Middle Grade New Releases, April 9, 2019

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY 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.

by Laura Scandiffio
(April 9th 2019 ~ Annick Press)

Photo and Review ~ by Kate @kateteaching7and8

“Poisons, ice men, and graves, oh my!” Digging Deep: How Science Unearths Puzzles from the Past by Lara Scandiffio is an intriguing middle grade nonfiction book about archaeology, science, and history that releases on April 9, 2019. The book discusses how modern-day science and technology are being used to solve historical mysteries. The mysteries include: Ötzi the Iceman, the hunt for the HMS Erebus and Terror, the lost grave of King Richard III, and the Chauvet Cave. Each chapter includes a narrative to provide historical context before launching into the new discovery. Sidebars with easy to understand descriptions of the scientific processes and timelines are also included.
I really enjoyed the book and loved learning about all the different historical mysterious. My favorite chapter was the one about King Richard III. I knew that Richard III stole the throne from his nephew and then locked his nephews away in the Tower of London before they mysteriously disappeared, but I wasn’t aware that his body was missing. Discovering his body thousands of years later under a parking lot, of all places, is fascinating.
As a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, I see so many possibilities for this book. Each chapter could be used on its own as a supplemental reading to a larger unit on ancient civilizations/history. The chapters are engaging, would pull students in, and could be used in a single class period. The book could also be used in its entirety as a book study.

EXTREME ABILITIES – by Galadriel Watson
(April 9th 2019 ~ Annick Press)img_7947

Photo and Review ~ by Amanda @amandasbookbasket

Extreme Abilities includes exciting and interesting stories of unusual and abnormal human feats and the sciences behind them. But it’s more than just a more science-y Guinness Book of World Records. This book dives deeper into how our bodies work to conquer superhuman feats. I loved how the author explained how readers could practice or train their bodies to also accomplish the incredible things they are learning. This book had a great balance of captivating stories and educational facts, and would be great for teaching kids about the human bodies.

img_7948FOLLOW YOUR STUFF – by Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka
(April 9th 2019 ~ Annick Press)

Photo and Review ~ by Annie @loveablelibrary

Follow Your Stuff by Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka, takes us on an interesting journey to find out where our things really come from and their cost. The reader can follow the steps around the world to see how a t-shirt, an asthma medication, a book, a cell phone and eyeglasses are made. The book is also peppered with thought provoking questions to make readers think about the impact of their “things”. I especially enjoyed the page the showed how we got things 100 years ago versus today. I believe this would be a fascinating book sixth graders and up.

MANUELITO – by Elisa Amado; illustrations by Abraham Urias img_7949
(April 9th 2019 ~ Annick Press)

Photo and Review ~  by Akossiwa @ akossket

When cartel-backed gangs took over his village, Manuelito’s parents find him a coyote and send him on his way to the U.S. for a chance at a safer, better life.

I knew reading this graphic novel would make me very upset, but I had to. As an immigrant (and a former non-U.S. refugee), and even though my circumstances are different I feel it’s important I lend my voice to this book.

Very few people gleefully leave everything that makes home HOME, behind, in pursuit of happiness. The vast majority leave, because their lives are in danger in one way or another as illustrated in this book.

With the current treatment asylum seekers are getting, and the rampant negative propaganda about immigrants and refugees in general, books that illustrate the stark reality of it all are vital. I hope books like this one will be shared far and wide in hopes that the next generation will understand more about human rights and have more empathy.

(April 9th 2019 ~ Bloomsbury Children’s Books)img_7943

Photo and Review ~ by Katie @texasreadergirl

This was a cute, fun, and mysterious #mg novel! Twelve-year-old Esther is an artist, but she and her stepdad take a wrong turn on the way to art camp, ending up at a math camp instead – and thanks to a bad storm outside, they’re stuck there for a while! But there’s something not quite right about Camp Archimedes…mysteries abound, and Esther decides it’s up to her (and her fellow campers) to figure out what’s going on…
Esther is a smart, sassy, and creative heroine who will appeal to middle grade readers. She finds herself in an unusual and less than ideal situation, but (after some grumbling) figures out how to make the most of it. I loved the relationship Esther has with her stepdad – there’s genuine love, affection, and trust between them. Throughout the book there are a series of logic puzzles that Esther and her friends have to solve – and the reader can try to solve, too. (And you don’t have to love math to have fun figuring them out!) There’s a lot of suspense and mild creepy factor – just enough to keep the reader turning the page, but nothing too scary!

img_7945HEY THERE, EARTH DWELLER! – by Marc ter Horst
(April 9th 2019 ~ Aladdin/Beyond Words)

Photo and Review by Krystal @krystal_loves_books

Hey There, Earth Dweller is a wealth of information about the Earth and solar system using mixed media. The different chapters highlight the solar system, volcanoes, and the atmosphere among other things. It also has a lot of STEM curriculum.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
My son and I read through this a few nights before bed and we really enjoyed it. He is currently learning a lot about history and geography in class (2nd grade) and so this was a great supplement to that. The language is easy to understand and the images really add to the experience. He is big on learning and re-reciting facts that he’s learned and he took a lot of that from this book. Highly recommend this to parents and especially think it would aid homeschooling mamas.

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