Monday, September 09, 2013

MMGM with Green Covers!

 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 almost harder than choosing books, because there are so many great people, and I can only choose 11! (Okay, I could choose 12, but then I wouldn't get to be on a panel, which would seem weird.) All of the organizers (and head over to to meet them!) try to balance panels with new and past participants, a mix of teachers, librarians, writers, parents, etc., a cross section of locations, and many other factors. There are a lot of great bloggers who have applied in the past and not gotten chosen, and I know I looked at those people a bit more closely than people who were applying for the first time. I hope that if people are not chosen this year they understand and apply next year!

The Feros (The Vindico, #2)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!

17138138DeWitt, 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.


  1. Hi Miss Yingling, as per usual you have awesome recommendations here. I have a feeling my 11 year old girl would find The Contagious Colors quite fun! Both are unfamiliar to me, so I'm glad to be introduced to new titles.

  2. Glad you've got more than enough Cybils' applicants.

    Thanks for the reviews. A book where you need to take notes doesn't sound goo.

  3. Appreciate those strengths and weaknesses combo review. Helpful... :)

  4. Agreed with Mumpley. Our ES kids will enjoy it but would definitely feel juvenile to many if not most 6th graders. The adult characters are annoying. Good thing the student characters are pretty fun!

    Also ... do not read while eating. Ugh.

  5. Thanks for the info. I didn't know about these books.

  6. Anonymous7:33 AM EDT

    I love Contagious Colors! :D The other book sounds good too!

  7. Both of these books/covers look great! Thank you for sharing.

    Happy reading this week!

  8. I think I need to get my hands on the Contagious Colors book. I just saw it on another blog. :)

  9. I liked Contagious Colors, but I had the whole connection figured out by the 2nd chapter, although not how it spread. I don't know if it's because I'm 30+ years over the target age, or because it was that easy. My son hasn't read it yet, because he was obsessed with finishing the Percy Jackson series, so I'll be curious to see what he thinks.