Walker, Melissa. Unbreak My Heart
22 May 2012, Bloomsbury USA
During any other summer, Clementine would not be happy that she had to spend the entire three months of summer vacation boating with her family, but since her social life is a complete wreck and her best friend Amanda isn't speaking to her, she might as well. Her younger sister Olivia is somewhat annoying, but spending time with her family isn't as bad as she thought. We learn about what happened with her best friend a little bit at a time, and why everyone at school now hates her. We also meet James, who is traveling the same waterways with his father. Clementine is amazed that he doesn't think she is a horrible person, and slowly comes to terms with what happened, and allows herself to move on.
Strengths: Great romance book-- even the pale blue book and the pink jacket are appealing. We really get two romance stories, and both are nice, even if the one is uncomfortable and causes problems. Has some Dessen-style angst, but still very summery.
Weaknesses: Perfectly fine for middle school, although there are two f-bombs around
page 154 that I'm debating. They aren't used gratuitously; they are, in
fact used at the moment of greatest conflict, so I have a little bit
more patience for that sort of use.
Ashford, Brenda. A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny's Story
2 April 2013, Doubleday
E ARC from Netgalley.com
This was not a middle grade book, but I couldn't help but read it. If you want a good comfort read that talks about what it was like to live in Great Britain during the years leading up to WWII, and you want insight into how someone could be a nanny for 62 years, this is the book. Ms. Ashford is a bit overly sweet, but I imagine she must have been quite stern with her charges to keep nannying for so long. The cover of this is adorable, and I must admit I am half tempted to buy this one for myself-- I can see it being something I would reread when the world is bleak.