Tag Archives: Middle School

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty

Random House Children’s Books, 2018

Bluebonnet nomination for 2019 – 2020

292 pages

Upper Elementary

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.

POSTED: “Sticky notes were the weapons and words were the ammunition.”

by David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

Lexile 750L; recommended for ages 8 to 12

Summer 2017 Kids’ Indies Next List, Top 10

This will resonate..

Cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School.  One could say that things had gotten out of hand.

Inexcusable“, the teacher had said regarding a certain post.

The students,  masterful at getting around things, devise a  plan to connect and paper “text”, which you’ve already guessed by the state of the locker above.  In all fairness, the idea was started by Frost and his friends, Deedee, Wolf, and Bench. The posts get personal, mean and vicious, and matters intensify all round.

The novel covers a lot of what goes on in a Middle School, about the hard stuff at home and on school turf.  It’s about finding “your people” and then trying to keep it all together.  It’s about a newcomer, Rose,  who threatens to derail  life itself, and it’s about words going viral.  Events escalate and the pressure mounts on every front.

This is a great read and like all great reads, teaches something important.





A Summertime Mystery….

So here is a book for all of my Middle Grade mystery fans who like a bit of magic in their stories.

Dissapearance of Emily H.
Dissapearance of Emily H.

The Disappearance of Emily H. Barrie Summy
May 12 2015

This is a Netgalley review, eBook free in exchange for an honest review.

So this is a book I am very conflicted about. On the one hand it is a great middle grade slice of life, girl at new school story. On the other it is a quasi fantasy where our main character has a secret power. The conflict is how she deals with her power and the mean girls in her life. Raine is our thirteen year old main character with the hopeless mother who flits from one man to another leaving Raine to pretty much raise herself. Picking up roots and moving every time the relationship falls apart. The central mystery is about a girl named Emily who went missing from the house Raine and her mother have just moved into. This is a fast paced fun read that stalls in the middle and has a few perplexing logic leaps that require a hearty dose of suspended disbelief. And that is probably my biggest problem. I don’t like bully books where the solution is more bullying. I find it highly suspicious that the solution to the missing girl is what it is. And without spoiling the story, the climatic ending was a bit of a “that’s it?”. If you have a young girl or a boy who is into mysteries with a hint of magic and a heaping helping of danger, this is a great summer read.

Parental note. There is some pretty horrific bullying by the mean girls, and the solution Raine and her friend come up with is downright illegal. It is worth having a discussion with your child since the adults are largely absent in this story. The kids in this story hid the abuse by classmates that tread the line between cruel and criminal, never telling a parent or trusted adult. Raine’ Mom is in need of serious mental health help. The bad guy is just evil. And the story can swing from sparkly light hearted, sometimes funny to soul crushing in an instant.