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.
DACTYL HILL SQUAD: FREEDOM FIRE – by Daniel Jose Older
(May 14th 2019 ~ Arthur A. Levine Books)
Good Reads Summary: Magdalys and the squad are flying south on pteroback. South to rescue her older brother. South to war.
The squad links up with the dino-mounted troops of the Louisiana Native Guard, an all-black regiment in the Union Army fighting to free their people. They’re led by General Sheridan, surrounded by enemy forces in Tennessee and desperate for any edge to sway the tide of battle. Magdalys’s burgeoning powers might be the Union’s last hope. But she doesn’t want to abandon the search for her brother. And she might not be the only one with a mysterious connection to dinosaurs.
With the Civil War raging around her and the Union on the brink of collapse, how can Magdalys choose between the army that needs her help to survive and the brother she risked everything to save?
Watch for a Review Soon!
GLITCH by Sarah Graley
(May 14th 2019 ~ Graphix)
Photo originally on Instagram by Laura @librarianmsg and Review by Ryan
This graphic novel is out May 14! .
Meet Ryan! Ryan is in 8th grade and looooooves graphic novels. Every day he comes in and asks if I got any new ones. I’ve had this one sitting around to review so I figured I’d let Ryan review it instead. Win win!
He read it twice and LOVED it. Recommended for grades 3+! .
He gives GLITCH 5 ⭐️ and here’s why:
⭐️ excellent illustrations, mostly panels, but also some full pages
⭐️ lots of twists to the plot keep it entertaining
⭐️ funny scenes that break the 4th wall
⭐️ Easter eggs that are fun to find
⭐️ overall very funny!
ME AND SAM-SAM HANDLE THE APOCALYPSE – by Susan Vaught
(May 14th 2019 ~ Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
Photo and Review by Laura originally on Instagram @librarianmsg
Jesse is frequently bullied at school by a pack of kids who call her Messy Jesse. She mostly manages to ignore them and spends most of her free time in her fort in the forest with her Pomeranian, Sam-Sam, whom she’s training to be a bomb sniffing dog like her mother’s dog in Afghanistan. Then Jesse makes what appears to be her first friend ever, Springer, who is large (and bullied himself), but also a pacifist who refuses to fight back.
When the library fund money goes missing at school, her father is arrested since he was in charge of the funds. Jesse knows he’s innocent and recruits Springer to help solve the mystery of the missing money. Jesse isn’t neurotypical, which means she notices things other people don’t, and she’s doggedly persistent. Her ASD also means that she has trouble controlling her emotions and can be like a tornado of feelings, causing destruction wherever she goes. When a real tornado hits, Jesse (and Sam-Sam!) get a chance to “handle” things, save the day and prove their worth.
I can’t think of another book in my library that’s written by a neurodivergent author from the perspective of a neurodivergent character. Jesse shows growth in the course of the book as she navigates her first friendship with Springer. Springer is a character readers are sure to love; he quickly discovers how to best help Jesse calm down and to say “touch coming” to warn her of impending physical contact.
This is more than just a book about a kid on the spectrum, however; the mystery is well-plotted and the characters are fully imagined including flawed adults. Jesse herself is quirky, but also funny, smart, brave and kind.
As the mother of a neurodivergent child, I appreciate the realistic portrayal of a complex character who happens to be on the spectrum. ❤️
You can also follow our tags on Instagram and Twitter to see all of our reviews: