Fiction Friday: Chapter 2

Welcome back for round 2 of Fiction Friday!


You guys! I have so many great books I want to share with you, but I'm limiting myself to just three today. I have been read, read, reading this summer and just cruising through these books because they are SO GOOD! And truthfully, I am not a fast reader. I love to read, but I don't read quickly.

Isn't it amazing how Kid Lit has changed in the last thirty years? Just stop and think about how different it is to be a kid with all these choices. Can you imagine??  I grew up with Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, and Beverly Cleary - all amazing authors with books that shaped my childhood, but now that is just the tip of the iceberg. So cool! 

This week I'm sharing all middle grade chapter books off the Texas Bluebonnet List

 The Key to Extraordinary
by Natalie Lloyd

The Key to Extraordinary is the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, and magic. Emma comes from a long line of extraordinary women. Each woman in her family is destined for greatness and is guided toward their future with a "destiny dream." After her mother dies, Emma can hardly wait to have her dream and fulfill her promise to find her destiny.  When the dream finally comes and reveals a single key, Emma embarks on a mission to find a legendary treasure buried in the graveyard and a chance to save her family's bakery and home.

This was one of my favorite reads this summer. I loved every minute, every page, and every word. Natalie Lloyd, author of Snicker of Magic, has created a world that you want to be a part of from beginning to end.  It's a wonderful world of unforgettable characters, magical hot chocolate, and quotes that could fill a reading graffiti board for days. I couldn't even begin to pick one or two quotes to share with you, so please just click here to see 50 or so quotes that have spoken to readers on Goodreads

I can't wait to share this book with my 5th graders next year. 

Book Information:
  • Fiction
  • 240 pages
  • Grades 3-7
  • Lexile 670L
  • GR Level U
 Maybe a Fox
by Kathi Appelt and Alizon McGhee

Maybe a Fox is the story of Jules and Sylvie, sisters by birth and best friends by choice.  They are wildly different, but inseparable until the tragic day that Sylvie runs to the river and disappears.   Jules can't understand why Sylvie always had to run so fast and struggles to cope with the loss of her sister and best friend. At the same time of Sylvie's death, a fox is born.  A fox with a destiny so intertwined with Jules that maybe she's more than a fox.

I think I actually ran out of tears reading this one.  I was crying...ugly crying, and yet I couldn't put it down. This is a beautifully written story about loss, love, and family. It's hard to imagine this book was written by two authors, because it reads so seamlessly. I loved the back and forth perspective of the fox (Sienna) and Jules throughout the book. Written with so much emotion, heart, and love this is one of those books that power punches you in the gut (in a good way) and stays with you well after you finish the last page. 


Book Information:
  • Fiction
  • 272 pages
  • Grades 4-8
  • Lexile 740L
  • GR Level U
The Best Man
by Richard Peck

In The Best Man, Archer has been lucky enough to have three incredible role models in his life: his father, his uncle, and his grandfather.  Then in the fifth grade, Archer's class gets a student teacher. Mr. McLeod quickly becomes Archer's fourth role model and everyone's favorite teacher. But on the last day of school, one of Archer's classmates is bullied by some 6th graders. To everyone's surprise Mr. McLeod handles the anti-gay bullying situation and ends up outing himself in the process. Although this comes as a surprise to Archer (who is notoriously oblivious throughout the novel) it's not the only surprise that Archer has coming his way in this modern coming of age story about change, acceptance, family, diversity, and most of all LOVE.

Richard Peck is amazing. His books always have the most memorable, charismatic, likeable characters and Archer is no exception. I enjoyed his voice, humor, and perspective throughout the novel. The prominence of social media throughout the book was impressive, particularly from an author who is 83 and often writes historical fiction.  It is true-blue realistic fiction of today.  But my very favorite part of The Best Man was that it did not talk down to kids in anyway. It was direct and honest and tackled issues with empathy and perspective. 

I really really enjoyed this book. It was masterful blend of all the emotional moments that make up life.  However, I do not recommend watching the book trailer for this one. I wish I hadn't because I felt like it gave too much away.  Read the book. It's better. I promise.

Book Information:
  • Realistic Fiction
  • 240 pages
  • Grades 5-8

And that's a wrap for this week. Middle grade novels ruled. 
Next week ...graphic novels

What have you been reading lately?


Want to join the fun?? 
Please link up and share one or two or three books you've read.
Link Up "Rules" are very simple.
- You can link up ANYTIME during the week, not just Friday.
-  You can include picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, etc.
- Children's and Young Adult Literature are all fair game
- Please link up with a picture of one of the books you are sharing
- Please don't forget to grab the Fiction Friday button and link back to Classroom Hoopla
Happy Reading!

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