Bookworm Bear

Middle Grade Novels (ages 8-12)

Poached – Book Review

Poached by Stuart Gibbs It all started when Vance Jessup bullied Teddy Fitzroy into dropping an arm and foot (from a mannequin) into the shark tank at FunJungle. When he was being chased by security guards, Teddy escaped by hiding in the koala exhibit with Kazoo the Koala.  He still had the backpack that Vance…

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Fortunately, The Milk

Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman The setting of the book is in the main characters’ house, outside on the street, and in a lot of other places, all over. The main characters in this book are:  the children, their father, and Professor Steg.  The backup characters are:  the people in the jungle, the green,…

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Roald Dahl Day September 13, 2013

Roald Dahl Day September 13, 2013 Some of our long-time family favorite books are those written by Roald Dahl.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Danny Champion of the World.  These books tend to have unlikely heroes, involve creative solutions to problems, fantastical…

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Understood Betsy

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, illlustrations by Kimberly Bulcken Root When readers first meet the main character, they see a timid, worried Elizabeth Ann, who lives with her Aunt Harriet and Aunt Frances in a city.  Elizabeth Ann is in the third grade at the big, local school.  Aunt Frances devotes herself to taking…

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The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin This is a story about Wanda.  But, it is also a story about Maddie, and about Peggy.  It is a story about being a little different, and a story about bullying and how a group treats someone who is a little different. Wanda was a…

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Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo “My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.” So begins this compelling middle grade novel by Kate DiCamillo. Opal, the main…

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The Cricket in Times Square

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, illustrated by Garth Williams Chester Cricket was a country cricket.  He enjoyed hopping around in his meadow, sitting on his stump, and eating liverwurst.  Chester Cricket hopped onto a picnic blanket to eat part of a liverwurst sandwich – and found himself bundled up with the sandwich…

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Tuesdays at the Castle

I try to avoid princess books unless the young royal in question is a very strong character who takes matters into her own hands.  Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George has a main character who is strong, creative, quirky, and, oh yes – a princess. Princess Celie is the youngest child of King…

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Gooseberry Park

I first came across Cynthia Rylant’s writing through the Henry and Mudge books when my children were learning to read.  When they were ready for longer books, we found several books by Cynthia Rylant that seemed safe, yet still new and interesting, to my blossoming readers. Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant was a favorite for…

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