Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: MY EXTRA BEST FRIEND by Julie Bowe

My Extra Best Friend

Yay, the final book in the “Friends for Keeps” series comes out this week!

This one I read as an ARC. Then some savvy fifth graders spied it on my desk, convinced me to slap a barcode on it, and I didn’t see it again until the last day of school.


Check It Out Tuesday: BROTHERS AT BAT by Audrey Vernick

Tuesdays I highlight a book (usually picture) that is popular (or should be!) in my library. Today’s book is BROTHERS AT BAT by Audrey Vernick.

Baseball season started this week in our house. Here’s a math problem, just so you know what my life will be like for the next couple of months:

2 boys X (3 practices + 2 games a week) = A LOT OF BASEBALL

Good thing our family likes baseball. But maybe not quite as much as the family in this book. This is the true story of the Acceras, a family of 16 (!) kids, 12 of whom played baseball–enough for their own team. It’s a heartwarming combination of love of the game and the teamwork involved in being a part of a family.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: FANGBONE: THIRD GRADE BARBARIAN by Michael Rex

Received this as an ARC and before I could even get a good look at it, my own household fourth grader (Colonel Mustard) gobbled it up in one sitting. That’s always a good endorsement, since Colonel Mustard very rarely actually sits. Even at the dinner table! But that’s another post, perhaps . . . :-)

Fangbone’s an under-appreciated/overlooked warrior from Skullbania, who, in guarding the evil toe of Drool from Drool’s henchmen who are trying to put the villain back together, ends up in a contemporary special ed classroom. Much funniness ensues.

A teensy, wee bit of me wishes that the “third grade” part was not so obvious in this book, but I’m hopeful that the rest–jokes about fur underwear and hound-snakes!–will be enough of a draw for my students in the higher graders. After all, it definitely was for Colonel Mustard.



The author is a friend of mine. (I read an early draft, and knew then that Kami would go on to sell this. So funny.)


You should read this book. 13-year-old Kara decides to use her powers of observation and the scientific method to determine which boy is the best match for her. What happens in between is funny, complicated, and sometimes embarrassing–just like middle school in real life.

Author’s website