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Title: Freaky Fast Frankie Joe
Author: Lutricia Clifton
ISBN: 9780823423675
Publish Date: 2012

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 11:24:50 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Review, Middle Grades


Stories about kids who have lives much different from what I (and my kids) are accustomed to are difficult for me to enjoy. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be written and read – in fact they give folks like myself a new perspective, and offer hope, reassurance and recognition to others. Still, this is why I like to read with my kids, or at least some of the same books that they do: it gives us a chance to have meaningful discussions about what is important to us, as individuals, as parents, as families. I originally posted this review in February of 2014 on Goodreads.com…

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Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 11:01:31 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


I don't know about you, but when someone says "smells like dog" to me, I think YUCK! (And I have two dogs, whose smell ranges from traditional doggie odor to a Frito-like scent to an aroma close to dead fish. None of them are very pleasant.)...

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Title: The Candymakers
Author: Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780316264990
Publish Date: 2015-05-12

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 10:46:36 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


Book length is often a deciding factor when choosing (or recommending) books for kids. Depending on the reader, a very long book can seem either intimidating or exhilarating. Even kiddos who typically love very long books might search out shorter stories, depending on their mood, whether it is for an upcoming school assignment, the genre or topic, what their best friend said yesterday, moon spots, or solar flares. (The last two might be a little obscure, but you know what I mean.) When this very “long” book came up on our list to read, I was concerned that my 9 year old daughter would be overwhelmed...

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Title: The Unwanteds
Author: Lisa McMann
ISBN: 9781442407688
Publish Date: 2011-08-30

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 10:23:07 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


Another book on the Golden Sower nominee list for middle grades, I was wary about this one. I do judge a book by its cover -- sorry -- and this one said "science-fiction fantasy", of which I am not a fan. My daughter started reading it on her own at first, but she missed reading to me and wanted to share the plot so badly. Fortunately, McMann does a pretty good job of making this genre palatable for even the wariest reader.

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Title: Pie
Author: Sarah Weeks
ISBN: 9780545270113
Publish Date: 2011

Pie by Sarah Weeks

by Julie

Posted on September 10, 2017 6:19:33 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades


I am not a traditional pie lover, but years ago my mom started making these frozen chocolate pies that became a family favorite and is often requested in lieu of birthday cakes to this day. Fortunately, the book “Pie” only requires an interest in fun mysteries. A quick read at just 183 pages, “Pie” is a good choice for readers in upper elementary grades. This is the review I posted on Goodreads in 2013.

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OperationRead Mission

Our mission is to offer tools for finding and selecting books... particularly for emergent through young adult readers, and to encourage reading in general. From original content & reviews to sharing valuable outside resources, we will serve as a launching point to improve the experience of reading overall.