Venture out

Many Waters – The fourth book in the quintet fell short. While I like that this book is about the twins, it didn’t feel like a strong story. I like that it transported Sandy and Dennys to the biblical times, and made the characters real rather than just names in the Bible. However, it felt like things just happened to Sandy and Dennys, and they were not active. It didn’t feel like the characters had a lot of agency in this story.

First Light – I enjoyed reading this book! It’s different from Rebecca Stead’s other young adult mysteries. It describes a world underground (under ice?) called Gracehope. She is really an excellent writer and her stories are very tightly knit.

As Brave as You – Jason Reynolds is such a good storyteller too! I added this one to my favorites. I loved Little Wood and his brother Ernie. I loved the themes of forgiveness, redemption, and how real they felt in this book. It’s not always a dramatic story with someone dying or moving far away. Regret and mistakes can manifest themselves in small ways like a broken toy fire truck or drinking late at night. 😥 I really loved this story.

Liars rescue best friends

Liar & Spy – I loved this book! However, I think I prefer Stead’s other books. This one is also a mystery and characters are preteens in NYC. I think the theme in her books is that everyone has secrets, and ordinary lives are not what they seem.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp – Kathi Appelt’s forte is animal stories and dialects. She did a good job here and the raccoon brothers were cute! It would be a great study of personification.

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever – The format of this book is like a mix of comics, early readers, and picture book. Best friends are silly, they sometimes don’t make sense, and that is all perfectly okay because they are best friends ❤

Mercy Watson to the Rescue – I love DiCamillo and when I found out she wrote a series about a pig I definitely had to read it. It was strange and I think if I had read it when I was 8 years old I would love it. Piggies forever!

All the Light We Cannot See – I don’t read very many adult novels but made an exception for this one because the reviews were amazing. I found it hard to get through the book because it was so descriptive, and I’m not sure what the action was. However, it is obviously a well thought out book and there are many examples of human strength in Doerr’s WWII story.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

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I loved this book! I’m glad I didn’t judge a book by its cover because it is so much more than just two kids on a date. The story is also about betrayals and how manipulative people can be 😦 It is not easy being a teenager and navigating the world of friendships, relationships, all while feeling very insecure about yourself. the author does a really great job of capturing how sometimes you just want to hide from the people you know because you don’t want to face the consequences. Great job, Rebecca Stead!