The Meaning of Maggie: Book Review

September 27th, 2015 by

the-meaning-of-maggieBefore picking up Megan Jean Sovern’s The Meaning of Maggie, I knew it had gotten a lot of positive reviews but I didn’t know anything about the story. So when I started reading, I didn’t know what to expect. But right from page 1, it’s clear that Maggie’s dad is in trouble. His health is not great, and that means everything in their household is changing: Dad is staying home, Mom is taking a job, and older sisters Layla and Tiffany are sometimes acting like the snobby jerks they always are — but also sometimes being really weird in the way they treat Maggie and their parents.

Unfortunately, Maggie isn’t the type of person who is quick to adjust. But over the course of the book, you see how she grows as she faces all kinds of new experiences and realizations, both at school and at home— from her first crush on a boy, to her changing relationship with her sisters. Most of all, you see how much Maggie loves her parents and how much they love her — and how that love can sometimes lead to well-intentioned mistakes as well as leading to the forgiveness and strength that allow you to overcome those mistakes together.

I think you’ll find that Maggie is probably not like you and your friends: She plans to become president someday, and she loves doing schoolwork. But I think you’ll feel for Maggie and understand what she’s going through. I was also immediately drawn into Maggie’s family, and I feel like I got to know each of them.

If you like realistic fiction, I definitely recommend this book — especially for fans of Umbrella Summer, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, and Amalee.

If you’ve already read this book, leave a comment with your thoughts! Or tell me: Maggie knows for sure she wants to be president; what do you want to do?

— Karen

As a kid, Karen wanted to be an author. She doesn’t have anything published yet, but in the meantime she’s glad that she gets to work with kids’ books so much!

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May Book Trailers

May 6th, 2014 by

An intergalactic pioneer, a future President of the United States, and an explorer of a dangerous forest. What do they all have in common? They’re stars of books that come out this month!

AND they all have pretty awesome book trailers. Check ’em out:


The Return of Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke

The book: In the third and final installment of the Zita series, our heroine is wrongfully imprisoned and must break out of jail to stop a villain’s evil interplanetary plan.

The trailer in a word: Epic


The Meaning of Maggie
by Megan Jean Sovern

The book: It’s a tough year for Maggie. As if her annoying sister and the trials of middle school weren’t enough on their own, there’s something mysterious going on with her father’s failing health — and she’s going to get to the bottom of it.

The trailer in one word: Charming


The Thickety
by J.A. White

The book: Everyone in Kara’s village fears the Thickety, the strange and forbidding forest that covers nearly half their island home. One day, Kara finds herself lured into the woods, where she discovers a strange book that may have magical powers…

The trailer in one word: Creepy


I’ve heard lots of interweb chatter about these three books, and these videos definitely catch my attention. What about you? Will you read any of these books? Leave a comment and let me know!

— Karen

Karen is worried that The Thickety may actually be a little too scary for her. Was anyone else creeped out by that weird scarecrow?

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