Middle Grade roundup is to catch up on all the books I’ve binged in December, trying to meet my target for the Mount TBR Challenge. There’s another edition on Wednesday.

These are all books I’ve either had on my kindle a long time, or on my shelf a long time, and I thought were short enough to add to a binge.  That’s standard length for most Middle Grade books. The blurbs have been summarised.

Old Kurt, Two Gorillas and a Bagful of Jewels: Paris-Berlin

Old Kurt, Two Gorillas & a Bagfullof diamondsby Claire Dickinson

…your parents are missing, and it’s up to you to get them back. Ant and Houdini end up on a treasure hunt when their  mum is kidnapped. The two brothers explore the Berlin Wall and crawl around the Paris catacombs. An adventure into history and geography for 8 to 12-year-olds.(more)

Review: If you read the full blurb you’ll get more of a feel of the style. The story is excellent, and I loved the ventures into Berlin Wall memorial centres (unintentionally) and the catacombs of Paris (on purpose). Plenty of twists and turns, but oh, the garbage this first-person narrator (Ant) comes out with in the telling of it.  Once I’d learned to skip that, I enjoyed the book. But I wonder whether the intended audience will find it funny, or just bewildering.


witchlet victoria Ziglerby Victoria Zigler

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?

This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. (more)

Review: This is a charming and heartwarming tale with some great descriptions. It is also very short.  I think it is ideal for younger MGs and reluctant readers, but maybe the target audience really need to invest in the trilogy to get full satisfaction with the author’s excellent stories. I’ve still given it five stars.

A Wind in the Door

Wind in the doorby Madeleine L’Engle

Just before Meg Murry’s little brother, Charles Wallace, falls deathly ill, he sees dragons in the vegetable garden. The dragons turn out to be Proginoskes… It is up to Meg and Proginoskes, along with Meg’s friend Calvin, to save Charles Wallace’s life. …(more)

Review: The sequel to a Wrinkle in Time, and I much preferred this one.  Unlike the first reviewer on my Goodreads listing, I had no trouble keeping up with who was who or what was what, unless they were multiple people at the time (when nobody knew who was who). A wonderful story delving into the imagination and concept of space in its largest, and smallest sense. Shades of H G Wells’ the Time Machine, a little.

Book Review Binge | Middle Grade roundup
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3 thoughts on “Book Review Binge | Middle Grade roundup

  • 28 December, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Oh! I LOVED The Wind in the Door! You just gave me an idea for a challenge for 2021–read everything Madeline L’Engle has written!
    Great reviews, btw.

  • 28 December, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for these recommendations, Jemima. I wish I was still tutoring middle schoolers, but that went by the wayside with the virus’ arrival.

  • 29 December, 2020 at 2:16 am

    I agree about liking A Wind in the Door over Wrinkle.

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