Category Archives: Podcast Episode

Episode 70: Hidden Folk in Middle Grade

The Mamas go in search of fairies, gnomes, and magical folk in Middle Grade novels (for 7-12 year olds) to kick off summer! Well, let’s be honest, Heather went in search of them and Margie stomped along  begrudgingly but that didn’t keep them from bringing you two winners along with a fun round of 2 Book and a Fake. Can you spot the fake?

Book Chat:

Dust and Grim by Chuck Wendig
Gnome is Where Your Heart Is by Casey Lyall

Show Links:
Thirteenth Circle by MarcyKate Conolley and Catherine Holmes
Last Summer in Outer Space by Joshua Levy
I Have a Bad Feeling by Jeff Strand
The Video Game Stole My Sister by Justin Stone

Episode 69: YA! YA

In this episode, the Mamas ditch Middle Grade books (although their humor remains squarely in Middle School – don’t worry) for Young Adult reads to provide the sweet, stinky teens in your life with recs for fun summer fiction and the perfect high school graduation gift. Then, the Mamas share new Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult recs to add to your TBR pile in preparation for beach or pond-side reading. Enjoy!    

Book Chat:

Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly DeVoss

First-Year Orientation, short story collection edited by Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith

Pick 6: Six Books the Mamas Want to Read this Summer

Bea and the New Deal Horse by L.M. Elliot (MG)

Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas (MG)

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley (YA)

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVoss (YA)

The Pisces by Melissa Broder (Adult)

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano (Adult)

Show Links:

Mobile Bookstore:

Episode 68: Judy Blume FanMamas

The Mamas revisit their own middle school trials, traumas, and triumphs through a book chat around Judy Blume’s famous 1970 children’s book, Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret and the new movie of the same title. If that isn’t enough, they also dig into the Amazon documentary Forever Judy Blume for a full-scale Judy Blume love fest. Grab your BFF and join the Mamas’ secret club. They won’t make you increase your bust, but you will need a code name. (Lit Mama One and Lit Mama Two are taken)

Book Chat: 

Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Pick 6: 

Authors who also wrote for kids and adults

Carl Hiaasen

Terry Pratchett

Rick Riordan

Neil Gaiman

Ursula Le Guin

Jane O’Connor

Show Links:

NYT article about Margaret movie

Episode 67: Short & Sweet

The Mamas are serving up short and sweet stories for your snacking pleasure in the 67th episode of the Two Lit Mamas podcast, a kidlit book review show, highlighting light-hearted short story collections that are perfect for the Middle Grade classroom. 

Book Chat:

Super Puzzletastic Mysteries an anthology edited by Chris Grabenstein

The Ice Cream Machine by Adam Rubin

Pick 6: The Mamas fave short stories for grown ups

The Space Between the Trees by Jo Kaplan from the anthology Into the Forest

The Lake by Ray Bradbury

Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon from Jackalope Wives and Other Stories

The Falling Girl by Dino Buzzati

The Other Side by Jaquline Woodson

Currents by Hannah Bottomy Voskuil

Episode 66: Revisiting the Pandemic

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming – it’s the perfect time to revisit the global pandemic (record scratch) – wait, what? Margie would like it known that it was Heather’s idea to read Middle Grade books about the pandemic during spring break. Don’t worry, dear listeners, it’s not as bad as it sounds, even Margie begrudgingly agreed in the end that the reads were worth it. Join the Mamas  for a gentle discussion on the power of disruption. 

Book Chat:

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac

Don’t Stand So Close to Me by Eric Walters

Happy Spring Break!

Episode 65: STEM Books that Rock

Would you rather read STEM books or STEAM books? The Mamas say yes to both. The book chat this episode is loaded with STEAM themes as well as hot topics that impart natural life lessons gently and honestly without being preachy. The Mamas couldn’t be happier with their chosen Middle Grade reads unless they were being  defended by surly cats and driven around by labradoodles while reading them. They follow up the giddy book chat with a rousing game of Would You Rather in honor of a return to sunny days and spring flowers. Don’t forget to take the Mamas on spring break. They’re happy to drown out whining kiddos on long road trips.

Book Chat:
Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Holler of the Fireflies by David Barclay Moore

Episode 64: For the Birds

The Mamas are flying high with two lower middle grade books that helped them escape into fun fantasy worlds filled with talking parrots and pigeons who cooed and plucked their way into the Mama’s hearts. If you have a bird loving 8–12-year-old or just want to flip birds in your mind, join our flock and get carried away with the Mamas. 

Book Chat:

 The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo

 Coo by Kaela Noel

Pick 6: 
Six spring activities to get you and your kiddos outside

Episode 63: Happily Ever After

The Mamas went in search of lighthearted, feel-good reads to balance out the important yet difficult Middle Grade stories they’ve been consuming lately. Luckily they found them in a fantasy story and an historical fiction book. So, if you (or your kiddo aged 8-12) need some balance in your reading diet, join the Mamas for a laugh, a little harmless murder, and some happily ever afters.

Middle Grade Book Chat:

The Swifts, a Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Bonus Book Chat: Big Girl Books

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Circe by Madeline Miller 

Episode 62: Important Stories of Adversity

Episode 62 of the Two Lit Mamas podcast hits all the feels, including the good, the sad and the funny, with a book chat about two important diverse stories for middle grade (ages 8-12) that plumb the depths of tragedy and adversity through the agony  of racism and classism. The Mamas hope you will not back away. Then, the Mamas move on to  a fun new game called Two Books and a Fake. Will you be fooled?

Book Chat:

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

Episode 61: Censored Books in Middle Grade

The Mamas fight censorship and much more with the help of special guest, Staci Schwarz, who dazzles the Mamas with her witty book critique and the scrumptious details of her new Middle Grade Book subscription box. Listen in to get the deets. (Please ignore Margie’s violent tendencies. We’re blaming it on her new Hag-itude!)

Book Chat:

Attack of the Black Rectangles by A.S. King

Middle Grade Book Subscription Box:

Chapters Reading Club Book Box  

Next up on the Two Lit Mamas 2023 Reading Challenge:

Go on a grand adventure!