The Storm Runner

In full disclosure, I’m pretty psyched about the new Rick Riordan imprint series of world mythology for middle-grade readers.

This one not only has Mayan mythology (which I was searching for last year when we were studying them) but also homeschooling (due to bullying, which is actually which is a nice nod to normalizing the whole idea.)

I have a personal goal of reading more diverse books this year and this one is so well written I’d recommend it to adults too. It follows the “Rick Riordan” formula of a kid discovering that the myths of their heritage are indeed real. It’s both familiar and comfortable for kids who are into this genre. Plus, I bet most of the gods will be new to readers. Everyone has some knowledge of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and now thanks to Marvel Norse gods. This universe was new to me and was so fun to delve into.

I’d also add that Zane is so much fun to read about and he is definitely as likable as Percy Jackson. I’m looking forward to reading this aloud as a bedtime story and to hopefully a few sequels!

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from NetGalley without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

The Good Demon

The prose in this novel was so descriptive that I not only read it one sitting, but I felt as if I were transported into the book. This is a classic horror story with a twist. The writing is evocative of either Neil Gaiman or Stephen King. Kind of YA homage to both I suppose. 

A demon has lived inside Clare since childhood. Once it’s discovered a local preacher is called to get it out and the story begins with Clare just desperate to get her friend (the demon) back. For a long time, her demon was her only friend and had proved trustworthy and loyal. 

While reading, I had the same thoughts that you get watching a horror movie; I adore that anticipatory lump in my throat as you mentally prepare for a good jump scare. You know, how you start to suspect one thing and then something worse happens? That’s this book- delightfully creepy.

Probably an unconventional pairing, but reading this with Good Omens, and maybe some C.S. Lewis would make for some fun discussions about how quickly we humans can be tricked into almost anything by the supernatural or other humans.

Recommending this for older kids who like horror as a genre. There is alcohol, sex and obviously some scary spiritual imagery. Nothing gratuitous but possibly nightmare provoking. (if you love scary books this is a plus)

I just one-clicked the author’s previous book Goldeline, sight unseen. It’s MG so I’ll review it here too. I’m now a big fan,

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from Edelweiss+ without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas

September 18,  2018

The Benefits of Being An Octopus

Zoey is one of those girls who tries to blend in at school and go unnoticed. She doesn’t have time for regular 7th-grade stuff likes clubs and stuff like that. She barely has time for homework as she takes care of her three younger siblings while her Mom works. They live in a trailer with her Mom’s current boyfriend and his Dad. It’s actually a step up for them.

I read this book in one sitting and then had to wait a couple days before writing a review. Zoey’s lifestyle(in rural Vermont) is one shared by (probably) millions of US kids today and that in itself is heartbreaking. Let’s put it this way if you placed these characters on the South Side of Chicago or any other urban area it all plays out the same. I think this paired with anything by Jason Reynolds or Angie Thomas would make for some interesting discussions on social justice in the US and or how we can help those around us who are struggling.  It’s books like this that can change how this generation of kids think about wealth and poverty and hopefully will encourage them to be kind to their peers.

Highly Recommend for ages 10 and up.

Please note that I received a free advance ARC of this book from the Kid Lit Exchange without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The Benefits of Being An Octopus By Ann Braden

September 4, 2018

Finding Esme

Since I’ve been back in the kid lit reading saddle I’ve been reading all tearjerkers. I need to consciously seek out a happy book this week. Not that this isn’t a good book- it is. I’ve just been crying a little over my kindle all week. Anyhow, here goes-

I really liked Esme, I loved how she figured things out and how when everything seemed to be tanking and she couldn’t catch a break she figured things out. Esme lives in rural Texas in (I’m guessing) late 1950’s and her family struggles financially and there are some weird family dynamics going on. I think kids will focus in one two parts of this story: finding a dinosaur (!!) and Esme’s possible “gift of sight” Her grandmother can find things and she thinks that Esme may have that gift as well. After she finds a dinosaur on her families farm the reader starts to be convinced as well.

This is not a sad book exactly, but it isn’t upbeat/happy either. I felt melancholy after reading it, I was happy that there was a good resolution, but it left me a little unsatisfied at the same time.

On the upside, there isn’t anything that I’d caution against and I’d hand it to any interested reader ages seven and up.

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from Edelweiss+ without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

Finding Esme by Suzanne Crowley

August 14, 2018