This was a good week, with only minor distractions. I not only wrote every day, but I managed to find quiet time to read two of the middle grade novels on my tottering stack.
First, Teddy Mars: Almost an Outlaw by Molly B. Burnham.
I picked up the first Teddy Mars novel, Almost a World Record Breaker, when it won the Sid Fleischman Award for humor from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I loved it so much, I decided to read it aloud to my fourth-grade Reading Lab boys. They loved it so much, they said I should invite the Reading Lab girls next door to join them. Almost an Outlaw, the third book in the series, lives up to expectations. Find you a reading spot where it’s okay to laugh out loud.
Second, Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson.
I had expectations here, too, because I’m a fan of Lawson’s The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.
How would I classify Nooks and Crannies?
It takes place in the early 1900s in England, during the reign of King Edward, so we can call it historical fiction.
The wealthy can afford electricity and motorcars, and the house where most of the story takes place has clever hidden passages. This gives the book a steampunk feel even though it’s a half dozen years into the 20th Century.
It is definitely a mystery, well plotted and fast paced, but it has such quotable lines. I see no reason that good genre fiction can’t be literary fiction, as well.
The main character, despite her Dickensian life is smart and good. If you love a good mystery, settle in and read.
I heartily recommend both books for your own middle grade stacks. And if you don’t have a middle grade stack, I suggest you start one.