You Asked, We Answered: Newbery Picks

June 25th, 2017 by

On June 21, 2017, Kidsmomo reader Cassie asked us for some award-worthy book recommendations:

I love all books and do you have any books for the Newbery?

That’s a great question, especially now that we’re halfway to the next Newbery announcements (which will be in January 2018). Cassie, I’m going to answer your question two ways:

1. Potential Newbery Winners Worth Reading:

There are several blogs out on the interwebs that identify books that are getting lots of buzz and might be Newbery contenders. So I’m going to let those blogs do the work for me, and give you their suggestions:

From 100 Scope Notes:

The Ethan I Was Before
– Orphan Island
The Someday Birds
Thick as Thieves
See You in the Cosmos
Me and Marvin Gardens
Wishtree
Scar Island
The Pearl Thief

From Heavy Medal:

Isaac the Alchemist
– Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out
The March Against Fear
Me and Marvin Gardens
One Last Word
Pathfinders: The Journeys of Sixteen Extraordinary Black Souls
– Princess Cora and the Crocodile
Thick as Thieves
The Warden’s Daughter

2. Newbery Medal Winners I Love:

The American Library Association has been giving out Newbery awards since 1922, so that means there are A LOT of winners out there. Below are my particular favorites — selected just from the Medal winners. (If I were to include Newbery Honor recipients… forget it — the list would go on for days and days!)

Cassie, I hope that gives you some good ideas for what to read next — and potentially enough books to keep you busy all summer!

To the rest of you: If you’re like Cassie and want some customized book recommendations just for you, submit an Ask Kidsmomo question in the form below!

Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

Your Name (optional):

Your Message (required):

— Karen

Okay, Karen can’t stop herself from mentioning some of the recent Newbery Honor books that she loves: Brown Girl Dreaming, El Deafo, Three Times Lucky, Inside Out & Back Again, One Crazy Summer… The list goes on and on! Literally. Like, here is the list of all the past winners ever.

More about Karen »

Book Quote Trivia Quiz

June 18th, 2017 by

Ahem. Can we all agree that highlighters are super fun and the best stationery thingy? Okay, maybe highlighters are tied with a multiple color click pen. But definitely in the Top 10 on a back-to-school shopping list. Well, one of my favorite things to do when I read is highlighting interesting sentences in a book*. I even do this when I read ebooks on my computer or smartphone!

*Only do this with your own books, obviously. Only monsters highlight library books! Don’t be a monster.

Could you recognize a book by just one, two, or three sentences? Take this quiz and find out!

"In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle."

"Monday morning found Tom miserable."

"You can always trust a dog that likes peanut butter."

"I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. Am I a troubled kid? Yeah. You could say that."

"'Is the spring coming?' he said. 'What is it like?'"

"Some people spend all their time on a vacation taking pictures so that when they get home they can show their friends evidence that they had a good time. They don't pause to let the vacation enter inside of them and take that home."

"People are more than just the way they look."

"When you’ve lived in a cage, you can’t bear not to run, even if what you’re running towards is an illusion."

"Sitting in cold wet britches for an hour was no fun even in a magic kingdom."

"'Words,' he said, 'is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life.'"

 

— Nancy

Confession: Nancy would have gotten a 0/10 on this quiz if she hadn’t written it herself.

Meet Nancy »

Captain Underpants Movie: Video-palooza!

June 11th, 2017 by

In January, we excitedly shared a “first look” at the Captain Underpants movie. Well, now the film is finally out in theaters!

Apparently, the film is HUGE (just like Captain Underpants’ tighty whities) — with the movie coming in #2 at the box office over opening weekend. But if you’re like me and you haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet, I thought you might appreciate this video round-up, including clips from the film and coverage of fun stuff from the red carpet premiere!

 
Video #1: Features an amazing montage of George and Harold’s many pranks…


 

Video #2: The moment when Captain Underpants comes to life…


 

Video #3: With great power comes great responsibility — but try telling that to Harold and George!


 

Video #4: It’s man (kind of) versus ape (kind of) in this video clip:


 

Video #5: Some people say, “It’s the thought that counts.” But I’m not sure the recipients of Captain Underpants’ supposed “help” would agree…


 

Video #6: Introducing Professor Poopypants!


 

Video #7: Check out the official movie theme song by Weird Al Yankovic! (Warning: You may later find yourself humming this tune even when you don’t want to!)


 

Video #8: Somehow, these kids managed to get Captain Underpants videos created based on their wacky ideas — even without the use of hypnotism!


 

Video #9: Have you always wanted to watch movie stars and the author of the Captain Underpants books fling underwear through the air with all their might? Well, today is your lucky day! Search no further. The video of your dreams is below:


 

If all these videos don’t get you pumped to see the movie, I don’t know what could! Actually, I do have another idea: Read the Captain Underpants books while you wait for your trip to the theater! There are sooooooooooooo many books in the series — making it a great choice for summer reading too!

If you’re a Captain Underpants fan, leave a comment and share your thoughts on the new movie!

— Karen

If Karen became a superhero, she would definitely want to wear more than just underpants — maybe some pajamas for ultimate comfort and flexibility during battle!

More about Karen »

New Summer, New Books: June 2017 New Releases

June 4th, 2017 by

If the sun blasting into my window has anything to say about it, it’s SUMMER! Do you have your summer reading book list all set? If not, you’ve come to the right place: Here’s a list of new books releasing in June.

You might be indignantly waving your summer reading list at your screen… Well, get ready to make room for some additions! My personal top picks are noted with a ❤️ … but everything on this list is bookshelf worthy!

Note: This list features stand-alone novels and does not include any sequels in well-known series. I would love to go on and on and on about my excitement over Jaleigh Johnson’s The Quest to the Uncharted Lands (second companion book to The Mark of the Dragonfly) and others, but then you’d be reading this blog post until July.

Click on the plus signs next to the book titles to read the full descriptions from the publishers:

Don’t Drink and Read: Laughing Causes Milk Out the Nose

  

❤️ Lint Boy by Aileen Leijten
 Lint Boy and Lint Bear live in their cozy dryer home, carefree and happy — until the day Lint Bear is snatched away by a cruel woman with a vendetta against dolls! Can Lint Boy unite a group of lost dolls to vanquish the villain and save his brother?

This magical story is showcased in the stunning full-color art of this young graphic novel. A gently gothic, age-appropriate blend of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, Lint Boy is a compelling tale of good vs. evil that will leave readers spellbound.

Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to 7th grade: “Pottymouth” and “Stoopid” are still stuck with the names — and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true.

So how do they go about changing everyone’s minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs — it shows that the worst bullying doesn’t have to be physical… and that things will get better.

Official Notice to Parents:
There is no actual pottymouthing or stupidity in this entire book!
(Psst, kids: That second part might not be entirely true.)

The Strongest Man in the World: The Legend of Louis Cyr by Lucie Papineau and Caroline Hamel

North America, late 19th century: A little boy is born whose destiny will prove exceptional. Traveling across the Northeast, he will show extraordinary physical strength. Soon, his exploits will spread around the North American continent, then Europe, making him truly the strongest man in the world!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, open this book and be amazed by this incredible story!

These Main Characters Could Be Your BFFs

  

❤️ Let’s Pretend We Never Met by Melissa Walker

If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, 6th grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent.

But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met — she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze.

Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes?

Superstar by Mandy Davis

Lester’s first days as a 5th grader at Quarry Elementary School are not even a little bit like he thought they would be — the cafeteria is too loud for Lester’s ears, there are too many kids, and then there’s the bully.

Lester was always home-schooled, and now he’s shocked to be stuck in a school where everything just seems wrong. That’s until he hears about the science fair, which goes really well for Lester! This is it. The moment where I find out for 100% sure that I won.

But then things go a bit sideways, and Lester has to find his way back. A touching peek into the life of a sensitive autism-spectrum boy facing the everydayness of elementary school, Superstar testifies that what you can do isn’t nearly as important as who you are.

This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang

David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn’t involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.

That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn’t like their teammate — and David’s best friend — Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south… but David’s not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David’s problems.

The Last Page Might May You Say, “Whoa.”

  

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker

When Felix Yz was 3 years old, a hyperintelligent 4th-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix — now 13 — won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them… but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual — time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

❤️ The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu

Clover and Danny are the kind of best friends who make each other even better. They’re so important to each other that Clover believes they’re symbiotic: her favorite science word, which describes two beings who can’t function without the other. But when Danny comes down with a mysterious illness that won’t go away, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. So Clover decides to take matters into her own hands by making lists — list of Danny’s symptoms, his good days, his bad days.

As the evidence piles up, only one thing becomes clear: Danny is only better when Clover is around.

Suddenly it feels like time is running out for Clover and Danny to do everything they’ve planned together — to finally see snow, to go on a trip with the suitcase they picked out together. Will science be able to save Danny, or is this the one time when magic can overcome the unthinkable?

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That’s important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it’s even more important when your grandfather can’t care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country.

Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik — a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out, is an alien, and he’s got a mission that requires Prez’s help: The Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved.

Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez’s life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made — and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.

My Summer Vacation: (Vicarious) Heart-Pounding Adventures

  

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

Mystery turns to mortal danger as one young man’s quest to clear his father’s name ensnares him in a net of deceit, conspiracy, and intrigue in 1750s England.

Caleb has spent his life roaming southern England with his Pa, little to their names but his father’s signet ring and a puppet theater for popular, raunchy Punch and Judy shows — until the day Pa is convicted of a theft he didn’t commit and sentenced to transportation to the colonies in America. From prison, Caleb’s father sends him to the coast to find an aunt Caleb never knew he had. His aunt welcomes him into her home, but her neighbors see only Caleb’s dark skin. Still, Caleb slowly falls into a strange rhythm in his new life… until one morning he finds a body washed up on the shore. The face is unrecognizable after its time at sea, but the signet ring is unmistakable: It can only be Caleb’s father. Mystery piles on mystery as both church and state deny what Caleb knows. From award-winning British author Tanya Landman comes a heart-stopping story of race, class, family, and corruption so deep it can kill.

❤️ Joplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley

While cleaning out her reclusive grandfather’s house, Joplin discovers pieces of a broken platter in a cookie tin. After having the platter repaired, Joplin wishes that she could both find a friend at school, and befriend the girl pictured in the platter. The next day, Joplin befriends a boy named Barrett, and also notices a girl outside her apartment. A girl who looks remarkably like the girl in the platter…

The girl introduces herself as Sofie, and she has a terrible secret. Cursed to grant wishes for the owner of the platter for all of time, she has been trapped for centuries. Joplin and Barrett vow to help her, but freeing Sofie is more complicated than they could have imagined, and the three friends end up against a sinister foe who could put them all in terrible danger.

The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli

British explorer Percy Fawcett believed that hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest was an ancient city, lost for the ages. Most people didn’t even believe this city existed. But if Fawcett could find it, he would be rich and famous forever. This is the true story of one man’s thrilling, dangerous journey into the jungle, and what he found on his quest for the lost city of Z.

What books are on your summer reading list? Did any of my awesome recommendations get added? Let me know in the comments below!

— Nancy

As the last category suggests, the most thrilling activity Nancy partakes in during the summer is turning on the air conditioner and curling up with a good book.

Books to Big Screen: Wonder Movie Trailer

May 30th, 2017 by

wonder-posterHere are my two favorite things in life: children’s books and food. So you probably won’t be surprised that when I attended a friend’s party recently, I spent a good amount of time stuffing my face and talking about the book I had just finished.

That book was Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio, the companion to the critically acclaimed and totally beloved book Wonder.

Based on Wonder‘s popularity, you’ve probably heard of it. In fact, you’ve probably read it yourself! If not, I highly recommend it — and I’m not the only one: Check out these reviews from other young readers.

So, if you’re a fan of Wonder, then you probably already knew that a movie adaptation is in the works. And that’s what we were taking about at the party — which actors are in it, when it’s coming out, and how Auggie might be portrayed.

Well, now the first trailer is finally out! Watch it below:

 

So, what do you think?

Some people at the party guessed that the movie will start with Auggie wearing his space helmet, so that there is a more dramatic reveal later. If the trailer is any indication, the full movie may indeed take that approach.

Other people guessed that a good portion of the movie might be shot from Auggie’s point of view. The trailer does not support that theory, but who knows what isn’t shown here?

My personal opinion is that Auggie doesn’t look exactly as described in the book. But I tend to be a big stickler for faithfulness to the source material, and I always get annoyed when movie adaptations stray too far. So maybe it doesn’t matter that Auggie is not depicted in the movie precisely as he is described in the book — as long as the film gets the heart of the characters and the story right. And for that, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the final movie is like!

Are you planning to watch the movie? What do you think of the trailer? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Once a friend remarked to Karen, “I can’t believe how you always find people to talk with you about children’s books at parties.” Guess that’s what happens when you have narrow interests and a persistent demeanor!

More about Karen »

Ten Images to Sum Up A Reader

May 24th, 2017 by

Psst. Hey, you. Yeah. You over there. Looking at this blog post. You might be visiting Kidsmomo because your teacher or another grown-up told you to. Or maybe you happened here by accident. But I know what you’re here for. You’re here for some sweet, sweet, book recommendations. I know, because when you see something like this…

… you think, Yup. I could totally sit there for hours with a book.

And in those hours, you may ponder, I should get cards like this printed up:

After reading a particularly sad book, you’ll shift in your seat and think, I could really use a pillow like this:

But because you’re tough, you wipe away your tears and pick up the next book from your always-growing TO READ pile. You think fondly about an excellent mantra:

And how do you get those many lives? By visiting a bookstore, or…

And you always end up leaving the library like Lisa Simpson:

Because books are like delicious (and healthy!) snacks:

If only potato chips were as healthy as reading books.

If someone could cartoon-ify readers, we’d look like this:

Okay, maybe this cartoon takes the word “devour” a little too seriously.

Even when you’re grounded and sent to your room:

Cat optional

You know that it’s not all that bad, because:

You know who had a problem with souls? Voldemort. And no one wants to be that guy!

— Nancy

Nancy realized you might actually looking for some sweet book recommendations, so look no further — wait, look one more link further: click here!

Meet Nancy »

 

All images taken from the Interwebs.

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Book Review

May 14th, 2017 by

Short by Holly Goldberg SloanA few month’s ago, Nancy created a personality quiz to pair Kidsmomo readers with their Valentine’s Day Book Match. Obviously, I couldn’t let you guys have all the fun, so I decided to give it a try for myself. And guess what, you guys — Nancy’s quiz is GENIUS. Because I got matched with Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan, and I really, really, really, REALLY loved it!

The book is about Julia, who is in middle school but always gets mistaken for being younger. Why? Well — in case the title wasn’t a giveaway — Julia is short. In fact, she’s so small, she can still climb through the family’s doggie door!

But at the moment, that’s not the issue weighing most on Julia’s mind. At the start of the story, she’s most concerned about the loss of her dog, Ramon. With her two best friends away all summer, it’s going to be hard for Julia to cope with Ramon’s recent death. And to make matters worse, her mother is forcing Julia to audition for a community production of The Wizard of Oz.

Julia is decidedly NOT interested in being on stage, but she’s compelled to go along with her younger brother (and talented singer), Randy. Lo and behold — both of them get cast as Munchkins. And soon, Julia starts finding her place as part of the theater community. I don’t want to give away any details, but I will say that I absolutely loved all of Julia’s behind-the-scenes adventures as she gets involved in things like costume design, flying monkey casting, and actor gossip.

To be honest, I always like stories that offer a peek into what goes on behind the curtains in the theater world. But in the case of Short, I particularly enjoyed seeing everything through Julia’s eyes — and through her unique and often hilarious narration. And not only is Julia a fully rounded character, but so are all the adults involved with the show — from the eccentric director with a particular vision, to Julia’s Munchkin partner, Olive, an actress with dwarfism.

I’d recommend Short to pretty much anyone who likes realistic fiction, but especially to fans of these kinds of books:

With the school year ending soon, you may be working on your own summer plans right now. I suggest you include reading Short on your list!

But also, what are your summer plans? Going to camp? Traveling somewhere fun for vacation? Staying home and taking cool classes like robotics or art or sports? Leave a comment and share what you’re up to!

— Karen

Karen doesn’t have any big vacations planned for the summer, but she wants to do some little weekend trips. Any suggestions?

More about Karen »

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere: Book Review

May 8th, 2017 by

You learn a lot about the main character, Olga, just by looking at the cover of Elise Gravel’s new book, Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere:

 

  • She’s grumpy
  • She likes animals
  • This book includes science — weird science
  • Some humans annoy her (keep in mind Olga is human too)

If just one portion of this book cover entices you, then you should definitely read Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere!

The book is half-illustrations, half-text, and all-fun! Olga, is a sarcastic, witty, science-loving girl who aspires to be a zoologist — a scientist who studies animals. Fortuitously, Olga discovers a funky potato-shaped pink creature (seen on the cover of the book), which she names “Meh” after the sound it makes all the time. Meh is smelly, furry, has a skinny tail and spindly feet, farts and burps a lot, and is about the size of a small pig.

Olga carefully catalogs her scientific observations on Meh and when she realizes she can’t match Meh to any existing species in any book, she names it olgamus ridiculus. With the help of the local librarian, new friends, and other quirky characters in her town, Olga is on a mission to study Meh. She even learns a thing or two from “the Lalas,” two girls her age who love make-up, boys, and just don’t seem “get” her.

But where does Meh come from? What does it eat? Can Olga take care of it properly? Read the book to find out!

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is perfect for fans of Captain Underpants, Dear Dumb Diary, or Wimpy Kid. It’s a very quick read, and the drawings and observations in the book will probably make you laugh out loud. I loved how Olga truly loves all animals, no matter how large, small, or creepy crawly:

This book is brand-new on shelves, but I’m excited to see what other nerdy adventures are in store for Olga in the future! Will she find other animals, and what will happen to Meh? I hope we find out in the rest of the series!

— Nancy

Nancy does not like slugs, but she does not mind drawings of slugs. Most of the time.

Meet Nancy »

Moo by Sharon Creech: Book Review

April 30th, 2017 by

moo-sharon-creech April is National Poetry Month, so I decided to read Moo by Sharon Creech. I was all patting myself on the back, like: “Great poetry book pick, Karen!” But lo and behold — I soon realized it’s not actually a poetry book! Some of it is in poetry, but some of it is in prose. It’s kind of a combo novel.

Well, once I got over the shock, I realized that it didn’t matter. It didn’t feel jarring at all to move between poetic verse and paragraphs of prose. In fact, I found that I really enjoyed the unique approach.

In a way, my experience as I discovered Moo is kind of like Reena’s experience in the book. When she first meets Mrs. Falala, she thinks the old lady is super crabby and horrible — but then Reena realizes there’s more to her neighbor than she initially thought.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe I should tell you who Reena and Mrs. Falala are: Reena is the narrator in Moo. She and her family have just left behind big-city life and moved to Maine. Mrs. Falala is their new neighbor — and in a way, she becomes Reena’s boss. That’s because Reena’s parents volunteer Reena and her younger brother to help out Mrs. Falala on the farm. As you can imagine, scooping cow dung is NOT glamorous work. Plus, Mrs. Falala is not particularly friendly. So Reena is not at all pleased with the situation.

But over time, Reena’s feelings start to change. She starts to feel more comfortable on the farm with Zora the cow, Paulie the pig, China the cat, and Edna the snake. Not to mention Mrs. Falala! But there are still challenges, especially for a former city slicker like Reena, and I enjoyed reading about her adventures trying to wrangle Zora and settle into her new life.

I highly recommend this book to fans of Sharon Creech’s other books, like Love That DogGranny Torrelli Makes Soup, and Walk Two Moons.

And since Moo is about a kid finding her way in a new place over the summer, it’s also a great pick if you enjoy stories about people trying out new things during their summer breaks, like Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord and Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life (So Far) by Ann M. Martin.

Not sure you’re ready to spend time with a grumpy cow like Zora? You can check out an excerpt of the book on the author’s website!

— Karen

Like Reena at the start of the book, Karen is most definitely a city girl who prefers to be indoors. Maybe spending time with Zora would change that?

More about Karen »

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King: Book Review

April 23rd, 2017 by

Most people know that recycling and reducing waste is important, but for some reason, there’s always that one annoying person who doesn’t do their part. 🙁 Eleven-year-old Obe Devlin, the main character of Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King, is NOT that person. Recycling and reducing the amount of plastic in the world really matters to him, especially on his ancestral land of Devlin, which is now being taken over by housing developments.

New neighbors aren’t the only addition to Obe’s life. While he picks up trash in the local creek, he discovers a new animal: part dog, part pig, very slimy, and most interestingly… it loves to eat plastic. Obe names his new friend Marvin Gardens, after the property in the game Monopoly. Could Marvin Gardens be the solution to the plastic problem on Earth?

In addition to discovering an entirely new species (and keeping it secret), Obe has to deal with math homework, his dad who just doesn’t understand him, and a former best friend who has turned into his bully. Keeping Marvin Gardens a secret turns out to be an excellent idea, especially when Obe discovers that Marvin’s extremely smelly poop could be toxic. But Obe can’t keep Marvin a secret forever, especially with all the construction happening in his neighborhood. What happens when other people find out about him? Could Marvin Gardens be the solution to the plastic problem on our planet? Will ex-best-friend Tommy ever stop being a jerk? Read Me and Marvin Gardens to find out!

I have to admit this book took me by surprise because even though there aren’t any big action scenes, I kept turning every page because I needed to know what would happen to Obe and Marvin. My only concern was that some questions are left open-ended at the end of the book — but that means there could be a sequel! Right, Amy Sarig King? Right?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and any reader who cares about the environment and the fate of our planet should check it out. It’s a great read if you’re ever feeling lonely and want to know if picking up litter will actually make a difference in the world — turns out it could, especially if you end up finding a fantastical animal like Obe does!

— Nancy

Nancy gets annoyed by people who litter, and fervently prays that one day the litter will magically awake and attack the litterbug.

Meet Nancy »

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