No. 8: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs. A bit Alex Rider, a bit genius not quite philanthropist (without a metal suit) - The math equations were beyond me, and it dragged a little towards the end, but overall an enjoyable, fast paced espionage adventure.
No. 7: The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter by Aaron Reynolds - When I’ve tried to describe this book to others - it doesn’t sound very enticing. The premise is a little bit like the Tom Hanks movie “Big” - Chronically irresponsible, yet endearing Rex plays an old “Grim Reaper” themed arcade game. He wishes for a pet. He loses and ends up with the “Reaper’s Curse” and the ghosts of animals with unfinished business seek him out, to hilarious results. (I had high expectations for the author of the picture book Creepy Carrots, and I hope he writes some more novels after this one!)
No. 6: Following Baxter by Barbara Kerley. Another SSYRA title, another plot I didn’t expect. I enjoyed the wacky scientist neighbor with the homemade teleporter.
No. 5: 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. I wanted to read it because my niece loves the new 101 Dalmatian Street cartoon and I wanted to see if it was something she’d like, but once I found out about the bonkers sequel, I had to read it. (Starlight Barking. Apparently, there are aliens!)
No. 4: The Amelia Six by Kristin Gray. Generally, I liked it - a locked room mystery in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home is a fun concept! I sometimes had trouble suspending my disbelief. At the 1st sign of trouble, most kids would search for their phones rather than search the house.
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes. I dived in without reading the summary, and based on the cover I expected something like New Kid by Jerry Craft. The fencing took me by surprise. I loved Donte’s journey learning about a sport that I know very little about.
No 2. Becoming Muhammad Ali by Kwame Alexander and James Patterson. I enjoyed this look at the childhood of a famous athlete. My only complaint is I wish the entire novel was in verse - the poems, for me, were what really sparked.
Rather than keep a summer reading log, I thought it would be fun to do quick sketches in Procreate. No. 1: The Miscalculations of Lighting Girl by Stacy McAnulty. This book has a great voice and absolutely nails middle school friendship perils.
I'm an aspiring author / illustrator.