Middle Grade New Releases, July 2, 2019

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to this middle grade book making its rounds through our reviewers!

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

img_8239THE ECHO PARK CASTAWAYS – by M.G. Hennessey
(July 2nd 2019 ~ HarperCollins)

Photo and Review by Melissa ~ originally on Instagram @mllittleauthor

I read this book in a day and it was a total, surprising DELIGHT.
The title refers to four mismatched foster kids who despite living in Los Angeles have never seen the ocean—a reminder of the sad reality for so, so many kids. Each dealing with their own struggles, they unite for an “epic quest” to return their foster brother to his biological mom before it’s too late.

There are barely any others characters and no sub-plots outside of these four kids and what they are doing. These four beautiful, broken, wonderful, lovable kids who I wanted to hug the entire time. Nevaeh, the gifted teenager with too much stress and responsibilities who also manages to be realistically childlike, imagining the puppy she was forced to give up still waiting for her in the same spot years later. Quentin, the eleven-year-old Autistic boy who only wants to go home. Vic, the hyper-active, gold-hearted ten-year-old who I dare you not to fall completely in love with. And Mara, who is eight and sweet and much smarter than her non-English-speaking self gives onto. Most of the book just follows them on their one-day “epic quest” and they are four of the most heartbreaking, lovable, real kids I have ever read. They broke my heart and warmed it at the same time. AMAZING characters.

I would have torn this book to shreds as a kid and I tore it to shreds now. You can do the same on July 2nd! (Unlike Mattie, who posed very nicely and didn’t tear anything.)

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