Hi guys!! It’s been quite a while since you’ve last heard me talk about books here, so Happy New Year!! I’m going to try my best to get some blogging in during my FINAL semester of high school. Man, I’m surprised I’m at this point already! Before I go on, I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful 2019 full of many blessings and joys. 2018 was definitely a crazy year for me, but it was full of so many life-changing and amazing books! Here are my Top 10 Books of 2018! I think it was a great year for kidlit–I have nine Middle Grade novels and one picture book in the list below, and I am very happy to share which 10 they are! Please do check these books out–you will NOT regret it! (This list is excluding rereads, and I will only include one book per series.)
10. Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
I’m starting off this list with a beautiful gem of a book! Kat Greene Comes Clean is one of the funniest novels I’ve read this year, and it’s one of the few books that you just want to give a great big hug. I couldn’t help from smiling all throughout this story! This MG realistic fiction debut offers such a vivid glimpse into some of the struggles that many children, especially those who have to parent themselves, go through. The lessons are heartwarming, the humor is belly-filling, and the story itself is life-changing.
9. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I loved Fish in a Tree so much that I read it twice this year. The first time I read it, I literally could not put it down–I finished it within a single day. It’s a lot like Wonder (which I’ve yet to read but I’ve watched and loved the movie)–a bright and talented girl with dyslexia has to overcome her disability, her bullies, and even herself as she discovers new friends and her true potential. Fish in a Tree has taught me how to never underestimate people who are neurodivergent, for they may be some of the brightest and smartest people I would ever meet. Certainly, I’ve also connected with Ally’s story as I knew how it feels not to fit in with everybody else, but both she and I found the friends that love us regardless of our quirks.
8. Open If You Dare by Dana Middleton
When I can connect with a book, my reading experience is transformed so much because I can see myself in the characters. I share so many of Birdie’s feelings as she has to face an uncertain future regarding her friends moving away–it’s very similar to what I’m facing right now as I’m about to go off to college. I read this back in junior year, I know I probably need to reread it sometime during this semester. Truly this novel made me cherish the few yet true friendships I possess, and it has moved me so much to tears.
Continue reading “Top 10 Books of 2018 — The Year of Middle Grade”
Hi guys! I have a gigantic slew of MG novels that I need to review for y’all, so for the upcoming weeks, you will see a bunch of reviews of some amazing Middle Grade books! Spoiler alert: They’re all four or five star ratings! To start off, today’s review is on Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, which is set in 1940s India during the Freedom Movement. Sounds intriguing? Go read it! You will not regret it!
About the Book
In 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle.
But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—to stand up to the British government. First the family must trade in their fine foreign-made clothes for homespun cotton, so Anjali has to give up her prettiest belongings. Then her mother decides to reach out to the Dalit community, the “untouchables” of society. Anjali is forced to get over her past prejudices as her family becomes increasingly involved in the movement.
When Anjali’s mother is jailed, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work, ensuring that her little part of the independence movement is completed.
Inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi, New Visions Award winner Supriya Kelkar shines a light on the Indian freedom movement in this poignant debut.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a free finished hardcover copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.
I rarely rate books five stars anymore. A book is awarded five stars for one of three reasons: it is a new all-time favorite, it resonates with me on such a deep basis, or it has the power to change lives including my own. Ahimsa is a novel that will influence the viewpoints of readers, regardless of age. It is such a thought-provoking and emotionally gripping story that will inspire readers to persevere in their battles. Although I was not very into the story at first since it was written in third-person, the deeper I progressed into Anjali’s fight for freedom, the more that I literally could not put the book down.
Continue reading “Book Review: Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar — A Masterpiece that Should Be in Every School Classroom and Library”
Hi guys! This school year is quickly wrapping up, and right now I have so much end-of-school events going on right now. My five (yes, five!) AP exams are starting this Friday, and next week is lined up with so much from concerts to graduation. I am NOT graduating this year, but I will sing with my choir for one of the last times then. Today, I have for you a reading re-cap for the month of April, in which I finished 10 books! For May, I know that number is going to be cut in half, haha. I hope you enjoy!
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Genesis by Brendan Reichs
Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
In Case You Missed It
Jessica Pennington, author of Love Songs & Other Lies
Melissa Ostrom, author of The Beloved Wild
Melissa Roske, author of Kat Greene Comes Clean
Patrick Moody, author of The Gravedigger’s Son
Author Guest Posts
Bridget Hodder, author of The Rat Prince, on “Why Fairy Tales? A Theory of Magic”
“Portraying Pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement” with Alice Faye Duncan and Andrew Maraniss
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Circle of Ashes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh
Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier: ARC Review and Top 10 Quotes
Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington: Tour Announcement and Schedule
Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington: Author Interview
March Reading Recap
Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!
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