Welcome to the October edition of The Book Review Club. Apparently, October is a crazy, busy month. Who knew? It's Caramel Month, Cookie Month, Dessert Month, Pasta Month, Pickled Peppers Month, Pizza Month, Popcorn Popping Month, Pork Month, Pretzel Month. Here's the link to everything Oct is hosting. I say, let's offset some of that eating with...READING. Oh, you thought I was going to say EXERCISE? Did you see the blog title? The BOOK Review Club? (October is also National Sarcasm Month.). Enjoy our reviews!
by Shari Green (middle grade)
First off, can I just say that I'm in awe of anyone who can write a book in verse. And not just verse, but good verse. So, kudos to Shari Green!
In a nutshell: Eleven-year-old Bailey and her younger brother are sent to spend the summer with their grandmother on Arbutus Island (by British Columbia) while their parents try to repair their marriage.
Digging a little deeper: Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is about family, friendship and community. Bailey is worried about her parents splitting up. Also, her mother and grandmother never buried the hatchet after a falling out before the book opens. Bailey is also worried about her new friend who suffers from cystic fibrosis. And there's in-fighting in the island community over a prophesizing ice cream seller.
Bailey wants a miracle. Badly. Over the course of the novel, she matures and comes to grips with what she can and can't change.
What I Loved: Well, lots of things! In no particular order, I loved the language. Here's a small sample: "I never saw such turmoil on the sea--dark water snarling at us and grabbing whatever it could in the white claws of its waves." I loved how all the conflicts were not favorably resolved. Just like real life. I loved how island life (sea cave, ocean swimming, a dolphin, driftwood, and more) was a natural part of the story.
Highly recommended for the middle grader in your life. :)
(Dear FCC: Guess what? I actually received and read an ARC of this book. Oh so unusual! But I reviewed it because I loved it.)
And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!
CHILDREN, MIDDLE GRADE, YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE by Giles Andreae (children)
Stacy Nyikos: THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill (middle grade, fantasy)
Beth Bonini of TRAC: A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy)
ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Alyssa Goodnight: MAISIE DOBBS by Jacqueline Winspear (historical mystery)
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: BROKEN PROMISES by Nick Nichols (legal thriller)
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: EVELYN, AFTER by Victoria Helen Stone (women's)
Patti Abbott: A MAN CALLED OVE by Frederic Bachman (literary)
Ray Potthoff: VICTORY AT YORKTOWN by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen (historical
Scott Parker: THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Ray Bradbury (fantasy)
Stacy of the Cat's Meow: LIFE AND OTHER NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES by Camille Pagan
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: 3 self-help autobiographies
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!