Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brain child of Shannon Whitney Messenger.
Papademetriou, Lisa. Ice Dreams.
Rosa is having a hard time adjusting to life in Chicago, where she has moved with her mother, a busy hair salon executive, her grandfather, and her younger sister Amelia. She signs up for ice skating classes right away and meets a good group of girls that go to her school. One of them is very competitive and not happy to see that Rosa is such a good skater. Rosa misses her best friend, who keeps promising to come visit but never quite makes it up from Miami. Rosa is also concerned that her mother is working too hard, has to deal with all of the girl drama surrounding the ice skating, and also has a big crush on one of the boys who skates.
Strengths: I love Papademetriou's work. She has an excellent balance of what a lot of girls want in a novel-- friend drama, a little romance, strong family support, and a main character with an interest in something other than friend drama, etc.
Weaknesses: While the Candy Apple books are great, their shelf life will not be, because they are in paperback/prebind. Sigh. Give Papademetriou another hard cover title!
Kinney, Jeff. Cabin Fever.
With Christmas approaching, Greg is even more concerned about his behavior. His mother has dusted off her creepy "Santa's Scout", which is creepily being moved around to follow Greg. Greg is also trying to earn money to fund his online "Kritterz" habit by shoveling snow, and he also tries to earn money by undercutting the price on chicken drummies that are usually sold at the school holiday bazaar. After he and Rowley hang up posters advertising this, the rain causes the marker to put marks on the school building. The school starts to investigate the vandalism, but a huge snowstorm strands everyone at home. Greg's father is at work, and the family starts to run out of food, the basement floods, and they lose power. Which is worse? Being stuck with his family or being caught for the vandalism?
Strengths: Greg had a few redeeming qualities in this book and was at least trying to do some things right. Did love the creepy Santa's Scout.
Weaknesses: This has a lotof anecdotes, and it took a while for a plot to emerge. I haven't felt this way in the past. Maybe in the next installment there will be plot and character development! I was also a bit disappointed that the whole "being stranded in the snow" episode didn't happen until very late in the book. I was expecting something like my favorite Carolyn Haywood book, Snowbound with Betsy.
This list of Middle Grade Monday contributors was cribbed from Joanne Fritz at My Brain on Books. Leave a comment if you have also posted and would like me to link to your site.
Shannon K. O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at her blog
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Danika Dinsmore at The Accidental Novelist
Jennifer Rumberger at her blog
Akoss at Nye Louwon--My Spirit
Gabrielle Prendergast at angelhorn