Middle Grade New Releases, Week of June 19, 2018

Happy release week to these middle grade books making their rounds through our reviewers!

Thank you to @kidlitexchange for providing the review copies of these books. All opinions are our own.

Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
(June 19th 2018 ~ Aladdin)

img_6054Photo and Review by Katie @texasreadergirl

Hooray for this book and hooray for a heroine like Tally Martin! This spunky 7th grader may not have it all figured out, but she sure does have an enormous heart and I just fell in love with her!
Tally and her classmates are headed to Washington, DC for the annual 7th grade school trip, and Tally just knows it’s going to be a nightmare. To encourage “unity” among the class, their teachers have assigned Tally and her two best friends – Sonnet and Spider – to room with their sworn enemies. Tally is a vivacious, non-conforming free spirit – a big-boned girl who loves her body, squishy tummy and all. (Can I get an AMEN for that?) But her roommate, Ava, is Miss Perfect – a stick-thin “clonegirl” who is flat out mean to Tally. Ugh! Soon, though, as Tally gets to know her roomie, she discovers that things aren’t always what they seem, and Ava is far from perfect. In fact, she’s hiding something really big and scary, and Tally has to make some tough choices. She also has to navigate the changing waters of her friendships with Sonnet and Spider, who she feels are growing more and more distant from her. Change is hard, and frightening. There are plenty of bruised feelings along the way, but, as always, plenty of opportunities for growth.
Tally is one of my favorite 12-year-olds in middle grade lit today. I absolutely loved the relationship she has with her family, who love and support her no matter what; it was wonderfully refreshing to find a family so in sync with each other. And even as we watch Tally stumble along the way, you just know this smart, sassy, tender-hearted girl is going to be ok.
Please note: one of the topics covered in this book is disordered eating. It’s handled wonderfully and should foster some excellent discussion. Grownups should be prepared for some questions and emotional responses! Recommended for ages 9-13, grades 4-8.

The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine
(June 19th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)

Photo and Review by Laura @librarianmsgimg_6053

5/5 and ⭐️ALL THE STARS⭐️ for Jigsaw Jungle by @Kristin_Levine_author, which comes out June 19. Preorder your copy now!
Claudia’s father has disappeared without a trace. When he finally contacts his family it’s to say that he needs time to think. Then clues start appearing in the form of puzzle pieces and Claudia assembles a scrapbook to document the treasure hunt she hopes will uncover her father. With the help of her grandfather and a new friend, Claudia must investigate her father’s past, present and future to discover his secrets. Claudia thought she had a happy family, but now she’s beginning to doubt everything he thought she knew.
I’ll admit it. I’m a BIG fan of all of Kristin Levine’s books (especially Lions of Little Rock!) so I was pretty happy to pick up her newest book, which is NOT historical fiction. Nope! This book is a solid mystery comprised of phone, text and video transcripts, emails, postcards and other documents. You might think that’s a stilted way to tell a story, but under Levine’s masterful writing it flows beautifully. I couldn’t put it down and I absolutely loved all the twists, especially the ultimate twist at the end.The mystery is cleverly created and very complex. I predict this will be a huge hit with students and the kind of book we gush about together in the library when they return their copy. ~*~*~*~*~*
This belongs in ALL elementary and middle school libraries. Put it on your pre-order list now and be sure to order more than one copy; it’s going to fly off the shelves!


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