It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday, with the Round Up this week at Wendie's Wanderings.
In Cybils news, the panelists should start to be announced next week! For me, choosing panelists is
King, Wesley. The Feros (The Vindico #2)
27 June Putnam Juvenile
Copy received from the publisher.
After all of the adventure in The Vindico, James and his group are back. They now call themselves the Feros, and are still struggling to find their place within the League of Heroes. They are careful not to abuse their powers so that they can become full members in a few months, but problems arise. At a reunion hosted at Hayden and Emily's house, Flame causes an altercation and hauls the kids off. Since Thunderbolt is in hiding, they don't know what to do, especially once Emily and another hero, Blue, are kidnapped. To make matters even more complicated, Emily's kidnapper, Dolus and his sister Veridus are aligned neither with the Vindico or the League-- they are studying super powers and trying to learn how to transfer them, but he hopes to get the Feros to take down the League. When the Vindico get free of the Perch, they want to kill the Feros, so that makes deciding sides a bit easier, especially when the Vindico kidnaps some of the Feros families. There seems like there will be a sequel.
Strengths: Another great cover, and more super heroes who aren't completely black and white. I can't keep enough hero books in the library, and middle grade students appreciate shades of gray. Lots of action and adventure, great evil villains, and a convincing super hero back story.
Weaknesses: Once again, there were too many characters for me to keep straight. I had to keep notes. The action could have started far earlier in the book; middle grade novels are better if they start with an explosion, and this had a lengthy lead in to the reunion. That said, I had a boy who came in every day to bug me for the book until I got it processed. He read the first one in less than a week!
DeWitt, Fowler. The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School
3 September 2013, Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copy received from the publisher.
Wilmer Dooley wants to follow in his father's footsteps and be a scientist. His father is the creator of SugarBUZZZZ, a snack lineof fluorescent treats that Wilmer doesn't like; he prefers spinach, especially over his mother's cooking, which often includes ingredients such as shoe polish. When the other children in his school become slightly ill with colds, Wilmer is alarmed that they are also changing colors, and sets out to figure out what is causing this contagion. This isn't made easier by his nemesis, Claudius Dill, who is fabricating fake cures that Wilmer suspects are making things worse, or by Mrs. Padgett, who supports Claudius and thinks that Wilmer is a trouble maker. Can Wilmer figure out the cause of the infection so that he can cure it, thereby impressing Roxie, the girl of his dreams?
Strengths: Fluorescent orange snot and children showing up with safety green polka dots-- fun stuff. There's also plenty of tension between Claudius and Wilmer, as well as trying to cure the infection before it spreads. The number of SugarBUZZZZ snacks described is impressive; I'm surprised there's not a product tie-in!
Weaknesses: The goofiness in this might go over better at the elementary school, although the romance is a nice touch for middle school. The names are rather silly, and the home situation and dealings with Mrs. Padgett are rather over the top.