Middle Grade Monday is a weekly meme started by Jordan’s Jewels where you find a local market and search for magic beans… nope. That’s not right. Let’s try again. Middle Grade Monday is a weekly list where you share your love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…. No! No! No! One More time: Middle Grade Monday is a special event, hosted every Tuesday by Jordan’s Jewels, where you pretend to fight ancient warriors of death in your backyard. Oh I give up. There is no way of making this sound interesting. Middle Grade Monday is a weekly meme stared by Jordan’s Jewels where you follow a weekly topic to discuss middle grade fiction. If you would be interested in discussing wizards, evil fairy-godmothers, unusual names for pens or Greek gods, please check it out!
Another week, some more books. Today on Middle Grade Monday we are discussing Books I Would Drown… well, not just me, hopefully some of you will join in on the discussion too. The title of this weeks topic is vague but I’m here to clear it up for you. (You’re welcome.) This week we are talking about books that we feel were a complete waste of our time and, in the spirit of Jaws, we would drown them… or eat them… but considering the lackluster plot of these titles I don’t think they would be very good.
5) The Jacket by Andrew Clements
I love Andrew Clements but this book wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t think any book he will write (or has written) will add up to Frindle. I’m not saying this book was terrible but if you want to love it you should wait until after Frindle is out of your system.
Phil is on a mission. His absentminded little brother forgot his lunch money. All kinds of thoughts are running through Phil’s mind as he searches for Jimmy in the throngs of fourth and fifth graders crowding the school hallway:…if I’m late for math today, then I might not be allowed to take the test — and then I could flunk math! I might even flunk sixth grade and get left back!
Then Phil spots Jimmy’s one-of-a-kind jacket and rushes to the corner of the hallway. Except the person wearing it isn’t his brother; it’s some black kid Phil’s never seen before — wearing Jimmy’s jacket! Phil makes an accusation, tempers flare, and both kids wind up in the principal’s office.
How will Phil react when he finds out how Daniel came to be the owner of this unique jacket? Will Daniel be able to forgive Phil for an accusation that was based on racial prejudice? What will each boy learn about the other, and most important, about himself?
4) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Before you cast your spell to disarm me, keep in mind this is known widely in the Harry Potter community as the slowest book in the series. It has to be the hardest one to get through. I borrowed this book so many times from my local library they wouldn’t let me check it out anymore. I finally ended up buying a used paperback copy and carrying it around with me to force myself through it.
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…
Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.
3) Trust Me by Rachel Hawthorne
It isn’t this title I would specifically drown, it is the series “First Kisses” as a whole. When I was younger my mother bought my sister and I the first two installments of the series. I didn’t ask for the rest of them as I was a hardcore Candy Apple fan. If you aren’t familiar with Candy Apple books you can find out more here.
Oh. No. This can’t be happening. Me and Sean Reed? “Trust Partners” for the entire counselors-in-training program? Sean may have deep blue eyes that make my heart flutter whenever he looks at me, but he’s always been a troublemaker. Being thrown together all summer? That is so not going to work. Even if he does have a really, really nice smile.
Trust me on this.
This series seemed like a rip-off of the Candy Apple books and, as mentioned, I was a huge fan of Candy Apple books. Like the Candy Apple books, each installment of the First Kisses series was (mostly) written by different authors. The stories rarely intertwined (since my Candy Apple years they have begun publishing series) in the Candy Apple books, giving the reader the opportunity to read them out of sync. It was an exhilarating, yet terrifying, experience for me and, like Number Five on this list, First Kisses couldn’t add up to the original.
2) Anyone But Me! by Nancy Krulik
Another book on this list solely for the series it is apart of. Katie Kazoo Switcheroo by Nancy Krulik was a wonderful series… until you couldn’t find the books. It is such a large series it is hard to find them new or in decent condition. Even as they were first being released they were constantly being snatched by readers. I never completed my series and, after looking for them well into my teens, I finally gave up hope and stopped buying the new releases.
Katie Carew, nicknamed Katie Kazoo by the class bully, had no idea what would happen when she wished that she could be anyone but herself. But now her wish has come true, and-switcheroo!-she keeps turning into other people and even animals! What is one ordinary third-grade girl with a really extraordinary problem to do? It’s a good thing Katie is resourceful and smart enough to find a solution for every problem . . . no matter how much of a disaster she causes!
Katie can’t stand George, the class bully. He constantly picks on everyone, but he really torments Katie. One day, she can’t stand it anymore, and she wishes she could be anyone but herself. What she doesn’t see is the shooting star that flashes through the sky at that moment . . . catapulting Katie into a crazy series of adventures, starting the next day when she turns into the class hamster! Will she be trapped in a glass cage forever? Will she ever be a girl again?
1) Aquamarine by Alex Hoffman
Okay. Don’t judge me. As a preteen who rarely read books, this book was nothing compared to the movie. My nine/ten year old self could recite every line from the movie. I always found a way to add my favorite lines into daily conversations. The book didn’t add up to the experience I had with the movie. Now, as a nineteen year old self proclaimed bibliophile I wouldn’t be caught dead buying movie tickets to book adaptations I haven’t read first.
Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. There in the depths is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart: a mermaid named Aquamarine who has left her six sisters to search for love on land. Now, as this mythological yet very real being starts to fade in the burning August sun, a rescue is begun.
On the edge of growing up, during a summer that is the hottest on record, Hailey and Claire are discovering that life can take an unpredictable course, friendship is forever, and magic can be found in the most unexpected places.
Thank you for listening to me rant this week on MGM. If you would like to join in on the conversation please leave a link with my assistant Mr. Link Gatley. He is on strike and refuses to brush his hair so please don’t stare.