mstamireads has written 327 posts for mstamireads

FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang

Front Desk is the story of Mia Tang.  Mia and her parents are immigrants from China in the late 20th century in California.  When we meet Mia she is going into 5th Grade and her family has been in the United States for a few years. My parents told me that America would be this … Continue reading

TOWERS FALLING by Jewell Parker Rhodes….a 2019-20 LOVELACE nominee Division I & II

Jewell Parker Rhodes says very clearly in her Author’s Note for this book that she wanted to write a book that teachers could use to teach children about 9/11.  Towers Falling accomplishes that goal.  It offers adults a way of introducing conversations and history about something that remains an extremely emotional and terrifying–some would same … Continue reading

SONG FOR A WHALE by Lynne Kelly

Song for a Whale was a happy surprise for me!  I read this book because the Mock Newbery group that I belong to on Goodreads voted for it to be our June 2019 read. (I did not vote for it.)  I didn’t really know what to expect but I wasn’t all that excited about reading … Continue reading

NEW KID by Jerry Craft

New Kid is a fabulous graphic novel about Jordan Banks.  Jordan is in 7th Grade.  Jordan loves to draw and wants to go to Art School.  We meet Jordan as he begins attending Riverdale Academy Day School.  Riverdale is a school in an upscale part of town;  Jordan has to take a long city bus … Continue reading


Max and the Midknights is a new series by Lincoln Peirce, the creator of the Big Nate series.  I enjoyed Big Nate stories immensely with my children when they were in elementary school.  I am so thrilled that this new series does not disappoint!  As implied by the title, Max and the Midknights takes place in medieval times.  … Continue reading

THE END OF THE WILD by Nicole Helget…a 2019-20 LOVELACE nominee Division I & II

The End of the Wild is an interesting story about Fern, an 11-year-old girl living with her 2 younger brothers and her stepfather, Toivo.  In order to feed the family Toivo often hunts (poaches) game and Fern collects various nuts, mushrooms and roots from the forest near their home.  Her mother and youngest brother have … Continue reading

AMINA’S VOICE by Hena Khan……a 2019-20 LOVELACE nominee Division I

Amina’s Voice is the story of Amina as she begins middle school. Amina has always been quiet and struggles to put herself in a position where she would need to speak up for herself–or for others.  The advent of middle school brings with it confusing social changes as her best friend, Soojin, seems to be interested … Continue reading

THE LOST GIRL by Anne Ursu

The Lost Girl centers around two identical twin sisters, Iris and Lark.  Iris tends to be more practical and Lark is the daydreamer, drawn more to fantasy than fact. The girls feel sure that “they have better outcomes when they are together.” When the book begins Iris and Lark are about to enter 5th grade.  … Continue reading

FALLOUT (LOIS LANE #1) by Gwenda Bond…a 2017-18 LOVELACE nominee

Fallout is a smart, sassy modern-day adaptation of DC Comics’ iconic character Lois Lane.  In Fallout Lois is a teenager whose family has just moved to Metropolis.  Her father is a decorated army general and we learn very quickly that:  (1) due to her father’s military career they have moved A LOT; (2) consequently Lois … Continue reading

THE NIGHT GARDENER by Terry Fan & Eric Fan

Each night a new masterpiece is created on Grimloch Lane.  The Night Gardener transforms a tree each night into a fantastically sculpted creature–a topiary–and a true work of art.  The story reveals how this small act of art creation has the power to transform a community in addition to the actual trees. The brilliance of … Continue reading