Top Ten Tuesday: Middle Grade Books that I’ve Recently Added to my TBR

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is books that I’ve recently added to my TBR from X genre. Usually, I stick to young adult contemporary books, so most of my TBR consists of books from that category. However, I do love middle grade books, especially middle grade books that make me laugh out loud. Even though it isn’t a specific genre, here are ten middle grade books that I recently added to my TBR:

  • Junior Lifeguards series by Elizabeth Doyle Carey

Oscar Season

I recently finished the first book in the Junior Lifeguards series (see my review here) and I thought it was the perfect book for readers between middle grade and young adult. Since the following books in the series follow different characters introduced in the first book, I want to continue reading to hear their unique voices and to follow their story lines set up in the first book.

  • The Winnie Years by Lauren Myracle 

Ten (The Winnie Years, #1)

I remember seeing The Winnie Years series all the time in the bookstore when I was younger, but I never read them. Now, I have accumulated most of the series through thrift stores and couldn’t be more excited to read them!

  • Rumor Has It by Jane B. Mason

Rumor Has It (Candy Apple #22)

Rumor Has It is part of Scholastic’s Candy Apple Collection (see my countdown of Candy Apple here). When I was younger, I reread the Candy Apple Books over and over again. This will be a short and fun read that will make me feel like a kid again!

  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)

Recently, I watched The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and it made me add the series to my TBR immediately! Even though I read this book in fourth grade, I definitely want to reread it with new eyes.

  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree

This book follows a girl with a learning disability and a teacher that changes her life. Even though they aren’t the same plot, the summary of this book reminds me of Rules by Cynthia Lord and Wonder by R.J. Palacio which are two of my favorite middle grade books. Hopefully, this book will live up to my expectations!

  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (Dear Dumb Diary #1) by Jim Benton

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (Dear Dumb Diary #1)

I remember watching the Dear Dumb Diary movie on Netflix and I couldn’t stop laughing! Hopefully, the books will leave me feeling the same way.

  • Much Ado About Anne (Mother-Daughter Book Club #2) by Heather Vogel Frederick

Much Ado About Anne (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, #2)

I read the first Mother-Daughter Book Club book when I was younger and loved it! I never knew until recently that it was actually a series. My sister has read all the books in the series and she loves them, so I can’t wait to give them a try.

  • Best Friends and Drama Queens (Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls #3) by Meg Cabot

Best Friends and Drama Queens (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, #3)

Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls was one of my favorite books last year (see my reviews here and here)! The Allie Finkle series is high on my middle grade TBR because it never fails to make me laugh out loud.

  • Jessica Darling’s It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes, and Faux Friends by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling's It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends

Jessica Darling’s It List was another one of my favorite middle grade books last year (see my review here). Like with Allie Finkle, it made me laugh out loud. I have high expectations for the next book in the series!

  • The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan 

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)

Like with the two books I previous mentioned, I read The Lightning Thief last year and absolutely loved it! However, I still haven’t gotten around to reading the next book in the series. Hopefully, I can read this one before the end of the year!

 

What middle grade books are on your TBR list?

The Brittany Awards Part Four: My Favorite Overall Books of 2016

the-brittany-awards

Throughout the month of December, I am awarding my favorite books that I read throughout 2016. There are four categories (picture books, middle grade books, young adult books, and overall favorite books) with 5 winners and 3 honorable mentions in each category. Over the last three weeks, I chose my top five favorite picture books, middle grade books, and young adult books (see the winners here, here, and here). This week, I will choose the winners for my top overall books that I read in 2016.

For each winner, I will include a link to the review, my rating, and an excerpt from the review (if there is a review of the book on my blog). Here are my choices for favorite overall books of 2016, in no particular order:

1.) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (★ ★ ★ ★ -★ ★ ★ ★ ★, depending on the book)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I haven’t read Winter yet, but I loved the first three books in this series–I finished the first three within a week!

2.) The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (★ ★ ★ ★)

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

“I enjoyed the characters and romance in this book, but wanted more dimension in the side characters and better pacing at the end of the novel…”

3.) The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

17838528

“Even though this book was over 500 pages, which isn’t typical of a contemporary, I never lost interest and got interested in the story right away. I couldn’t put this book down!”

4.) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

“Percy may be a Half Blood, but the book about him is full of action, humor, and heart.”

5.) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (★ ★ ★ ★)

Since You've Been Gone

I read this book towards the beginning of summer and it was the perfect way to kick of my summer reading! I really connected to the main character and loved the story.

6.) Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Moving Day (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, #1)

“I absolutely LOVED this book. Allie Finkle was a hilarious protagonist with sass and spunk.”

 

Honorable mentions:

1.) Jessica Darling’s It List: The Totally Not Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness, and Perfection by Megan McCafferty (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Jessica Darling's It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection

“Megan McCafferty did the perfect job of capturing the middle school voice and creating characters and situations that are extremely relatable. I think this book is hilarious, but also provides meaningful advice to the book’s target audience.”

2.) Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (★ ★ ★ ★)

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

“Even though Rebel Belle wasn’t the most ground shaking book that I’ve ever read, it was extremely fun and enjoyable to read.”

3.) Wonder by R.J. Palacio (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Wonder

“Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an inspirational middle-grade novel with well-developed and authentic characters…”

 

What were your overall favorite books this year?

End of Summer Reading Bucket List

buckets

In honor of the release of Judy Moody and the Bucket List, I thought I would create my own bucket list for all the books I want to read before heading back to college! If you would like to see my review of Judy Moody and the Bucket List, click here.

In the next four weeks, I hope to read…

The Lipstick Gospel: A Story about Finding God in Heartbreak, the Sistine Chapel, and the Perfect Cappuccino

The Lipstick Gospel by Stephanie May Wilson

At my college, I am the chaplain of my sorority. I want to use this book during one of the Bible studies this semester, so I need to read it before the semester begins.

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2: Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

I LOVED The Lightning Thief, so I definitely want to read the rest of the books in the series. I have this book checked out of the library, so I need to read it before the return date!

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I started this book awhile ago, but I got a little bored and haven’t picked it up since. I do really want to read this book and since it is longer, I need to read it before school starts!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I started The Lunar Chronicles this summer and absolutely love the series! I would love to finish before school starts, but since they don’t have this book in my local library and I want to wait for the hardcover set to be released before I purchase the books, I might have to wait on this one!

Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I have loved every Morgan Matson book that I read this summer, so I definitely want to read this one before summer ends.

The Moon and More

Any Sarah Dessen Book

I love Sarah Dessen’s books and usually reread them multiple times throughout the summer. Between work, studying for my certification tests, and discovering new books, I haven’t read ANY! This needs to change before the summer ends.

Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries, #1)

Dork Diaries #1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

I’ve hauled a lot of these books this summer and I have wanted to read them for a long time. These would be the perfect books to read right before going back to school!

Isabel: Taking Wing (Girls of Many Lands, England)

Isabel: Taking Wing (Girls of Many Lands) by Annie Dalton

I remember reading the Girls of Many Lands series whenever I was younger and loved them. I never read this one though and it’s been on my mind to read.

What books do you hope to read before the summer ends?

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

tag

Thanks to Reg at She Latitude for tagging me!

Totally Should’ve Gotten a Sequel 

Since You've Been Gone

I think Since You’ve Been Gone is perfect the way it is, but the bonus at the end of The Unexpected Everything made me want to revisit Emily and Frank.

Totally Should’ve Gotten a Spin-Off Series

389627

I would love to see a book from either Rowley or Rodrick’s point of view!

An Author who Should Totally Write More Books

Wonder

Even though I was disappointed with Auggie and Me, I think R.J. Palacio is a great author and I’d be interested to read something else from her that takes place away from the Wonder world.

A Character who Should’ve Totally Ended up with Someone Else

Geek Charming

I was so disappointed at the end of this book! Disney definitely got it right in the movie version.

Totally Should’ve Ended Differently 

Vanishing Girls

All that buildup for a disappointing conclusion.

Totally Should’ve Had a Movie Franchise 

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

I’ve only read the first book in this series, but I think it would make a great movie! The whole time while I was reading, I pictured Brec Bassinger from Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs as the main character.

Totally Should’ve Had a TV Show

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

I heard the movies were extremely disappointing, but after reading the first book, I can totally picture this series having a series on Netflix!

Totally Should’ve Only Had One Point of View 

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

You know what I’m talking about.

Totally Should’ve Had a Cover Change

When I got this book out from the school library, I refused to read it at school because the cover seemed super awkward.

 

I tag…

Clemi @ Clemi’s Bookish World

Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

Danielle @ Bookish in Texas

Sorry if you’ve already done this!

#ThrowbackThursday: The Lightning Thief Review

lightning thief

Percy may be a Half Blood, but the book about him is full of action, humor, and heart.

In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson is a difficult kid constantly being expelled from boarding school. After a teacher tries to kill Percy on a school field trip, his mom takes him to Camp Half Blood. Percy soon learns he is a child of an Olympic god and finds himself on a quest to stop a war from breaking out between the gods.

During one of my field experiences, the entire third grade read Percy Jackson and then had a huge party where they brought in blue snacks and watched the movie. After reading the book myself, I not only understand why all the snacks were blue, but why all the students were so excited about Percy Jackson. From the first page, I was completely engrossed in the story and didn’t want to put the book down.

First off, all of the characters in this book were great even if they weren’t a hero in the story. Percy is a hilarious protagonist and extremely realistic, despite being the son of Poseidon. In many similar books, the characters often act a lot older than their age, but Percy still acted like he was twelve. This forced him into many unfortunate circumstances, but as a result, his character really drove the book, not the plot.

Besides Percy, all of the characters were wonderfully done and each had their own motivations. I constantly hear people praise the friendship within these books and now I definitely see why. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover formed a great friendship within this book and motivated each other to reach their goals. Rick Riordan also did an excellent job of giving all the gods little quirks, like having Dionysus as the leader of the summer camp or having Poseidon dress in a Hawaiian shirt.

The book was also action-packed. Even if it became slightly predictable–Percy made a bad decision, so he needed to defeat a monster–each fight held your attention. I especially loved the foreshadowing between each fight that prepared you for what he would face, for example, at Aunty Em’s diner. I can imagine children reading this book in school using the context clues to predict what is coming next. In addition to the plot, I through the book’s structure could be emphasized in the classroom. Like in Greek epics, Percy’s fate is predicted before he begins his quest, and I really enjoyed Rick Riordan’s nod to classic literature.

Since I loved every aspect of this book, I give The Lightning Thief five out of five stars.

June Wrap-Up and Life Updates

wrap up

Here is a list of all the books that I read this month and my thoughts on them:

Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Katie and the Cupcake Cure (Cupcake Diaries #1) by Coco Simon

Mia in the Mix (Cupcake Diaries #2) by Coco Simon

Emma on Thin Icing (Cupcake Diaries #3) by Coco Simon

Alexis and the Perfect Recipe (Cupcake Diaries #4) by Coco Simon

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (review coming soon, my rating: 4/5 stars)

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (review coming soon, my rating: 2/5 stars)

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard (review coming soon, my rating: 3/5 stars)

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (review coming soon, my rating: 3/5 stars)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (review coming soon, my rating: 5/5 stars)

 

Here are a few life updates:

  • My favorite sports team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, won the Stanley Cup!
  • I passed all of my teaching certification tests, which means I only have one semester of classes and then one semester of student teaching before graduation!

 

What was the best book you read in June?