (reign, rein). Then there’s Uncle Weldon, her father’s brother. Thankfully, he does understand Rose, but it is fragile, at best, holding it all together. Then the hurricane breaks, and Rain disappears. You, of course, will have to read the book, because it’s more heart-wrenching and more complicated than you’d suppose. This is a worthwhile read for anyone.
ICE DOGS by Terry Lynn Johnson/ Houghton Mifflin
High Interest Middle School (Grades 5–8), 288 pages
“Sometimes I wish I could trade places with the dogs. They only have to worry about running and eating. They love fiercely and don’t worry about things they can’t control.. And when someone dies, they can sit on top of their house, throw their head back and howl.”
Junior Library Guild has come through with another outstanding addition to the Winston Library. A musher herself, Terry Lynn Johnson knows the Alaskan terrain where mistakes will cost you everything. Feeling pretty lost after the death of her father, fourteen-year-old dog sledder, Victoria Secord, sets off with her team of dogs intending to return home that same evening. If life could be so simple! This high-adventure novel kept me awake until I’d finished it.