7 Middle-Grade Chapter Books I’m Loving, Summer 2018
The Magic of Melwick Orchard by Rebecca Caprara
The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnight, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
MYSTERY (MAGICAL REALISM)
When I saw this book at the library, I knew I’d love it. And, I did. Celebrating artwork, this magical mystery reveals that paintings are alive. Of course, the Beaverbrook Gallery paintings have strict rules to prevent humans from discovering this truth. Only Mona Dunn doesn’t always follow the rules. She’s seen by the curator’s son named Sargent who is visiting his estranged father for the summer and they develop a close friendship. Meanwhile, she and the other paintings wonder if the creepy art restorer is an art forger because something is suspicious. The book shows copies of all the paintings including a Salvador Dali which give readers a vivid sense of where much of the book takes place — in the paintings themselves. It’s an excellent, page-turning mystery with important themes about family, forgiveness, and friendship.
Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood
HISTORICAL FICTION (based on a true story)
Thinking Hitler will invade England next, Ken’s family sends him to safety in Canada. But, Ken’s ship is torpedoed and sunk only days into the journey Written in verse, this is a moving account of bravery as Ken, several other kids, a priest, the ship’s only woman, and members of the crew spend weeks adrift at sea in an ill-stocked lifeboat. You’ll read about their swollen feet, dehydration, and starvation as well as the stories and songs that helped keep the kids distracted and somewhat hopeful. Ultimately, you’ll be left with a sense of amazement at the resiliency of the human spirit. Very well-written.
Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin
REALISTIC / MENTAL ILLNESS
Snared: Escape to the Above (Wily Snare) by Adam Jay Epstein