Here, Picky, Picky, Picky…

I’ve been so remiss in posting picks of the week lately that today, I’m posting four—a little something for almost any Middle Grade mood:

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1. Time Out of Time by Maureen Doyle McQuerry. A little fairy tale adventuring, a little Celtic mythology, and even a little code-breaking. I’m actually still reading this one; it’s so gripping I can’t wait to stop writing this post and get back to polishing it off.

2. Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George. The posthumously-published last book by the amazing author of My Side of the Mountain. Sad, yes, as you’d expect of any book about whaling. But also steeped in history, Eskimo (George’s word, not mine) legend, and deep kindness.

3. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. Pure and simple, this is an art mystery in the tradition of Robertson Davies’ What’s Bred in the Bone—only for MG, not grownups. Thanks to a new blockbuster movie, a lot of attention is being given to Nazi art theft and the special Allied division that sought to recover  plundered treasure. This has got that for a backdrop, but it’s also a touching tale of loss and friendship.

4. The End…Or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis. Oops, forgot to take this one’s picture. OK, technically, since it’s for 12 and up, this is  YA. And I suppose a book that begins with a dead person and involves the subsequent attempts of its heroine to contact said dead person, is a little on the mature side. But the humor and tenderness of the story make it perfectly acceptable—nay, fabulous—for the upper echelons of MG readers. It’s Ada’s absolute numero uno pick of recent reads.

What are you and your Middle Grader(s) reading lately? I’ve gotten one  reply lately, read aloud by my deal old friend Brendan to his 4 kiddies:

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