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Rereads of Some Old MG Favorites

I decided that for 2018, I wanted to place a focus on rereading old favorites. I decided to jump start that at the end of 2017 by revisiting some old favorites from my middle grade years.

Bridge to TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The ending always catches me off guard, no matter how many times I read this book.

It’s definitely an MG classic.

Pages: 143

The True Confessions of Charlotte DoyleThe True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

12/30/17 REVIEW:
I have revisited this story many times over the years, and I think I love it more each time. This time, I listened to the audiobook, which was thoroughly enjoyable.

Pages: 278


Have you ever wanted to toss aside the rules of society to become someone different from who people thought you could be?

Charlotte is a well-behaved, prim and proper, twelve-year-old girl who is taking a transatlantic voyage from England to America, in order to join her parents. Things don’t go as planned though, and Charlotte becomes more pirate than passenger on her daring, dramatic, adventurous journey. Join Charlotte on her seafaring adventure of swashbuckling crew members, dangerous feats, murder, mystery, mayhem, violent storms, and life changing opportunities and choices.

Can Charlotte ever return to a controlled and pampered existence after the freedoms and excitement she experiences on her journey?

The Westing GameThe Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

12/30/17 REVIEW:

This is probably my most reread book of all time. It’s one of those stories that captured my imagination at an early age, and I just never get tired of it. I don’t even read a lot of mystery stories these days, but I still thoroughly enjoy this one.

I listened to the audiobook this time, which was fun.

Pages: 182

This is my favorite MG mystery of all time! I have read this book at least 5 times, and it never gets old. The ending is always fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable. If you love games, mystery, and intrigue, this book is for you. Who will win the Westing Game? Cast your vote now, because once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down.

Are You There God? It's Me, MargaretAre You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m still amused by this book, all these years later.

Margaret was nothing like me, as a middle grade girl, but I still enjoyed her story (again).

It’s a quick read and a bit dated now, but still relevant overall.

Pages: 149

The Call of the WildThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply fascinating, since it is from the perspective of Buck, the dog.

Normally, I don’t like “talking animal” books and movies, on the general whole, but there are definite exceptions (Charlotte’s Web, etc.) This is not a talking animal story, as Buck doesn’t talk. You simply get inside his perspective, which is unique.

I enjoyed revisiting this on audio.

Pages: 172

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I confess I’ve never read this before. A teacher tried to read this at me when I was in elementary school, but I was one of those kiddos who hated being read aloud to, especially if the reader wasn’t particularly enjoyable to listen to. I’m pretty sure I tuned her out completely. Usually, when I did that, I would go back and get the book and read it straight through in one evening. However, I didn’t do that with this story.

So in theory, I have “read” this book before, but in reality, I had absolutely no clue what this story was all about and have pretended knowledge for many years.

I also haven’t seen the movie(s?), because I can’t stand to see a movie before reading a book. So I also pretended to be knowledgeable about that as well, as any good middle school librarian should do. 😉

This was clever and amusing, and I enjoyed the audiobook.

Pages: 176

My Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #1)My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this story as a child, especially as I spent so much time roaming the woods and lands surrounding our home.

I still enjoyed it as an adult, though I wished for just a bit more explanation in a few areas. Also, I had to suspend my disbelief a bit more than I did when reading it as a child.

Still, it’s a fun read, and I’m happy I revisited it on audio.

Pages: 192

Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1)Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My favorite thing about this story is how unique the setting and environment are. I confess that I couldn’t remember much of this, so it was interesting to reread it. I wouldn’t minded having a bit more information about Julie before she joined the wolves, but I guess that really wasn’t what the story was about.

Overall, it’s a good MG book for those interested in wilderness/survival/unique settings and cultures.

Pages: 176

The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1)The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been so long since I first read this book that I didn’t really remember anything about it at all, which made it a fun reread.

It’s basically a love story between a boy and a stallion, plus a shipwreck and some racing to add to the excitement.

Pages: 275

Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn #1)Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is definitely old fashioned, and that could lead to a lot of interesting, modern discussions.

I didn’t remember anything about this one, even though I read it as a child, but I like how Caddie is not your typical pioneer girl. It’s an interesting change of pace.

Pages: 288

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1)Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another story I read when I was young that I didn’t remember much about. I have never been a big fan of talking animal books, but there is something so heartfelt about this one. They animals are all very human in there interests, wants, needs, and desires, and that makes them easy to relate to.

I don’t suspect I’ll ever read this one again, but I enjoyed revisiting it. It has been interesting to compare books from my past to current day upper elementary and middle grade novels. There are some definite differences, but it’s hard to put it into words and explain those differences. The story structure from these older novels seems to be a bit more open ended or something.

Pages: 240

White FangWhite Fang by Jack London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was interesting to reread this as an adult. I remember being captivated by Jack London stories as a child, and now I know why. He has a way of really drawing people into these raw, honest stories that have such an interesting perspective. I enjoyed revisiting this one.

Pages: 252

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