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Contemporary Realistic Fiction

This category contains 161 posts

A TIME TO DANCE by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman was a 4.5/5 star read for me! After reading Venkatraman’s most recent work–the middle grade novel The Bridge Home–I was curious about her backlist.  A Time to Dance was originally published in 2014.  The main character is Veda Venkat, a young, Indian girl who is extremely talented and skilled … Continue reading

OPERATION FROG EFFECT by Sarah Scheerger

Operation Frog Effect was a delightful surprise for me.  I picked it up after having read about it on Goodreads and seeing the title come up in our Mock Newbery Group. I was put off by the juvenile nature of the cover, which conflicted with reviews I had read regarding its content.  I am extremely … Continue reading

GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION by Jake Burt…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division II

After finishing Greetings from Witness Protection I find myself stewing in irritation.  This is why: parts of the story are extremely well crafted, but the parts that fall flat do so in a way that detracts from the best parts of the book; as a result, the whole thing never completely came together for me. … Continue reading

SAVE ME A SEAT by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I originally read Save Me a Seat when it was published in 2016.  I rated it 5 stars then. When I saw it was a Lovelace nominee this year, I was curious to see if I would feel the same after rereading it.  Save Me a Seat was just as fantastic the second time as the … Continue reading

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevado

Having read Elizabeth Acevado’s With the Fire on High, I was excited to go back and read The Poet X.  I was not disappointed.  Acevado creates some of the strongest, most completely developed young female characters I have ever encountered.  Xiomara Batista from The Poet X is no exception. Xiomara’s mother is extremely religious and has raised … Continue reading

PIECING ME TOGETHER by Renee Watson…a 2020 LOVELACE nominee Division II

Jade is an extraordinarily talented African-American teenage artist about to begin her junior year at St. Francis High School in Portland, Oregon.  St. Francis is a private high school in a nicer neighborhood than the one in which Jade lives with her mother and uncle; its students are mostly white. Jade agreed to attend St. … Continue reading

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Linda Mullaly Hunt

Shouting at the Rain is an okay story. It won’t shoot to the top of my Recommendations list for middle grade readers the way Hunt’s other works, Fish in a Tree and  One of the Murphys did.  This one was a 3.5/5 star read for me. Delsie lives with her Grammy on Cape Cod.  When we meet … Continue reading

MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina…2019 Newbery Medal

Merci Suarez Changes Gears has been on my To Be Read list for awhile and I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it.  Merci Suarez is in 6th grade.  She lives in Florida with her older brother, Roli, and her parents next door to her Tia Ines (and her twin boys) and her … Continue reading

THE NEXT GREAT PAULIE FINK by Ali Benjamin

The Next Great Paulie Fink is a confusing story.  Our main character is Caitlyn, who, having moved with her mother from upstate New York to Mitchell, Vermont, is starting 7th Grade at a small rural school. The school is located in an old mansion–instead of a typical school building.  All grades are housed in the … Continue reading

TO NIGHT OWL FROM DOGFISH by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

To Night Owl from Dogfish is the story of Avery and Bett.  They are both 12-year-old girls and both are being raised by a single, gay dad. The story begins with an email from Bett to Avery.  They have never met, but each has received information from her father that the two girls will be … Continue reading