Posts tagged ‘diaries’

THE TIMES ARE CHANGING

A Letter to My Fifth Grade Self (The Diary of Janie Ray Book 2)

Written by Lila Segal

Janie Ray gets a diary from her mom as a gift. She has the same problems most fifth graders experience. Janie spends most of her time with her best friend, Sheila. But fifth grade is full of social anxiety. There are snobs, bullies, teacher problems and family adjustments.

One thing about Janie is very different. When she was seven, she found a medallion. Together with Sheila. she has developed a secret language. Soon they would find a connection to the medallion that would allow them to travel back in time. Janie would learn about the perils of interfering with events and the responsibility of being the keeper of the medallion.

The book is a coming of age novel, mixed with fantasy and preteen relationships. It moves along fairly quickly and ends with a cliffhanger that will lead to the next book in the series. I did not read the series books prior to this one and did not find that a problem.

Recommended for readers ages eight through twelve.

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THE GENUINE ARTICLE

Just Between Sam and Me

Written by Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell

This middle-grade novel presents the triumphs and tribulations of Olivia Martin, a student beginning sixth grade in rural Spring Hope. She lives on a farm with her parents and older brother, Link. They all work hard to make ends meet.

Olivia’s best friends are a classmate named Isabelle, her cat, Sam, and her Palomino pony, Star. Olivia is saving up to buy a halter for Star because she hopes to enter him in The Spring Daze Festival next May. She will need to work hard to earn the money. Her plan is to create and sell beaded bracelets.

When Candace moves from New York City to Spring Hope, Olivia’s world is turned upside down. Candace is mean, bullying, and a gossip who tries to thwart Olivia at every turn. Olivia confides her problems to Sam by writing them down in her journal. Isabella proves to be a compassionate and wise friend who steadfastly stands behind her.

A series of unexpected events lead to successes and failures for Olivia, as well as the other characters in this touching tale. There are twists and turns that keep the plot interesting. Readers will empathize with Olivia’s trials and admire her tenacity and strength. The characters are so believable and relatable. The story brought me along a roller coaster of emotions. At times, I laughed, at other points in the story, I wanted to cry.

I applaud the authors for creating a deeply engaging plot and characters that will surely resonate with middle-grade readers. Highly recommended!

I received an advanced review copy of this book and voluntarily chose to read and review it with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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