Tag Archives: Junior Library Guild

Rain doesn’t come when I call…


rain  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.


Gabe has some alien problems…


  by William Alexander, author of Goblin Secrets and Ghoulish Song 

High Interest Middle School (Grades 5–8), 240 pgs.

“The Envoy spent many days floating and recovering from planetfall before it noticed Gabriel Sandro Fuentes.” An eleven year old boy, minding his own business, or rather minding his siblings, is followed home…  He has been chosen to act as an Ambassador at the Galactic Assembly. The start of intrigue, an assassin’s plot, and unstoppable action, he returns home to find his father facing deportation.

The ending is open-ended, thankfully implying that there will be a sequel.  You’d want to read more from this author.  He is smart, quirky, intense, and different.  A great read!

Visit the author here



Guys Read

High Interest Middle School (Grades 5–8)

guys read

Jon Scieszka nails it, so I’ll let him introduce this great book of true stories of proven authors.

“Have you ever imagined what it would be like to grow up in Vietnam during a war, to hunt for tarantulas in the Amazon, to almost die canoeing down a wild Alaskan river?

Ever wondered if you could draw comics, if you could learn science from reading poetry, if you could fix an aching tooth by pounding it into the roof of your mouth, to be left for dead in the Wild West and survive by cleaning out your wounds from a she-bear’s claws by lying on a bed of maggots?  Well,” Scieszka writes, “Imagine, wonder, and guess no more.”

This wide variety of stories, ten in all, is compelling and will take you on adventures you would rather other people experienced, thanks all the same. At the back of the book, a helpful addition of short contributor biographies point readers to other books by the editor, authors, and illustrator.


An ill-advised adventure…

 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.”  


Ice Dogs


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.