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Contemporary Realistic Fiction

This category contains 170 posts

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo

& there was a moment when the wheels first touched down that my heart plummeted in my chest, but when we were slowing   & a smattering of passengers erupted into applause. The old lady in the seat beside me said in Spanish,   “They don’t do that as much anymore. This must be a … Continue reading

WINK by Rob Harrell

I really enjoy Rob Harrell’s delightful Life of Zarf series so I was really excited to see he was coming out with a contemporary realistic fiction middle grade novel. Every new book by authors I enjoy comes with great excitement to discover what new treasures are in store and that small niggling fear that the … Continue reading

STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! by Jessica Kim

Yumi is a middle-school-age Korean-American with immigrant parents. Yumi wants to do stand-up comedy but her parents believe she needs to concentrate on studying to pass a test and get a scholarship to an expensive private school with a good academic reputation (on the path to a good college and a career that is financially … Continue reading

KING AND THE DRAGON FLIES by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender is a new discovery for me, and one for which I am grateful! King is a brilliantly developed character to whom a lot of middle grade readers will relate. Kingston James (King) is 12 years old. He is dealing with confusion and acceptance of his own sexuality at the same time he is … Continue reading

THE LIST OF THINGS THAT WILL NOT CHANGE by Rebecca Stead

Ever since I found out Rebecca Stead had a new book coming out in 2020 I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Published on April 7, 2020 I am thrilled that The List of Things That Will Not Change is everything I expect from Rebecca Stead’s work! It is insightful and tender at the same … Continue reading

BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER by Jewell Parker Rhodes

  Black Brother, Black Brother is a phenomenal book in story, impact, structure and writing style. It is one of those rare examples of a perfect melding of rich storytelling in both craft and content. Donte’s voice is open and suffused with the huge emotions of a middle school-age boy. The imagery of being seen … Continue reading

A HOME FOR GODDESSES AND DOGS by Leslie Connor

I am always drawn to stories that involve dogs…and simultaneously leery of them (because the dog is so often killed off as a plot point in literature). For those of you who are like me: don’t worry. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs is a tender story about a 13-year-old girl finding her way through … Continue reading

DEAR SWEET PEA by Julie Murphy

I had read Julie Murphy’s YA novel Dumplin’ and thought it had some really great insights into body image and body language (as in the words we use to talk about female bodies in particular). When I saw she had a new middle grade novel I was excited to get my hands on a copy. … Continue reading

PARKED by Danielle Svetcov

I just finished Parked earlier today and there are so many things I want to say about it! This one was not on my radar at all until it showed up as a suggestion from someone in the Mock Newbery group I belong to on Goodreads. I had a hard time finding it–our local library … Continue reading

REDWOOD AND PONYTAIL by K.A. Holt

Redwood and Ponytail is a beautiful LGBTQ coming of age novel for middle-grade readers. Written in free verse by K.A. Holt it is the story of Kate and Tam, who meet at the beginning of their seventh grade year. Kate appears at first to be a stereotypical cheerleader, complete with ponytail, red bow in her … Continue reading