Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager

I was a fan of Lindsay Eager’s Hour of the Bees and so I was really excited when I was shelving one day and found this one on the shelf.  And this one was even better.  For starters, I wish that there had been such an awesome young scientist female protagonist like Fidelia when I was growing up.  She is so cool and makes science and engineering seem to cool and fun!  Add pirates who survive purely on candy and you have a great adventure.  This was a really interesting middle grade novel in that parts of the story were spent only focusing on the adult characters, making them relatable to the children rather than alienating them, which many middle grade/YA books do.  It showed the importance of respectful relationships between all different kinds of people.  Eager completely sucked me in and I needed to know how everything was going to turn out.  Also, love me some evil pirates with a soul.

4-stars

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

This book is magical and awesome!  From the magical changing hotel to traveling by umbrella to a giant butler cat, I loved every part of this book and am so glad that it is finally available to recommend to kids.

I have recently discovered (by accident) that I enjoy books with cursed children (I know, I know, dark) and this book was no exception.  There is something incredibly powerful about seeing kids overcome the universe.  And not only does Morrigan have overcome the universe, she has to pass a series of tests in hopes of entering a very special society of people.  Townsend has created a fully rendered world filled that, while magical, is still very relatable.  This book is so much fun.

4-stars