12 and up



                               

5M4B disclosure

almost perfect guide to imperfect boysAt first I thought The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys was a little too cutesy and contrived, but that feeling didn’t last long. I was immediately taken back to 8th grade (or even better, the fun fictitious version of 8th grade), as I got lost in the story of Maya and Finley.

Things are changing, like the fact that they aren’t super-close with all the girls they grew up with. Another thing has really changed, and is constantly changing, and that is the boys. Maya and Finley started classifying the boys in Finley’s science notebook, aka The Amphibian Life Cycle. The tadpoles are those boys who still burp and fart and act like 6th graders. Croakers have voices that croak, showing some sort of puberty is happening. They also might make some sort of an effort to act like human beings around girls. The most evolved 8th grade boy is a frog. Those are few and far between, but they look more mature, and actually know how to talk to girls.

When an old classmate, Zachary, returns to their school after being gone, it’s as if he skipped straight from tadpole to frog. This leads to all sorts of complications, when Maya and Finley get the unwanted attention of the Alpha girls Chloe and Sabrina, who have also noticed Zachary’s transformation.

Maya has had a boyfriend before (sort of), and she’s beginning to feel like Finley isn’t quite up to speed on boys. Can’t she just get over the nitpicking and appreciate them?

Because I was so interested in this story, I kept picking it up and finished it in just two days. Reading middle grade fiction is pure escapist pleasure for me, and Barbara Dee fits the bill. She perfectly described 8th grade friendships, school life, and family life.

This is one of those books perfect for middle grade girls (see more in the related stories links below). It’s right on point topically, but with none of that content that is in most teen YA that you wouldn’t want a tween or young teen to read.



                               

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support this site. Thank you!
See our Disclosure Policy for details.

The Swap

Ellie is a 7th grade girl. Her “best friend” won’t stop badmouthing her. She’s not sure how she’s going to get through this year. When she overhears Sassy’s hurtful words when they’re changing for gym, she runs out and ends up in the nurse’s office. Jack is an 8th grade boy, also known as The Prince. He’s polite, super cute, and a good athlete. But that day, he can’t take a kid’s mouthing off, and he hits him. Before going to the principal, he ends up in the nurse’s office. Somehow before they get up to leave, they’ve swapped bodies! Maybe that new nurse has something to do with it. They’ve just got to get through the weekend, then they’ll make her switch them back.
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Just Call My Name

I read I’ll Be There to get up to speed on the characters whose story continues in Holly Goldberg Sloan’s new book Just Call My Name. The first book was fine. The characters certainly intrigued me, but I wasn’t 100% wowed. Wanting to follow the characters, and especially knowing there was another book hat was going to continue the story kept me reading. This book had a stronger pacing than the first one. Maybe it’s just because the scene was set, and I already knew the characters and the situation. The characters each had a lot of growth during this novel, and new characters were introduced as well. The background from the first novel that led into the story is this: Seventeen-year-old Emily is singing
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Deep Blue

I frequently enjoy YA books, as they may be meant for teenagers but still appeal to the kid in me, too. Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly felt more like a book that needs a teenage girl to truly appreciate it. This first book in the Waterfire series is set under the ocean and features the world of mermaids. Serafina is the princess of Miromara, and she is getting ready to celebrate her Dokimi, which is a series of tests that prove that she is ready to take on the mantle of ruler one day once her mother dies – as this is a matrilineal society and the men don’t rule. It is also when her betrothal to a prince from another kingdom will become official. In
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Choose Your Path Book #Giveaway

Recently I received Greek Mythology’s Twelve Labors of Hercules: A Choose Your Path Book (Can You Survive?), which I read and reviewed over on 5 Minutes for Mom. The publisher was kind enough to send the rest of the set, and while deciding between “Dracula,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and “Sherlock Holmes,” pretty much everyone in my family said I should read Bram Stoker’s Dracula as the next one to review. I’ve always been a fan of vampire stories, but have never read this classic novel, so it didn’t take much for me to agree. Like the other Choose Your Path books, “Dracula” starts out with you as the main character, beckoned by a classic book. You’re then suddenly in the story as the
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Treasure Island, a Choose Your Path Can You Survive Book #Giveaway

The gold of Captain Flint is buried somewhere on Treasure Island, and only you have the map to find it. You and your friends set sail to gain riches beyond your wildest dreams, but when your crew reveal themselves as pirates, your island adventure becomes a dangerous struggle to survive. Do you have what it takes to locate the hidden treasure, or will Long John Silver and his pirates steal your wealth – and your life? Step into this adventure, and choose your path. But choose wisely, or else… I loved these kinds of books when I was a middle grade reader myself, so when I saw the Can You Survive? series that adapts classic works into this format, I was interested in checking them
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Happy to Be Alive, Because

Avery has a summer to remember. It doesn’t start off that way, far from it. During her senior year in high school, her mom got cancer. When she passed away, Avery was lost. Her mother is all she has, and all the plans she made in her last year of high school — like staying at the local community college after she graduates — were all made so she could help care for her mother. After receiving yet another casserole from a well-meaning friends, she feels like she has to get away. When she finds some tickets and a travel itinerary for a trip her mother hoped to take with her to her hometown on the beach. Avery decides to take the trip alone in
Read the full article →
 


                                       

The Search for WondLa audiobooks read by Teri Hatcher #Giveaway #audiomonth

The Search for WondLa is a 3-book series by Tony DiTerlizzi (author of The Spiderwick Chronicles). A Hero for WondLa is the finale in the trilogy and has just been published and released on audiobook. I haven’t listened to more than just a sample of the audiobooks, but I actually have had a copy of the first book on my shelf since it first came out, so I finally started reading it aloud with my 10-year-old son. We’re almost finished, and we’re hooked! Click through to read more of my thoughts on this series at 5 Minutes for Mom and enter the giveaway for all 3 books on audio, sponsored by Simon & Schuster audio in honor of Audiobook Month.
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Cool Beans, the Further Adventures of Beanboy #MMGM

At first I wasn’t sure to make of this second book featuring “Beanboy” Tucker MacBean. The book was fine, but I had really enjoyed the humor and heart in the first book, and I felt that this one might not be living up to my expectations. I reviewed the first book here when it was named a Cybils Middle Grade finalist in 2013. The story is different — more of a school story than a sort of coming-of-age story that we got in The Adventures of Beanboy. But there’s nothing like a good school story. Like a novel that draws me in as I see themes of my everyday life — friendship, balance, identity, motherhood — reflected in the pages, such is a school story
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Are You Looking Forward to The Giver? {Books on Screen}

Published in 1993, Lois Lowry’s The Giver has been hailed as the quintessential piece of dystopian children’s literature, winning the Newbery Medal in 1994. (Lowry is one of only a few people to have ever won this prestigious award twice!) I’m guessing that because it was published during the craziness of my own senior year in high school, I somehow missed reading it as a young adult. A friend of mine who is just a few years younger than me had been saying for a long, long time that it was among her favorite books, and on her recommendation, I finally got around to reading it earlier this year. My thirteen-year-old son and I started reading it aloud together, but he got impatient with our limited
Read the full article →
 


                                       

Love and Other Foreign Words, a 5-Star Read

Josie is a precocious 16-year-old girl. She loves languages, and she’s become an expert at all of the languages she hears each day: her best friend Stu speak (even Stu Chewing), those of her volleyball teammates at school, the college kids she sees each day in her Early College Program, sisters, fiancees, parents and more. The word most on her mind is love. Her older sister Kate says she’s in love, but Josie knows Geoffrey Stephen Brill is not right for her. She can’t be in love with him. Kate, he’s the single most uninteresting person in the world. You’re not really going to marry him, are you? Is this a delayed rebellion? Is this the boyfriend you should have had when you were sixteen
Read the full article →
 


                                       

5 YA Books to Read to Get Ready for the Movies, 2014 {Friday’s Five}

The Fault in Our Stars – June 6 There’s been a lot of talk in the #kidlit world about the fact that John Green’s book isn’t the only popular, well-written, well-reviewed YA book out there, but to listen to mainstream press, you might think it is. No, it’s not. It’s good, and he’s good, and I think the movie will be good, so it definitely belongs on this list. The movie comes out first, so I’m including it at the top of the list. I think that people will want to pick up the book after they see it, but I’m urging you to go ahead and take a couple of days and read it before you see it. Or not. I don’t really care
Read the full article →