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Book Review: Nicola Traveling Around the Demons’ World

Seven Seas Acquires 'Nicola Traveling Around the Demon's World ...

I don’t know if you know this, but finding kid-friendly manga is extremely difficult. That’s why I was so excited when I discovered Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World by Asaya Miyanaga. For those who don’t know, manga are Japanese comic books typically read from right to left. Manga is similar to movies in that it follows a strict rating system. Most manga is rated Teens (13+), Older Teens (16+) or Mature (18+) so finding a manga series with an All Ages rating is akin to finding the holy grail. 

Nicola follows the story of a young witch who travels the demons’ world with her friend Simon. With Nicola, every day on the road is a new adventure and opportunity to make new friends! I know, demons’ world? Sounds scary for kids, right? Well don’t worry, it’s really not, I promise you. Almost every creature Nicola comes across ends up being kind and she usually winds up befriending them or helping them overcome some difficulty. This book has important messages such as not to stereotype, how we can help each other, and the importance of empathy and kindness. I would highly recommend this adorable manga series for any graphic novel fan, but especially for those readers who enjoyed The Girl from the Other Side, the Witch Boy Trilogy, The Okay Witch, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Amulet.

Book Reviews, Children's Room Blog

Book Review: Chirp

Chirp by Kate Messner is a quietly powerful book with a lot of heart. The summer after seventh grade, Mia and her family move from Boston to Vermont. Mia’s parents decide a change of scenery might be just what she needs after she broke her arm falling off a balance beam during gymnastics. There is also another reason for the move: Mia’s grandmother, who runs an edible cricket farm in Vermont, recently suffered a stroke and her parents want to make sure that she is getting along okay. However, when they get there they find that she is doing surprisingly well. Not only that, but she has a mystery on her hands: someone is trying to sabotage the cricket farm! Mia makes it her mission to solve the mystery and help save the cricket farm. But Mia’s mother wants her to sign up for two summer camps: “one for the body and one for the mind.” So on top of solving a mystery, Mia must also attend Warrior camp and a camp for young entrepreneurs.

Throughout the book we learn that Mia has a secret, one that she has not told anyone. This secret is strongly affecting Mia’s ability to believe in herself. As the story progresses, Mia gains the strength to address this secret. She is empowered by the friends she makes at camp as well as the love her family surrounds her with.

This story has something for everybody: a mystery, the coming of age experience, friendships and families, athletics, and entrepreneurship. I really liked how the book managed to incorporate lots of factual information without ever feeling too “textbook-y.” I also loved how it made me feel so many strong emotions: there were parts where I laughed and others where I cried. I highly recommend this story for readers who want a balance of serious issues but also some light-hearted summer fun.

Children's Room Blog, Fun at Home, Online Activities, Upcoming Events

Forensics for Kids with Officer Avery!

We are excited to announce a very special virtual program about forensics led by Officer Avery of the Hudson Police Department.

It will be held on Tuesday, August 4th from 9:00-10:00am. But make sure to stick around for the whole program because at the end there will be a special interactive portion!

To register for this event please click on the link below:

Book Reviews, Children's Room Blog, Fun at Home, Home

8 Books to Read for Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.

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The Popularity Papers

A whimsical tale told in scrapbook style follows the haphazard efforts of a pair of best friends who resolve to conquer middle school, an endeavor that tests the limits of their friendship.

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Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life

When Rafe Khatchadorian enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, “Leo the Silent,” to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school’s oppressive code of conduct.

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Big Nate: In a Class by Himself

Supremely confident middle school student Nate Wright manages to make getting detention from every one of his teachers in the same day seem like an achievement.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

When unpopular sixth grader Dwight successfully dispenses sound advice to his classmates via an origami finger puppet, his classmate Tommy investigates the source of Dwight’s accuracy and makes a surprising discovery.

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Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be.

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Just Jake

A first installment in a new series written by a 13-year-old author follows the experiences of young Jake, who endures the drama and frustrations of being the new kid in school.

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The Brilliant World of Tom Gates

Irritating his teachers with his lack of focus and creative excuses, Tom Gates spends his unmonitored times drawing pictures and writing down observations about everything from his grumpy sister and annoying classmate to an unsatisfying camping trip and his pursuit of concert tickets for his favorite band.