Book Review: Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen #BookReview #GoneToTheWoods #Memoir #MiddleGrade

Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen

Blurb:

A middle grade memoir, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Gary Paulsen’s famed survival stories.

His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival stories. Now, author Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments from his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. And without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller.

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This Week’s Books! #Books #Reads #Reading

Hello, fellow readers! How’s your week going? I thought I’d do a quick post to talk about the books I’m reading this week. Luckily, I was approved for one highly anticipated read from NetGalley, and there’s a stack of other physical books to read as well—some that I’m reading with my kids. Last week I sort of strayed from my plan and ended up reading a few recommendations. One of them was deeply disturbing (Tampa by Alissa Nutting), so I’ll be posting that review later this week, but I won’t be talking about that book today. Here’s what we have going on this week:

A Summer to Remember by Erika Mongomery

I just finished this a few days ago. This was a giveaway win, and it turned out to be a pretty good story. It transported me to summer! This would make a great beach read. My review will be posted later this week…

Blurb:

For thirty-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood–it’s an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, her life begins to unravel in ways unimaginable.

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Book Review: Free Lunch by Rex Ogle #FreeLunch #BookReview #MiddleGrade #Memoir

Free Lunch

By Rex Ogle

Blurb:

Instead of giving him lunch money, Rex’s mom has signed him up for free meals. As a poor kid in a wealthy school district, better-off kids crowd impatiently behind him as he tries to explain to the cashier that he’s on the free meal program. The lunch lady is hard of hearing, so Rex has to shout.

Free Lunch is the story of Rex’s efforts to navigate his first semester of sixth grade—who to sit with, not being able to join the football team, Halloween in a handmade costume, classmates and a teacher who take one look at him and decide he’s trouble—all while wearing secondhand clothes and being hungry. His mom and her boyfriend are out of work, and life at home is punctuated by outbursts of violence. Halfway through the semester, his family is evicted and ends up in government-subsidized housing in view of the school. Rex lingers at the end of last period every day until the buses have left, so no one will see where he lives.

Unsparing and realistic, Free Lunch is a story of hardship threaded with hope and moments of grace. Rex’s voice is compelling and authentic, and Free Lunch is a true, timely, and essential work that illuminates the lived experience of poverty in America

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Book Review: A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton #BookReview #Netgalley #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBooks #AWolfforaSpell

A Wolf for a Spell

by Karah Sutton

Pauliina Hannuniemi (Illustrations)

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From Goodreads:

The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.

Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.

Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!

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