2022 Middle Grade Must Reads – October (Part Two)

A Gangster Stole My Trunks by Tom Vaughan

  • Illustrations by Nathan Read
  • Published by Scholastic

I loved Bin Boy by Tom Vaughan so I was so excited when I discovered he had written a new book.

I dived straight in and wasn’t disappointed. This was an amazing read.

The story centres on Jesse who has to go on a cruise with his grandad, a grandad who he doesn’t really know.

While aboard the boat it seems strange to Jesse that all of the passengers know each other, it  turns out that Jesse’s grandad was a high powered cop before he retired.

When a attempted murder takes place Jesse takes it upon himself to try to solve the crime.

This is a laugh out loud story that deserves to be read to children out loud.

It’s a beautiful story that features a beautiful intergenerational relationship between a boy and his grandfather.

The illustrations are fabulous and add to the reading experience.

Never Forget You by Jamila Gavin

  • Published by Farshore

England 1937 and four best friends are living in a boarding school for the very rich.

The friendships are intense and they are all they have. These girls all stem from different backgrounds.

They believe nothing and no one will come between them.But suddenly the start of WW2 happens.

As these girls come from different backgrounds they each have different thoughts and feelings over the impending war.

As the war gets more intense the girls find themselves doing different things doing the war, for instance one girl flies planes while another becomes a spy.

As the war goes on each girl faces danger and life changing decisions.

They are all left with the uncentainally of what the future holds and left wondering if any of them will survive.

This is a heartbreaking thought provoking book.

It’s a gripping story of hope, fear and unbreakable friendship.

It will leave you wondering what you would do in their situation.

And when you decide what you would do, it gets you questioning your choices.

This is a delightful story that shows another side to WW2 , one that will reaching for the tissue box.

Sylvie by Sylvie Kantorovitz

  •  Published by Walker Books

This is an interesting graphic novel, it is an autobiography of Sylvie Kantorovitz.

Sylvie lives in the primary school that her father is principal of.

Sylvie and her younger brother enjoy spending time running around the corridors when there’s nobody around

Then comes the trials of high school, forming friendships and dealing with being the only jewish family in town.

The relationship between her parents is interesting to see.

The story also tells the story of her trying to become an artist.

This is a fascinating book, the illustrations are simple but infective.

The Underpants of Chaos by Sam Copeland and Jenny Pearson

  • Illustrations by Robin Boydon and Katie Kear
  • Published by Puffin

I absolutely loved the  super miraculous journey of Freddie Yates, it was sad in places but so so funny. While reading out loud I had tears of laughter running down my face. It’s one of those books that I recommend for a class read.

As a family we read Great and the ghost hunters, I loved all the expressions in the book and while reading out loud I was waving my hands around all over the place. I even caught my two children trying to play push, push a poo. It was the kind of book that deserves to be read out loud.

So when two amazing funny author’s team up to write the first of  a new series we all know it’s going to be good. 

It was more than good, it was amazingly brilliant. It was difficult to put down

It was funny, fresh and modern.

I loved the plot and it was non-stop action, silliness and laughter from the first page.

You could close your eyes and  hear the conversation between the characters actually happening, it was so natural.

The relationship between the two main characters was great and worked really well. And of course the underpants scenes were so funny.

The plot follows two children at school Lenny and Agatha, strange things are happening at school and they are the only two who seem to notice.

Together they must work out who is doing these strange things and how to put a stop to it.

I can’t wait for the next in the series, as I can’t wait for more chaos from Agatha and Lenny and hopefully more underpants!

Don’t tell Mum I made a Mammoth by Kita Mitchell

  • Published by Scholastic

 I started this one Saturday afternoon and before I knew what had happened I’d read the whole book.

Percy is the main character and he lives with his parents who are environmental activists. There whole life involves trying to save the planet.

When we first meet Percy he isn’t looking forward to having a classmate  Penny stay with the family over half term. He just found out his dad is going to a protest naked with the hope of getting arrested. He has also stumbled on a secret machine hidden in the spare bedroom. This machine could bring extinct animals back to life. 

Unfortunately Percy then turns Penny’s sausage dog into a rhino and the bloke who lives opposite into a talking rat.

This has all happened by page 86 and you will find yourself with a silly smile on your face or just laughing out loud.

But of course not everyone is as nice as they seem, and Percy realises that there are a lot of people desperate to get their hands on the machine, of course us as adults can see this and we can guess who they are but we are Percy in this story so we see what he does.

I won’t spoil the book but as you read through the book it gets better and better. 

I think Percy is a great character, he really is only a little boy who wants nothing more than spending time with his family and having some attention from his parents.

In theory he doesn’t do anything wrong, he was only just looking at the machine before the sausage dog gets in the way. He is just unlucky when things go wrong but gets the blame for things.

There is a lot of chaos in this book.

It does hold a serious message in this book, that is the environmental issues and how we need to protect our planet. It also proves to be a life lesson that not everyone is how they seem and there are some ruthless people in this world who will do anything to get their own way.

The chapters are quite short and this would be enjoyed by children reading independently or having the book read to them.


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