Friday, March 31, 2017

PPBF: Never Forgotten

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Never Forgotten, a new folktale about slavery, hope, and courage
Never Forgotten

Written by Patricia McKissack
Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Schwartz & Wade, 2011
Random House Children's Books
Kindergarten and up
48pp, 3100 words, 710L

Folk Tale, Culture, Poetry

The drums speak
A single message—a warning:
Of pale men riding in large seabirds
With great white wings.
Of men with the blue of the sky in their eyes,
Who steal upriver
Through the Great Forest mists
And into the Savannah Lands in search of slaves—
Hear the moans and groans of their captives—
Hundreds, thousands stolen.
We rarely speak of the Taken,
But I will, just once,
Because you asked.

Told in 21 non-rhyming poems, this imagined tale of an African father communicates the pain and longing which must be felt by a parent whose child has been taken from them. The story follows Mufasa, a boy born in West Africa, the eighth in a line of skilled blacksmiths. Mufasa loves his savannah home, but one day he disappears. Back in the village, his father consults with the spirits of Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind. Each in their turn tries to rescue or find the kidnapped boy, but they are powerless to free him from the slavers. In the end, the father receives some consolation, and the glimpses we see of Mufasa show him to be courageous and enterprising, shaping his own destiny as best he can, with the indomitable spirit of a lion.

What I Love:

An interior illustration of
the slave market, by Leo and Diane Dillon
The beauty of this book makes me shiver. The author's note explains how McKissack began researching slavery in the Caribbean and how she crafted a creation tale out of the pieces she unearthed. But her story goes much deeper than a folk tale. She mines the depth of human emotion
and creates layers of story, a cautionary tale to never forget the cruelties of the past. The story seed was a comment she heard in Barbados, that hurricanes are mother Africa searching for her children. She has chosen to tell the story in poetry, harkening back to the oral traditions of Mali, where the Griots kept their people's history intact through storytelling. The words are achingly well-chosen. The text is spare. McKissack makes three thousand words feel like five hundred.

Leo and Diane Dillon have painted decades of stunning artwork. The illustrations for this picture storybook are no exception. The stained glass effect of the watercolors and acrylics is a fitting accompaniment to the poems. The jewel-tones are like sun reflecting off the ocean. Like the rich fabrics of West Africa. Like the vibrancy of the Caribbean Islands. All together, this book is powerful, and lovely, and sad: one that should be read and loved by families everywhere.


1. The International Slavery Museum sheds more light on the stories behind the slave trade in the Carribean. You can also find more at the National Archives.

KiinderArt has instructions for teaching a kente fabric craft.
2. For further reading on slavery in early America, explore the PBS and American Abolitionist websites.

3. Did you know the rich legacy African-American blacksmiths have left to America? Start your search with the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative or the National Park Service. Trace the roots further back to the West African blacksmiths on The Metropolitan Museum of Art's website.

4. African storytelling techniques made their way to the islands. Read about Caribbean folklore history from Stabroek News. You'll find familiar folktale characters on RealJamaica and read about living storytellers who are carrying on the tradition at CaribbeanBeat.

5. TeacherVision has compiled lesson plans for teaching African folktales. Use the sample stories from the AnikeFoundation or some of those found on VictoriaFalllsGuide.

6. Brown Bookshelf has posted an enlightening and encouraging interview with the author. And you'll find a powerful interview with the illustrators on Kirkus.

7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library. 

Reviewed by Clara
Reviewed by Joanna

Reviewed by Susanna
Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by Lindsey
Reviewed by Joy via Jilanne

Reviewed by Kirsten
Reviewed by Beth

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, March 31, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Finish That Manuscript

"Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it."
Neil Gaiman*

Bookplate by Petr Melan
Via Biglobe

*Via Brainpickings

Monday, March 27, 2017

MMGM: The Hobbit

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick:

The Hobbit, Cover art by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit,
Or There and Back Again
Written by J. R. R. Tolkien

Allen & Unwin, 1937
Ages 12+, 1000L
300 pages, 95000 words


       In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole, with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
       It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened onto a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable hole without smoke, with paneled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats—the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill —The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it—and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on the other. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

I first heard this portion of The Hobbit in second grade. I remember the experience well, and the drawing I did afterward, of a neat and tidy hobbit hole. My next encounter with Tolkien was The Lord of the Rings film released when I was in elementary school. I immediately undertook the reading of the trilogy, though it was more than a year before I finished it.  While my classmates were lip-synching a production of Grease, I was sitting in a corner of the playground pouring over my book. My obsession with all things Tolkien earned me a hobbitish nickname and spurred many class projects.

Hobbit Interior by Vangelo-18 via Deviant Art

At a recent school book fair, I was appalled at the varying advice of fellow parents and teachers' aids. Several children were scolded for reading books either above or below their grade level. Time and again, classes were admonished to only check out books in a certain section of shelves. This was a book fair, not a class assignment! Where would I be if I hadn't heard Tolkien's words six years before anyone would have expected me to read them? Or later, when my brilliant teacher encouraged me to persevere in a book two grades or more above my reading level?

 1. If you haven't read the Hobbit, I can't think of a better time. Nothing, in my opinion, can beat The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Don't be afraid to try Tolkien's other works, his histories, poetry, and even a children's story are available in multiple editions. And please, please, read them to the young people in your life. There's no knowing where they might be swept off to.

My copies of the books carry the Tolkien watercolor illustrations. Simply gorgeous.

2. How often do I recommend the movie version? Not often. But I sometimes forget how, in my childhood, films made me run to the bookshelf to see what really happened or to prolong the experience.
This was the movie that started it all for me.

3. Other MMGM reviewers recommend these fantasy reads:

The Fellowship of the Ring, reviewed by Marsh on A Monster Ate My Book Report
The Dark Is Rising, reviewed by Kim on Dead Houseplants
The Princess and the Goblin, reviewed by Myrna on Night Writer
The Chronicles of Prydain, reviewed by Joanne here on Bookish Ambition

and don't miss the epic fantasy mystery series, Keeper of the Lost Cities, penned by our Marvelous Middle Grade Monday host Shannon Messenger

4. Saturday was Tolkien Reading Day. Check out the details on my weekend post.

Have you reviewed a Marvelous Middle Grade Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations for March 27, 2017.

MMGM started way back in 2010 by Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of Lost Cities. Each week, participating bloggers review our favorite books for ages 8-12. Why not join us?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tolkien Reading Day 2017

This year's theme is Poetry and Songs

Share your favorite quote and which of Tolkien's works you'll be reading today using #TolkienReadingDay

The Guardian reported last year that two more poems from Tolkien's college days were discovered: one new and one early draft. Why not use today's celebration as the impetus to seek them out?

Enjoy this clop from Peter Jackson's An Unexpected Journey, featuring the haunting musical rendition of "Misty Mountains."

Thanks to the Tolkien Society for creating and perpetuating this event.

"Farewell...May the stars shine upon your faces"

Friday, March 24, 2017

PPBF: Three Picture Books About Shakespeare

and I'm celebrating

The Comedy, History, and Tragedy
of William Shakespeare
The Comedy, History, and Tragedy of William Shakespeare

Written by Anna Claybourne
Illustrated by Adria Meserve

Franklin Watts, 2015
Ages 7-12, 48 pp, 880L

Biography, Nonfiction

This book examines the life of William Shakespeare from his childhood through the height of his popularity. It is full of facts, but written in a fun-loving style. In addition to historical and biographical information, several of Shakespeare's most important plays are summarized in an accessible voice. The illustrations are amazing. From the title to the endpages, this is a great introduction to the Bard in an age-appropriate way.

You Wouldn't Want To Be A Shakespearean Actor!:
Some Roles You Might Not Want To Play
You Wouldn't Want To Be A Shakespearean Actor!
Written by, Jacqueline Morley
Illustrated by, David Antram
Series creator, David Salariya

Salariya Book Company Ltd, 2010
Franklin Watts, 2010
Ages 8-11, 830L
around 3000 words

History, Drama, Nonfiction, Humor

These books are told in second person. They engage the reader by speaking directly to him, advising him in a humorous tone bordering on ridiculous. The illustrative style compliments the text. The art is in a lighthearted, comic-style, but with enough detail to inform.

This particular book takes the reader through every stage (no pun intended) of acting life: costume, dress, responsibilities of the players, chores, jobs, food. It includes details about Elizabethan life and touches on important historical events like the plague. Theatrical history is another important theme including the building of the Globe Theater, the fire which destroyed it, and the Blackfriars, the first indoor theater in London. The material is kid-friendly, defining terms within the text or in the glossary.

Will's Quills, by Don Freeman
Will's Quills
How A Goose Saved Shakespeare

Written and illustrated by Don Freeman

First Edition, Viking, 1975
Ages 5-8

Historical Fiction? Finding Purpose

Many long years ago in Merrie Olde England there lived a country goose named Willoughby Waddle. While the other geese on the farm were content to spend their days nibbling on flowers and floating lazily on the lake, Willoughby was restless. He wanted to see the world, but even more, he wanted to be useful. And so early one spring morning, he set out for Londontown.

There is not one stitch of truth nor useful historical bit in this story...and it doesn't matter one whit because it's so adorable! The plot? An inept playwright (guess who) cannot concentrate because his quills aren't sharp enough. He throws them out the window onto an unsuspecting country goose, Willoughby Waddle, and...
Classic Don Freeman style with playful art, rich colors, and kid-tested prose. Between the celebration of the Bard's birth and the deadline for the Don Freeman grant looming, I couldn't help but think of this hilarious picture book gem.


A Shakespearean novel
 by Susan Cooper

Want to learn more about Shakespeare Week? Check out the links from Monday's post along with my review of Susan Cooper's middle grade novel, King of Shadows, where the MC travels back to Elizabethan England and acts with William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

You might also like these and other Perfect Picture books. Check them out at your local library.

Reviewed by Vivian
Reviewed by Loni

Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Joanna

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Keila

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday for Friday, March 24, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

IF: Snail

Still experimenting with digital art and equipment.

A Snail and His Boy, by Joanne Roberts
This week's Illustration Friday theme is "Snail."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crafting Your Draft

"But that’s where the power of writing comes in—not in accidentally hitting on a perfect sentence while writing a first draft, but in deliberately crafting sentence after sentence in the rewrite stage."
Beth Hill*

Bookplate of E. Petrolini courtesy Penn Libraries Collection

*Via  on The Editor's Blog

Monday, March 20, 2017

MMGM: King of Shadows

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick

King of Shadows, by Susan Cooper
Time travel to Elizabethan England
King of Shadows
Written by Susan Cooper

Penguin Random House, 1999
Grades 4-8, 1010L
192 pages, 48000 words

Time Travel, Shakespeare

       Tag. The little kids' game, plain ordinary old tag. That's what he had us playing. Even though none of us was younger than eleven, and the older ones were big as men. Gil Warmun even had a triangle of beard on his chin. Warmun was "it" for now, the tagger, chasing us; suddenly he swung around at me before I could dodge, and hit me on the shoulder.
       "Nat's it!"
       "Go, go, go!"
       Run around the big echoing space, sneakers squealing on the shiny floor; try to catch someone, anyone, any of the bodies twisting and diving out of my way. I paused in the middle, all of them dancing around me ready to dodge, breathless, laughing.
       "Go, Nat! Keep it moving, don't let it drop! Tag, tag!"
       That huge voice was ringing out from the end of the room, Arby's voice, deep as the sound of a big gong. You did whatever that voice said, now; you moved quick as lightning. For the Company of Boys, Arby was director, actor, teacher, boss man. I dashed across the room toward a swirling group of them, saw the carroty red head of little Eric Sawyer from Maine, chased him in and out and finally tagged him when he cannoned into a slower boy.
       "Go, Eric, go—keep the energy up —"
       The voice again, as Eric's scrawny legs scurried desperately through the noisy crowd; then suddenly a change, abrupt, commanding.
       "O-kay! Stop! That's it! Now we're going to turn that energy inside, inside us —get in groups of five, all of you, anywhere in the room."

One summer Nat joins the Company of Boys, an American drama team headed to London to perform Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at a reproduction of the Globe Theater. Nat hopes to escape the pain in his life, but instead he contracts a mysterious illness which transports him to Elizabethan England, back to the real Globe Theater, where he is part of  Shakespeare's own company. Nat must adapt, survive, and ultimately choose between escaping his past or facing it, between the broken relationships at home, or the new one he is building with the Bard himself.

This book is skillfully written, as are all of Cooper's books. Her attention to detail and unromanticised depiction of  sixteenth century England catapult the reader into the story. Nat's character is authentic, and I think many pre-teens will relate to his emotional dilemmas. There's plenty of history to be learned here, but the text is never dry. Plus the plot twists and turns, full of intrigue and tension. There was an unexpected expletive, but the rest is riveting. Notice the breathless pace of the opening paragraphs and the author's use of phrases and punctuation to show the action, rather than try to tell it.

 1. If you enjoyed King of Shadows, try some of Susan Cooper's other books. The Dark is Rising is my all-time favorite, part of The Dark is Rising series.

The Dark IS Rising, books 1-5
Is this Julie Dillon's art?

2. Fellow MMGMer, Karen, recommends Ira Shakespeare's Dream, a fabulous picture book biography of Ira Aldridge, the African-American actor who was barred from performing in
Shakespeare's plays.

Both Jenni and Joanne have reviewed The Shakespeare Stealer, by Gary Blackwood. And Gary has written a sequel, Shakespeare's Scribe, reviewed by Kirkus.

Greg has written a thorough review of Inquire & Investigate Shakespeare, by Andi Diehn

Ira Shakespeare's Dream,
By Glenda Armand
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
The Shakespeare Stealer,
Cover by Greg Call
Shakespeare, part of the
Inquire and Investigate series

3. It's Shakespeare Week. Here are a few links to the activities available, classroom suggestions, and more Elizabethan fun.

Mission Shakespeare,
an online kids' challenge

Shakespeare Week official site

Celebrations from
the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Plan a Visit via Shakespeare's England

4. A few weeks back I reviewed Will's Words, a fun and fascinating picture book about how William Shakespeare's work affects the English language. This Friday, I'll be featuring a few more picture books in honor of the Bard, both funny and factual. Plus you'll always find my suggestions for crafts, snacks, and links for further exploration as part of the regular Perfect Picture Book Friday feature.

Have you reviewed a Marvelous Middle Grade Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations for March 20, 2017.

MMGM started way back in 2010 by Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of Lost Cities. Each week, participating bloggers review our favorite books for ages 8-12. Why not join us?

Friday, March 17, 2017

PPBF: Step Right Up

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Step Right Up, by Donna Bowman and Daniel Minter
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Showed Kindness

Written by Donna Janell Bowman
Illustrated by Daniel Minter
Lee & Low Books, 2016
Grades 2-8, 48 pp., 910L

Biography, Kindness, Non-fiction, Animals

       "Spring 1889 stretched a blanket of wildflowers over Shelbyville, Tennessee, but William "Doc" Key barely noticed. He paced and fidgeted like an expectant father. He had been on hand for plenty of births before, but this one was special. Visions of a future champion racehorse darted through his mind as he comforted his mare Lauretta. Finally a dark, wet colt lay shivering at her side.
       "Doc knelt to welcome the little fellow, but something was terribly wrong. "He's the most spindly, shank-legged animal I ever did see," he said.
       "Most folks would have given up on the colt right then. But Doc had a kind streak that ran clear through his heart and all the way back to his childhood."

Doc Key was born a slave. Throughout his life he taught kindness through his actions. As a free man he opened a veterinary clinic in Tennessee. He especially had a way with horses. He once spent a small fortune on a mare which he believed would parent a valuable racehorse, but when the colt was born, it was sickly. Doc spent all his time and energy raising that colt, though it was clear it would never win a horserace. But the horse, Beautiful Jim Key, turned out to be an amazing animal. Doc taught him to count and spell, for one thing. Jim lived was much like a pet dog: he followed Doc around, slept in his house as often as he could sneak in, and delighted in learning tricks. So Doc and Jim went on the road to make their fortune, but more importantly, to spread a message about God's creatures, about education, and about the miraculous transformative power of compassion.

What I Love:
I'd seen Mim Rivas's Beautiful Jim Key years ago, and knew it would make a splendid children's book. Their story is a real-life fairy tale. And while Jim is the star, Doc's quiet compassion and his patient temperament make him the hero of the story. Jim may seem like a miracle horse, but I don't believe anyone else could have brought out his talents. the story focuses on their life together and the underlying stream of selflessness in Doc Key, which saw the good in others and chose to give his all for those around him.

Excellent illustrations. Well-chosen text. Fact-filled and beautifully organized. The author includes thorough back matter on this fascinating duo. Don't miss this book. As a side-show barker might have said, you won't believe your eyes.


Chocolate-covered Nutter Butter Cookies
from Krazy in the Kitchen
1. Mim Eichler Rivas wrote a book for adults about Doc and Jim, entitled Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World and Emily Arnold McCully wrote and illustrated a picture book, focusing on Jim Key and his skills, called Wonder Horse: the True Story of the World's Smartest Horse.

2. Learn the history behind the books at Beautiful Jim Key, including links to a documentary, kids' contests, and more.

3. If you're anywhere near Tennessee, you can visit the memorial to Jim Key in Shelbyville.

4. Lee & Low has posted an interesting interview with the author.

5. Safe Haven Humane Society offers tips for kids who want to show kindness to animals, and how they can volunteer. Google the local SPCA, and you'll find pages of information like I did. Kids who can't volunteer can sponsor a drive for food, blankets, towels, dishes, toys, and other necessities to keep our shelters running.

7. Equine therapy is another great way for kids to learn kindness. Centers all around the country work with either adults or children struggling with anger management, physical or mental handicaps, autism, and depression. These camps are a great place to learn to work with people or animals, and they always need compassionate volunteers. Maybe there's one in your area.


8. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Miranda
Reviewed by Jarm
Reviewed by Kirsten
Reviewed by Leslie

Reviewed by Leslie
Reviewed by Joanne

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, March 17, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

MMGM: The Upside of Down

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick

The Upside of Down, by Dawn Malone
The Upside of Down
Written by Dawn Malone
Cover by MJC Imageworks

Dawn Malone, 2016
Ages 8-12, 248 pages

Homelessness, Runaways, Charity

      Crawdad fires the football like a rocket launcher. It whistles like a missile in my direction, and I leap to catch it, but it only brushes my fingertips, being a good two feet over my head. The ball sails across the empty lot as if it's heading for tomorrow, but before it changes time zones, the huge blue spruce hugging the corner of the abandoned Rainbow Candy Factory stops it. There's a whoosh as the tree's dense branches catch it. I turn just in time to see it disappear inside.
       Everyone groans.
       "I ain't getting' that," Webby Smith announces right off the bat. He jams his hands on his hips, challenging anyone to tell him otherwise.
       "Me neither," says Crawdad. Scratching his head, he glances my way. "Did you bring your other ball, Hobbs?"
       I shrug. "Not this time, man. Sorry."
       DeShaun Richard's mouth drops open. "What do you mean asking him for another ball?" he says pointing at Crawdad. "You threw my ball in there. We're not gonna just forget about it. You go get it."
       Crawdad backs up and crosses his arms. No one wants anything to do with the tree.

When a homeless runaway enters Hobbs's picture-perfect life, he struggles to understand his own values and to control the chaos that ripples from his actions.

Told from alternating perspectives, this book is well-crafted. One of those books you find yourself speeding through like a runaway train. The theme asks some intense questions about homelessness, our view of others, and what we are willing to do to change the world (or at least, our world.) But it is not heavy or overly depressing or melodramatic. Once again, the author proves she has a firm grip on voice. The writing gets tricky when the two POVs finally collide. I admit to losing track of the narrator once or twice in those chapters, but that might have been because I felt myself racing through the text, eager to see what would happen. Aside from a few writerly nit-picks, it is a thoroughly good read. I'd love to see it in every middle school classroom and I consider it a must-read at home. My favorite book so far this year.

I was disappointed with the book's cover. The boy pictured is probably supposed to be Up, who is Latino. We could use more kids of Latin-American descent on our covers.

1. I read Dawn Malone's first book, Bingo Summer, last year. It was a terrific, light, summer read. Highly recommended.
Bingo Summer, by Dawn Malone
Cover by McCorkle Creations

2. I had a hard time finding comparable books. I found some for older readers, some for younger. Most books on runaways were from the perspective of a kid who'll eventually find themselves back home. Most of the books on homelessness were about families living in shelters or their cars, none who chose to be homeless. There were plenty of books on foster kids which came up during my search. If Dawn's book is as unique as it seems, I hope many of the MMGM readers will read it and help it circulate.

I haven't read the books below, but they seem to have a similar take on the themes in The Upside of Down. Also try Paper Things, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson.

Can't Get There From Here,
by Todd Strasser
Cover by Greg Stadnyk
Run, Zan, Run, by Cathy MacPhail

3. Other MMGM reviewers recommend books with similar themes:

Almost Home, by Joan Bauer
Reviews by The Hopeful Heroine, Mrs. Yingling Reads, and Michael on Middle Grade Mafioso.

How To Steal A Dog, by Barbara O'Connor
Reviews by Joanne from My Brain On Books and Barbara.

Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate
Reviewed by Greg of Always in the Middle, Andrea, and Karen.

On Children's Books Heal, Barbara has posted a slew of books on the subject including
Ivy Homeless in San Francisco, by Summer Brenner
Soul Moon Soup, by Linsay Lee Johnson

3. For what you and your students can do about homelessness, see
Talking to Kids About Homelessness on The Huffington Post
Help Your Kids Help the Homeless on Today's Christian Woman
7 Rules for Talking to the Homeless on Operation Warm
and visit StandUp For Kids, and organization which aims to end the cycle of homelessness and help street kids.

Have you reviewed a Marvelous Middle Grade Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations for March 13, 2017.

MMGM started way back in 2010 by Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of Lost Cities. Each week, participating bloggers review our favorite books for ages 8-12. Why not join us?