Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Take 5: MG Lit Titles from Scholastic Reviewed by My Tween

The other day I got a box of books in the mail from Scholastic (Thanks Scholastic!) and I had set them on the table which has become my office. Later that evening, I heard a shriek of delight from the Tween: “You didn’t tell me you got the new Jedi Academy” she screamed with joy. It turns out, there were a lot of books in that box she coveted. So she spent her first few free days of summer reading. This is not surprising, because this is how she spends a lot of her free time. In fact, we’re getting ready to drive to Las Vegas at the end of the month for ALA Annual and she talked me into buying her an Exhibit Hall pass so she could go in one day with me and see what it was like. I think she is hoping she’ll get to meet a few of her favorite authors and I know she is hoping to just touch tons of books. So since she spent the weekend reading, I thought I would have her share her thoughts with you. I added my thoughts as a note underneath hers.

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A Snicker of Magic is a book about this little girl who collects words and moves to a little town called Midnight Gulch. But Midnight Gulch was no ordinary town you see there used to be magic in this town. But it was lost when the brothers Stone and Berry duel for love; the magic is lost so Felicity must use her power to help her mom stay in Midnight Gulch and help the town regain the magic. So to figure out the end of the story read my favorite book A Snicker of Magic. I totally loved this book; it was awesome in every way. The characters were funny and kind. It had a lot of details. I really hope one day I can try some blackberry sunrise ice cream.

Karen’s Thoughts: I have heard her talk about this book for a while now. She has had friends come over and she tells them to read it. And I have had several people her age in my library and when they ask me about book recommendations I say, “my daughter who is your age loves this book and thinks everyone should read it.” Every time they have read the book description and walked out with the book. (ISBN: 9780545552707)

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
This new book is about two sisters who go on a road trip to visit their cousins. Along the way they go through ups and downs so they have to help each other and figure out ways to get along. But when their car breaks down they have to stay behind in a car with a snake in it. On the way home they figure out the meaning of sisterhood. Read this amazing book, it was very funny and I like that the author was putting parts of her own childhood into it. I am a big fan of Smile and this did not disappoint.

Karen’s Thoughts: Smile by Telgemeier is one of the most re-read books in our house. The Tween has read it numerous times. She recently had a friend spend the night who quickly borrowed it. It is also very popular in my library. Interestingly enough, the Tween was recently sitting on the couch, looking up information on her phone and writing it down on a piece of paper. She soon read to me a report she had written on Telgemeier. She didn’t have an assignment, she just wanted to learn more about the author. I have been very impressed with how much Telgemeier has inspired in my daughter. (Publishes in August)

Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 by Dave Pilkey

This funny book is about two boys George and Harold who make their principal think he’s a superhero. But when the turbo toilet 2000 comes back and there is a duplicate George and Harold the boys must help Captain Underpants battle the turbo toilet 2000. I definitely recommend this funny book.

Karen’s Thoughts: This series is still very popular with Middle Grade readers and all my copies are always checked out. (Publishes in August)

Jedi Academy Return of the Padawan (Star Wars Jedi Academy book 2) by Jeffrey Brown

It’s a new year for Roan at the Jedi Academy and it’s going to be even harder than last year. When Roan loses his friends and goes to the dark side he must figure out what to do with himself. Find out what side he ends up on in the end. I like this series because it is funny and makes me think about life.

Karen’s Thoughts: I had immediately given the Tween Sisters because I knew how much she loved that author. As I mentioned above, I was surprised, however, when she later when through the titles herself and said very excitedly, “You didn’t tell me you got the new Star Wars Jedi Academy book.” So this is obviously another series that she highly recommends. (July 2014. ISBN: 978-0545621250)

Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack

As a young girl Cleopatra does not like work so when she has a chance to go to space and fight battles she isn’t going to pass down the offer. With help from friends she becomes a great fighter. Find out what happens. This book was very funny and I really liked the talking cats.

Karen’s Thoughts: Graphic novels are very popular right now with my Tweens at my library. Our copy that I ordered for the library came in last week and it is a lot of fun. (April, ISBN: 9780545528436)

Bad Hair Day (Whatever After #5) by Sarah Mlynowski)

Another day in a fairytale but this time in Rapunzel . But when Jonah ruins Rapunzel’s  hair and Abby cuts all of it off the kids have to find out how to get Rapunzel her  happily ever after and defeat Frau Gothel . How will Abby and Jonah get out of this mess? This is book 5 and I have read the other four. I like this series because the brother and sister try to make life happier for other people.

Karen’s Thoughts: With the popularity of Frozen and other twisted Fairy Tales that feature female empowerment, I highly recommend this series. I read the first couple of titles and really enjoyed them. I particularly like the brother/sister relationship, the positive spin, and the humor. It’s really interesting because the Tween is inching closer to teendom and so now she is straddling the MG and YA lit categories. She has read (and likes) Divergent and she recently read The Fault in Our Stars (which she did not love and did not cry), but she still likes some of these younger titles. (April, ISBN: 9780545627283)


  1. I just read Cleopatra in Space and loved it too! I thought the idea of taking Cleopatra and putting her into space (and going to space school) was really fun. The art was great too.

    I can't wait to read A Snicker of Magic. The way you described it, you moved it right to the top of my to-read list.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I can't wait to read Bad Hair Day – I love this series too! I love your comment about how the siblings try to make life happier for people.

  3. Great titles! I didn't know the next Jedi Academy was so close to coming out! I'm currently reading (and loving) Snicker of Magic myself. I love Cleopatra in Space! I'm going to have to admit to being more than a little jealous that you've already read Sisters, too!

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