Another Gem from the Hale Duo

2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious is the second volume in the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale.  Shannon is the Newbery-winning author of The Princess Academy.  Her husband, Dean, quite keeps up with her.

This middle grade series from the Marvel universe gives you  philosophy, literary writing, word play, and action/adventure in one lovely piece.  Is it unseemly for a grandmother to be fangirling? I may not squeal when someone mentions the series, but I do intend to read every volume of it as it is written.

The characters are not caricatures.  The Hale’s wonderfully capture teenage angst. The superheroes are beautifully flawed. The relationships are sometimes rocky, but not mean.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of quotes from the book.  The first is from an Ana Sofia chapter.  She is SQ’s best human friend.

“After a few hours online, Ana Sofia was a hop, skip, and a jump from giving up on humanity entirely and locking herself in the attic Emily Dickenson-style—but with the internet. She could totally do Dickinson as long as she had a laptop with a high-speed connection.

“But even offline, the tension kept building.”

My favorite philosophical conversation takes place between SQ (aka Doreen) and her parents, Maureen and Dor.  She’s telling them that she’ll be out late because she  has to confront Hydra. (The Avengers are busy battling Thanos in outer space.) She doesn’t tell them the whole story, however, because we all know that parents of teenagers can’t take the whole story.  What she does tell her parents is that she just doesn’t know if she knows what she’s doing.

“Can I tell you a secret?” Maureen said. “We don’t know what we’re doing either.”

“Well, yeah,” said Doreen.

“They laughed, and Dor cut into the butter pecan cake he’d baked earlier without knowing how much they’d need it now.

“You know you’re doing great, right?” said her father, his mouth full of cake.  “You know nobody knows what they’re doing and we’re all just figuring out how to be us as we go along.”

This book is highly recommended, whether you’re a young reader or an old one.

 

Joni Sensel’s Reality Leak

I love quirky novels.  I’ve read everything Polly Horvath has written, and Ingrid Law’s Newbery Honor Book,  Savvy, is a treasure.  With Reality Leak, not only has Joni Sensel taken her place with the queens of quirk, but she makes it seem so plausible.  I bought every word.

Imagine seeing things you can’t possibly believe.  Imagine that someone else confirms the unbelievable.  The two of you form a team to investigate the impossible.  That’s the bare bones of this charming adventure.

I predict middle-grade boys will be passing Reality Leak around like they did a certain diary of a certain kid that made the rounds in my fourth-grade classroom (and the classroom next door).  All it takes is for a teacher to talk it up to the first boy.  The lucky readers will do the rest.