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Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: March 20

Welcome to the latest edition of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature.

The Miles BetweenLike Lenore from Presenting Lenore, I'm looking forward to Mary Pearson's upcoming title, The Miles Between. Lenore quoted a summary from Mary Pearson in a January interview with The Best Book I Have Not Read: "The Miles Between is about four teens who embark on an “unauthorized” road trip in search of one fair day. The main character has an obsession with coincidences and also a secret she is keeping from the rest of her road trip renegades, and as the story unfolds, she discovers they have secrets of their own."

Another book that I had merely to hear about to be interested in it is Sara Zarr's third book, Once Was Lost. Sara recently announced: "The narrator is a 15-year-old pastor’s daughter in a small town. Guess what the book is about? That’s right. Family! In this case, the narrator and her view of life and faith (in God, in family, in friends) is challenged and transformed by the kidnapping of another young girl in her town." No cover image yet, but it's tentatively scheduled for October.

Scaredy Squirrel at Night And one more title that I really just need to know about to want is Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt. But I did llike Cheryl Rainfield's review, too. Cheryl calls it "a funny, light-hearted book about bad dreams, and a worrywart who discovers that he can sleep without bad dreams after all. Recommended."

Frankie PickleMary Lee and Franki from A Year of Reading are two of my go-to people for recommendations for early elementary school books. Recently, Mary Lee reviewed the first book in a new series by Eric Wight: Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom. She said: "This graphic novel hybrid is sure to be a hit with elementary kids in grades 2-5. I asked two of my graphic novel readers to check it out and they loved it. The way the story changes visually when Frankie's imagination takes hold reminded them of Baby Mouse."

11 Birthdays I love the movie Groundhog Day. It's one of those movies that I always stop and watch for at least a few minutes whenever I run across it. Kimberly J. Smith from Cool Kids Read recently reviewed 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass, saying: "Grownups will remember the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day" which had a similar premise of a repeating day, but with 11 Birthdays, this story isn't just about getting the day right, but the background story of why it started happening in the first place." And I think that's good enough for me to want to give it a look.

Fortune's Magic FarmI have to admit that neither the title nor the cover of Suzanne Selfors Fortune's Magic Farm would normally catch my eye. But I generally read Charlotte's reviews at Charlotte's Library. And Charlotte said: "I enjoyed this one, especially the dystopia for the young reader that is Runny Cove. Unlike Isabelle, I was a little disappointed when the story took us off to Fortune's farm, where, instead of slugs and evil boarding house matrons, we encountered the pleasures of a sunny garden filled with whimsical magical plants. Maybe I'm just too cynical to enjoy whimsical magical plants, but the wonderful farm never felt as real as the miserable town. However, doubtless the target audience of ten year-oldish girls will find the garden delightful..."  Since I am more of less compelled to read all of the dystopian novels that I come across, this one goes on the list.

Bones of FaerieAnd, for a more grown-up dystopia, I'm intrigued by Janni Lee Simner’s Bones of Faerie, reviewed by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone. Sarah says: "Post-apocalyptic fantasy?  Faeries?  Dystopian?  Can all of these words really describe one book?  And can that book possibly be good with all of that going on?  In Janni Lee Simner’s case, the answer is a resounding yes!" Good enough for me!

The PlagueLibrarina caught my attention with a review of The Plague, by Joanne Dahme (due out in May). "When Nell’s parents succumb to the plague, she and her brother, George, fear what will become of them. As they follow the death cart to the graveyard, however, something miraculous happens. They cross paths with the king — who is struck by the fact that Nell looks nearly identical to his daughter, Princess Joan." Adventure follows.

 The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Another historical fiction review that caught my eye recently was Tasha Saecker's review at Kids Lit of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (by Jacqueline Kelly). Tasha begins: "In 1899, girls are expected to grow up to be either wives or teachers.  So what is a girl like Calpurnia to do?  She is much more interested in different species of grasshoppers than in tatting or cooking.  She would rather spend hours with her grandfather in his shed doing experiments than learning to knit all of her six brothers socks." She concludes with a comparison to Caddie Woodlawn.

Marcelo in the Real WorldAnother review from Tasha that caught my eye was of Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork. Here's a snippet: "Marcelo has always heard internal music that is hard for him to pull away from... This book is written from Marcelo’s point of view, allowing the prose itself to become as poetic, strange and amazing as Marcelo’s inner dialogue.  It is a book where you feel the world around you shift as you see it through Marcelo’s eyes."

The September SistersKelsey from Reading Keeps You Sane recently gave a rave review to Jillian Cantor's The September Sisters. "Okay, I really don't know how to express myself with this one. But if you want the gist of it, I'll give you one word. Phenomenal. The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor was phenomenal. Phenomenal... The moment I read the book, the first page. I was hooked." It does sound intriguing.

And that is enough of a wish list for anyone for one week! I hope that some of these reviews capture your attention, too!