Episode 44: Spins-Off for Adults & Kids

After a break, the Mamas are back with a fun way to boost your summer reading: pairing a gown-up book series with a Middle Grade book series that share the same world and characters in the spirit of Spin-Offs that only kids of the 80’s and 90’s could love! Inspired by their cold beach walks, the Mamas jumped on an ocean-themed book series for Middle Graders that ties into a series of grown-up books with the same characters and overall themes. Parent/child book club, anyone?

Book Chat:

Grown-Up Book: Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White
Middle Grade Book: Fins by Randy Wayne White 
randywaynewhite.com

Pick 6: More Book Spins-Offs We Love!

1. Alexander McCall-Smith’s chapter book The Great Cake Mystery has the same MC as his adult series the #1 Ladies Detective Agency

2. Carl Hiaasan’s Chomp, Hoot, Scat, Flush, Skink and Squirm are MG books that are styled like his adult books

3. Famous adult author Terry Pratchett’s MG book, Only you Can Save Mankind

4. Finishing School Series is a steampunk MG series by Gail Carriger who also has adult steampunk books

5. Death Comes to Pemberley is a book and movie based on the Pride and Prejudice characters by Jane Austen written by famous mystery author P.D. James

6. The whole family can join the fun with Little House on the PrairiePicture Books that match up to themes and scenes in the Middle Grade series by Laura Ingalls Wilders

Episode 43: Middle Grade Biographies

The Mamas celebrate Women’s History Month in Episode 43, by sharing new middle grade biographies about fierce women: one covers an early 1800s highflyer and the other a 1960s Sci-Fi writer. Both books include detailed info of the dramatic times that influenced the women’s childhoods, making them perfect options for use in the classroom. The Mamas also share their favorite women authors of grown-up books. Believe it or not, they read those too.   

Book Chat:

Lady Icarus: Baloonomania and the Brief Bold Life of Sophia Blanchard by Deborah Noyes

Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

Pick 6: Women Authors of Grown-Up Books We Love

Jennifer Raff

Donna Barba Higuera

Ruta Sepetys

Alissa Nutting

Melissa Broder

Elif Shafak

Episode 42: Happy Middle Grade March

The Two Lit Mamas celebrate Middle Grade March with random selections from their TBR piles before they collapse and crush them. Margie went for funny superheroes, of course, while Heather dug into a survival story that was a little too real. Listen in as the Mamas gush over poetry (shocker, right?), get on their soap box in defense of graphic novels (not a shocker), and share their favorite female MCs from middle grade books in honor of Women’s History Month (totally on brand). 

Book Chat:

The Super Villain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by Matt Wallace

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Bat Pig Series: When Pigs Fly by Rob Harrell

Pick 6: Favorite Female MCs from MG books

  1. Margaret from Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Bloom
  2. Jesse Keyser from Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  3. Iris from Song for a Whale by Lynn Kelly
  4. Esperanza from Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  5. Ada from the War that Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  6. Mimi Mackson from Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Episode 41: Celebrating Black Authors in Kidlit

In this episode, The Mamas celebrate Black Authors in Middle Grade Lit. (Really it’s more like worshipping, bordering on stalking, you know how they can get, but anyway…) The Mamas showcase some of their favorite writers across diverse genres including, fantasy, historical fiction, realistic fiction, poetry, and horror (oh, my!). Get ready to grow your TBR piles!

Book Chat:

The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown

Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson

Root Magic by Eden Royce

Pick 6: More Fantastic Books

 1. Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes

2. Amari & the Great Game by BB Alston 
     (Amari and the Night Brothers reviewed here)

3. The Hill We Climb, Change Sings & Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

4. Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles

5. Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

6. When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura

Episode 40: Time Traveling Middle Graders

In todays book chat, the SciFi loving Mamas are giddy about two new time travel Middle Grade books (for 8-12 year olds) that take them back 5 years and 500 years. But, before they get started the Mamas share their fantasy time travel vacays, including sipping tea with Abigail Adams and throwing down with the magnificent Ottomans. Don’t worry! The Mamas won’t let you get stuck in the past (especially the ’80s) so jump aboard the time machine and laugh along with Two Lit Mamas.

Book Chat:

DaVinci’s Cat by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Operation Do-Over by Gordon Korman

Episode 39: Pirates in Middle Grade Books

Arrrrr, the Mamas uncover buried treasure with three pirate-themed books for Middle Graders readers (aged 8-13) in the 39th episode of Two Lit Mamas Podcast. Their high seas discussions quickly freeze over with six tips for beating the winter blahs that don’t include walking the plank. Join them if you dare!

Book Chat:

  1. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
  2. Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
  3. Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas by Leigh Lewis, illustrated by Sara Gomez Woolley


Pick 6: How the Mamas beat the winter blahs

  1. Lots of carbs, including homemade bread, French pastries, and pretzels. Yes, please!
  2. Get cozy with Danish Hygge and throw another log on the fire.
  3. Game the system with games.
  4. Embrace the Swedish mantra “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  5. Murder in books, movies, TV shows and podcasts
  6. Make your family mission statement “Always Be Learning.”

Episode 38: Twisted Fairy Tales for Modern Middle Graders

For the first episode of the new year, the Mamas are kicking it at the back of the class, reading twisted fairy tales, passing notes about their latest obsessions (we’re looking at you Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum); while keeping their heads down and hoping to stay under the radar of Mrs. 2022’s evil glare. Come join the rebels in the back – this is your two-minute warning!

Book Chat: 

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani

Pick 6: Our 2022 Obsessions

  1. Trashy Reality TV
  2. Bigelow Green Tea with Elderberry
  3. Maker Spaces & Loose Parts Play
  4. Welcome to Earth with Will Smith on Disney+
  5. The World According to Jeff Goldblum on Disney+
  6. Prepping for High School graduation

Episode 37: Holiday Gift Guide for Ages 0-9

Need gift suggestions for your kiddos this holiday? The Mamas have your back with board book, picture book, and chapter book recommendations. And, if book recommendations from Two Mamas isn’t enough for you, we’ve invited a Third Mama, author Rebecca Mullin, to help us get this holiday party started. 

Board Book Recommendations (ages 0-3):

The Lovely Haze of Baby Days by Lindsay Kellar-Madsen

The Night is Deep and Wide by Gillian Sze, illustrated by Sue Todd  

One Tomato by Rebecca Mullin, illustrated by Anna Mullin 

Picture Book Recommendations (ages 3-7):

Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Alea Marley

A Vote for Susanna, the First Woman Mayor by Karen M. Greenwald, illustrated by Sian James

How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps by Peggy Porter Tierney, illustrated by Marie Letourneau. 

Chapter Books (ages 6-9): 

The Secret Explorers series by SJ King 

The Ninja Kid series by Anh Do

JD the Kid Barber Series by J Dillon

The Pug Who Wanted to Be…..  by Bella Swift

Definitely Dominguita series by Terry Catasus Jennings

Show Links:

Bookshop.org

Twolitmamas.com

The first two people to leave a comment on this blog post will receive a free copy of One Tomato by Rebecca Mullin, illustrated by Anna Mullin!!

Episode 36: Holiday Gift Guide for Middle Graders

The Mamas Top Faves from 2021:

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos (Episode 15

City Spies Series by James Ponti (Episode 20)

The Whispers by Greg Howard (Episode 26)

Fave Fantasy Reads:

The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant (Episode 29)

The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington

Fave Sports-themed Books

Ten Thousand Tries by Amy Makechnie. (Episode 32)

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado 

Fave Mythology Stories:

Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston (Episode 18)

Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo. (Episode 17

Fave Nonfiction Books: 

Poisoned Water by Candy J Cooper and Marc Aronson (Episode 21)   

I Am Not a Label: 34 Disabled Artists, Thinkers, Athletes and Activists from Past and Present by Cerrie Burnell

A History of Dessert by Victoria Grace Elliot

Fave Fiction Books for Foodies:

All you Knead is Love by Tanya Guerrero (Episode 27)

Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca (Episode 27)

Fave Older Series: (grab the box set)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart (Episode 30)

The Greystone Secrets series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Moon Base Alpha Series by Stuart Gibbs (Episode 31)

Episode 35: Middle Grade Horror

In the Halloween episode, the Mamas admit they share a brain (FYI, it’s kept in a jar in a mad scientist’s lab). How do they know they share a brain? Because they each picked a Middle Grade horror book from the same author without realizing it. Fortunately, they were creeped out in the best possible way by an author who’s the latest hot horror ticket. Plus, sinister cats! 

Book Chat:

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie

Pick 6: More scary books for your MG devil babies

1. The Thirteenth Cat by Mary Downing Hahn

2. Root Magic by Eden Royce

3. The Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes

4. Nightbooks by J.A. White

5. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

6. Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

(Bonus) 7. Dark Waters by Katherine Arden