Chapter Book Extravaganza -- Beginning Reader through Young Adult! Part 1

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own or Hazel's own. 

Ok, I have had this group of books growing on my shelves for awhile. It is time for me to clean house and get ready for the new year. I will admit I have not read all of these books (I have started most of them). Hazel has read some of them so I plan to let her share her opinion on the ones she has read. I hope you will check these out.

Chapter Books for Ages 5 to 12:

Wow, that is a big age range isn't it? Well we are going to go in order of them from the ones that are for more of the beginning reader to ones that are more for grades 3 and higher. We will start with the newest in one of our favorite series, The Princess in Black. The book is The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Dean Hale and Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

From the Publisher
Princess Magnolia is excited. Excited and nervous. She’s going to the Interkingdom Science Fair today to present her poster about seeds and plants, and when she arrives, she sees that her friends are there too! Princess Honeysuckle made a mole habitat, Princess Sneezewort has built a blanket fort, and Tommy Wigtower has a talking volcano that’s saying “EAAAAT!” Wait, what? A surprise goo monster makes this a job for the Princess in Black, and the Princess in Blankets is on the scene to lend a hand. But will two masked heroes be enough to save the science fair? A little scientific problem-solving — and a lot of princess power — will make the sixth entry in the New York Times best-selling series a smash hit.

It’s mayhem at the science fair! A squishy goo monster is a challenge for the Princess in Black — but luckily some science-loving princesses are on hand to help.

From Us:
Hazel still loves reading this series and she said this is one of the best books in the series. That is high praise from an almost ten-year-old who reads well above her grade level but still enjoyed this book!! We always recommend this series to new readers looking for chapter books to try. The recommended age is 5 to 8. 

The rest of the books in this category start at age 7 or 8. We have the first two books of a series, The Real McCoys. The first book in the series is called The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson and illustrated by Robbi Behr.
From the Publisher: 
The first book in an illustrated middle-grade series in which a precocious detective solves mysteries with her super-smart little brother.

Her name’s Moxie. Moxie McCoy.

Bold, opinionated, and haplessly self-confident, the world’s greatest fourth-grade detective faces her biggest challenge! When someone kidnaps beloved school mascot Eddie the Owl, Moxie is on the case—but she’s forced to fly solo now that her best friend (and crime-solving partner) has moved away.

Moxie must interview her classmates—both as potential new best friends and as possible suspects. She finds clues and points fingers but can’t save the owl on her own. Enter Moxie’s little brother, Milton. Quiet, cautious, and boring as a butter knife, he’s a good listener.

Can the Real McCoys form an unlikely alliance and solve the crime of the century?

Bursting with interactive illustrations on every page, Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr’s The Real McCoys delivers clever storytelling, laugh-out-loud humor, and heartwarming insight. This is the first book in a series.

From Us:
Ok, to be honest I have not gotten my hands on this book since I showed the two books to Hazel. She has read them and reread them. She loves them.She likes how the brother and sister work together. They have become one of her new favorites. It is a must read for the middle grades! The series is recommended for ages 9 to 11 according the publisher and 8 to 12 from Amazon. 

From the Publisher: 
The sequel to the critically acclaimed The Real McCoys!

When a baffling mystery strikes Tiddlywhump Elementary, sibling detectives and absolute opposites Moxie and Milton McCoy are on the case. She's the doer. He's the thinker. She's the heart. He's her heartburn.

Moxie's friend Emily has received a suspicious letter signed with nothing but a sinister purple squiggle. Then more letters arrive—along with more questions. Who sent them? What do they mean? Is the world on the brink of collapse?

Milton and Moxie are the perfect problem-solving team...if only they could get along. When their partnership falls apart, Moxie races to identify the mysterious Squiggler first—while learning the hard way that two McCoys really are better than one.

With energetic illustrations on every page, Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr's Two's a Crowd is a vivaciously funny and irresistibly heartfelt mystery for young readers.

From Us:
Hazel loved this one as much as the first book. She calls them both the Moxie books after the characters and rereads them often. She loves the excitement and mystery in the books. If you have a middle grades reader, be sure to check them out.

Our next book is the second in a series, Soccer School. It is Soccer School Season 2: Where Soccer Explains (Saves) the World by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton and illustrated by Spike Gerrell.

From the Publisher:
Coaches Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton return with even more proof that soccer can be used to teach kids about pretty much anything. The second book in their funny, fascinating series is full of facts about the most popular sport in the world, from history to language, design to psychology. When did women begin playing soccer? Why do lefties have an advantage on the field? Which soccer stadium was built in the shape of a crocodile? Perfect for soccer players, fans, or just plain curious kids, this series is packed with information and amusement in equal measure. Goal!

Soccer School is back in session and ready to defend its goal: to explain the world through soccer.

From Us:
Do you have a child who loves soccer? This book is for him or her? Learn about everything through the view of soccer. It is recommended for ages 7 to 11. It is filled with humor and will entertain as well as pull reluctant readers in and have them laughing and looking at life in a different way. 
Our next book is for ages 7 to 10. It is Astrid The Unstoppable by Maria Parr and translated by Gary Puzey.

From the Publisher: 
Speed and self-confidence, that’s Astrid’s motto. Nicknamed “the little thunderbolt,” she loves to spend her days racing down the hillside on her sled, singing loudly as she goes, and visiting Gunnvald, her grumpy, septuagenarian best friend and godfather, who makes hot chocolate from real chocolate bars. She just wishes there were other children to share her hair-raising adventures with. But Astrid’s world is about to be turned upside down by two startling arrivals to the village of Glimmerdal: first a new family, then a mysterious, towering woman who everyone seems to know but Astrid. It turns out that Gunnvald has been keeping a big secret from his goddaughter, one that will test their friendship to its limits. Astrid is not too happy about some of these upheavals in Glimmerdal — but, luckily, she has a plan to set things right.

Pippi Longstocking meets Heidi meets Anne Shirley in this tale of an irrepressible girl in a mountain village who navigates unexpected changes with warmth and humor.

From Us:
I did not finish this book and Hazel has not read it, but it is an interesting book. While I was reading it I found it fascinating and hard to put down, but then life got in the way and I had to put it down. Unfortunately I haven't had time to pick it back up. However the tale was interesting and Astrid is quite a character to follow. Be sure to check it out.

Our next book is recommended for ages 8 to 12. It is Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley and illustrated by Dan Santat. 

From the Publisher:
Frederick Frederickson has a food-chain theory about life. There are lions, like the school bully. Gazelles, like the bullied kids. There are meerkats, and the fleas that live on the butts of meerkats. Frederick's a flea.

Fifth grade is off to a terrible start when Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp for troublesome boys. His fellow troop mates—Nosebleed, Specs, The Professor, and little-yet-lethal Ant Bite—are terrifying. But in between trust-building exercises and midnight escape attempts, a tenuous friendship grows between them. Which is lucky, because a Category 5 hurricane is coming and everyone will have to work together—lions and fleas alike—to survive!

Kate Beasley outdoes herself in this hilarious, whip-smart tale of brotherhood, survival, and what it really means to be a friend.

From Us:
I did not get very far but this book is interesting and entertaining. It is definitely oriented towards boys. There is definitely action and humor throughout the book. 

Our final book in this category is Lulu the Broadway Mouse by Jenna Gavigan.
From the Publisher:
Ratatouille meets Broadway in this charming new middle grade novel about a little mouse with big dreams.

Lulu is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway’s Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She’s a little girl mouse.

When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne’s guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined; sometimes they come with terms and conditions (aka the company mean girl, Amanda). But sometimes, just when we’ve given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we’d ever thought could come true, do.

From Us:
Hazel found this book sweet and entertaining. She really enjoyed reading it. It takes a new look at mice and reminds us a bit of the Nutcracker Mice. It is different in the fact that the people know and interact with the mice more. It is a fun book.