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?
Dust and Grim by Chuck Wendig
Gnome is Where Your Heart Is by Casey Lyall
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
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!
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)
Mobile Bookstore: www.blackworldschoolers.com
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)
Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
Authors who also wrote for kids and adults
Ursula Le Guin
NYT article about Margaret movie
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.
Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac
Don’t Stand So Close to Me by Eric Walters
Happy Spring Break!
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.
Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Holler of the Fireflies by David Barclay Moore
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.
The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo
Coo by Kaela Noel
Six spring activities to get you and your kiddos outside
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 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?
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
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!)
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!