Posts tagged ‘farm and rural living’

A HARROWING HOMECOMING

Welcome to Doom Farms (Bonegarden Book 1)

Written by Karsten Knight

Kayla Dunn had just begun fifth grade in Boston when her parents inform her that they were achieving a lifelong dream to buy a farm in her father’s hometown of rural Orchard Falls.

Trouble begins almost immediately. Kayla is determined to outsmart Charlie Slade, whose family has always won the local pumpkin growing festival. After Kayla plants her pumpkin seeds, it rapidly becomes clear these are no ordinary pumpkins.

Monsters, giant pumpkins, aliens, and family feuds pepper the plot of this middle-grade adventure. This book is an exciting page turner. I would recommend it as Halloween party story or a classroom read-aloud as well.

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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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