Saturday, February 9, 2019

Book Haul: Cybils Middlegrade Shortlist


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten recently. I’m currently a judge for the middlegrade division of the Cybils Award, so of course I had to acquire the shortlist. I’ve already read these books. I’ll review them after we pick the winner.





Cybils Middlegrade Shortlist







The Doughnut Fix (The Doughnut Fix #1) by Jessie Janowitz




Tristan isn't Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he's always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It's like suddenly they're supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.

His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he's tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn't made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and it's possible he's bitten off more than he can chew.












The Orphan Band Of Springdale by Anne Nesbet



It’s 1941, and tensions are rising in the United States as the Second World War rages in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta’s life, like the world around her, is about to change. Her father, a foreign-born labor organizer, has had to flee the country, and Gusta has been sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Nearsighted, snaggletoothed Gusta arrives in Springdale, Maine, lugging her one precious possession: a beloved old French horn, her sole memento of her father. But in a family that’s long on troubles and short on money, how can a girl hang on to something so valuable and yet so useless? Inspired by her mother’s fanciful stories, Gusta secretly hopes to find the coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather supposedly left hidden somewhere. Meanwhile, even as Gusta gets to know the rambunctious orphans at the home, she feels like an outsider at her new school—and finds herself facing patriotism turned to prejudice, alien registration drives, and a family secret likely to turn the small town upside down.












The Miscalculations Of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty



Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test—middle school!

Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?












Front Desk by Kelly Yang



Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?












Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson



It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.















Skylark And Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli



Queens, 2012.

Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French.

But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother's past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy.












The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson



The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It's waiting for Candice Miller.

When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. Grandma tried and failed. But now Candice has another chance.

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues in the letter. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the summer ends?






Have you read any of these? What did you think?







38 comments:

  1. Sorry, never heard of them as I don't read kids books but I bet you had fun judging them!

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    1. Yep, judging was great. I want to do it again for sure.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. All new titles to me, but I will be adding a few to my TBR!

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  3. I've never heard of any of these, but Orphan Band's cover definitely makes me want to know more about it! I hope you loved all of these!

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  4. The Doughnut Fix sounds cute! Sounds like me with Krispy Kremes lol.

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    1. Haha, yeah, the kid in that book REALLY wants a doughnut.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. The Doughnut Fix has the cutest cover. I really want to find a copy of Front Desk. Hope you have a great week.

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    1. That raccoon is the cutest. Out of all the Cybils books, that one has my favorite cover.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I haven't heard of any of these books before, but they all sound interesting! I hope you enjoy them all!

    Here’s my Stacking the Shelves!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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  7. I haven't read any of these, but I want to read all of them now! The only one I had heard of previously is Woodson's Harbor Me, and I have wanted to read it for a while. Thanks for sharing. 👍✨

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  8. What a lovely collection - so many of them sound so good. I am especially interested in Front Desk. Hope you enjoy your new treasures!

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  9. I haven't even heard of these before today, but they sound really good! I hope you'll enjoy them all, Aj.

    I also hope you'll be able to sleep well this coming week.

    Happy reading!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

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    1. Thanks! I’m still not sleeping enough. I’m going to get an audiobook to keep me entertained while I’m lying in the dark.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I'm loving the sound of the lightning girl one :)

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  11. What wonderful premises! I particularly love the sound of Doughnut Fix and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl:))

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  12. Ooh, doughnuts! My niece would love that one.

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    1. The doughnut book has recipes in the back! I’m excited to make some desserts.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. These sound like great MG reads. My kids are over that now but I like to read a good one every now and than.
    Thanks for the book recs!

    Mary

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    1. I really like middlegrade, even though I’m way out of the age range.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I have a hold in for Font Desk and I want to get to The Doughnut Fix too. I am going to add Skylark, because it talks about Sandy, which was horrible and 8 of the most miserable days of my life.

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    1. I remember watching Sandy coverage on the news. It did look horrible. Sorry you were stuck in it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. I'm eagerly awaiting which one will win. As I was on the first round, I'm intimately familiar with the list. :)

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  16. These all sound good! The only one I've read is Harbor Me, but I should probably get them all for my classroom. Can't wait to find out what won!

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    1. I’m excited to see the announcements. I want to know what won the categories I didn’t judge.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. donut fix looks so adorable. love the cover!

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  18. Great bunch of book you've got there! I was on the committee tasked with picking the finalists. Hard, hard choices! Great committee! Can't wait for your announcement!

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  19. I read a lot of MG last year and they were all phenomenal. The best thing about G though has got to be the covers. Always so artistic and original.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  20. I love that you are reading them all as well :) The Doughnut Fix sounds like my kind of book even though I don't read middle grade - but I am not sure if that is because I am biased as I love doughnuts and appreciate when people use the CORRECT spelling of doughnut (:D) I also am not surprised to see Jacqueline Woodson on the list ;)

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