Book Review: The Undercover Book List

The Undercover Book List by Colleen Nelson

The Undercover Book List
by Colleen Nelson (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Jane is devastated that her best friend, Sienna, is moving away. But Sienna has a great idea for how Jane can find some new friends- leave a note in their favorite library book inviting whoever finds it to join the Undercover Book Club. The club members’ identities will be secret, and they will leave anonymous notes recommending books to each other.

Tyson is always in trouble at school. He doesn’t turn in his homework. He plays mean pranks on people. He is constantly in the principal’s office. When Tyson sees Jane leaving a note in the library, he gets curious and joins the club! For the first time, he is reading and it opens up his world. Can these total opposites really become friends through the Undercover Book Club?

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Book Review: Brand New Boy

Brand New Boy by David Almond

Brand New Boy
by David Almond, Maria Altes (Illustrator)

4.5 out of 5 stars
Daniel and Maxie are intrigued when a new boy comes to school. They can’t figure out if the new boy, George, is just a shy person or if maybe he has a developmental disorder. Max good-naturedly jokes that George might be an alien! They reach out to befriend him, but George’s behavior is a little odd. George is definitely weird, but after all… everyone in school is weird in their own unique ways. Daniel and Max, along with some other friends in their class, take George under their wing, inviting him to play football/soccer with them, and they are surprised by the interesting way George becomes their friend. Could George be something more than they ever realized?

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Book Review- Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good

Loki by Louie Stowell

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good
by Louie Stowell

4 out of 5 stars

Loki has been banished from Asgard. Odin has given Loki the form of an 11-year-old human, and sent Thor, Heimdall, and Hyrrokkin (also in the form of humans) to keep an eye on him. Loki must learn to be good within a month’s time, or he will be punished for all eternity. Thor and Loki go to school together and must dodge the sneaky Frost Giants, while Loki tries all the wrong ways to be good.

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Book Review: Beyond the Stars

Beyond the Stars by Doreen D. Berger

Beyond the Stars (The Captain’s Daughters, #2)
by Doreen D. Berger (Goodreads Author)

3.5 stars
Diane and Robin are thrown into another adventure in this second book in the series, when they befriend Jannel, the future ruler of a planet under quarantine. Jannel is a girl their own age, who comes aboard their spaceship for safety away from the virus that is threatening her planet. The girls try to help Jannel overcome her fears for her future, but they wind up in terrible trouble.

I liked the world-building for this new planet that we visit with Diane, Robin, and Jannel. I appreciated that there is a history of politics that has led to the current unrest on the planet, and the way the virus plays into that is really interesting. We also get to learn a little bit about the wild flora and fauna of the planet!

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Book Review: Pippa Park Crush at First Sight

Pippa Park Crush at First Sight by Erin Yun

Pippa Park Crush at First Sight
by Erin Yun (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars

In this second book of the Pippa Park series, Pippa is in trouble when she agrees to host a massive Christmas party for the Royals. She is completely overwhelmed trying to schedule catering and decorations and entertainment for the party, plus she has to find the perfect dress and the perfect date! She still has a huge crush on Eliot, her math tutor, but there is a new boy in her life, Marvel, who is helping out with the church Christmas pageant. Which boy will Pippa ask to be her date to the party? Assuming she can actually manage to host the party without disappointing the Royals and everyone else.

This series retelling of Dicken’s “Great Expectations” is utterly brilliant from start to finish!

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Book Review: The Sisters of Luna Island

The Sisters of Luna Island by Stacy Hackney

The Sisters of Luna Island
by Stacy Hackney (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars

Marigold is the youngest of three sisters in the magical Lafleur family. They are aromages, brewing up charms using aromas. But all magic has a price, and sometimes their magic has severe consequences if they try to change fate. Ever since a terrible accident, Marigold and her sisters have given up aromagic, and their family seems to be falling apart. Marigold discovers that all their bad luck could be because of an ancient curse, and she is determined to find a way to break the curse and save her sisters!

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Book Review: Hunters of the Lost City

Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace

Hunters of the Lost City
by Kali Wallace (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Octavia has lived all her life within the walls of her city, the last refuge for humanity in a world that has been destroyed by war and plague. The only living things outside the walls were monsters. There was no human life left anywhere except in Octavia’s city…. or so she believed. Octavia meets a mysterious girl who claims to be from another city. Together they could destroy everything the town believes and bring healing to a society drowning in lies.

I loved this book so much! The adventure, the magic, the world building, the character growth; this book has it all! I got emotionally attached to the characters very quickly, and it was so wonderful to see how Octavia grows and heals and changes as the story progresses. There are so many big revelations and plot twists as Octavia learns just how deep the lies really go. Every time she discovers something new in her world, the reader discovers it along with her.

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Book Review: The Last Mapmaker

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker
by Christina Soontornvat (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Sai pretends to be from a wealthy family in order to get an apprenticeship with a mapmaker. She hides that her father is a criminal, and uses her skills as a forger to help the mapmaker copy maps and documents. When the mapmaker goes on a sea voyage to explore new regions of the world, Sai is eager to leave her past behind and start a new life. There are tales of dragons and dangerous seas in the South, but the riches and rewards could be immense.

I loved this story! It’s so exciting as they travel further and further from Sai’s home, and the people on board the ship begin to divide into groups with very different goals. Both the adventure and the emotional journey have a lot of tension and suspense. There are so many great twists in the plot!

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Book Review: The Patron Thief of Bread

The Patron Thief of Bread by Lindsay Eagar

The Patron Thief of Bread
by Lindsay Eagar (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Duck has always lived on the streets with a gang of urchins who call themselves the Crowns. They pick pockets and steal food to stay alive. Their leader, Gnat, comes up with the idea for one of them to masquerade as a baker’s apprentice to steal from the bakery, and Duck is chosen for the job. Duck uses forged apprenticeship papers to begin working at the bakery, and then passes stolen bread and coins to the rest of the street urchins. But the longer Duck works at the bakery, the more she begins to settle into her new life. The baker lady is kind to her, and they become a weird sort of family. Duck’s loyalties are divided. Will she choose the baker who loves her like a mother would, or her ragtag family of pickpockets?

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