Tag Archives: diverse middle grade books

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: www.blackworldschoolers.com

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 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!

Episode 58: Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2

The Mamas are shopping again, and the books are piling up. This episode, our two favorite surly elves offer up gift buying guides for the Middle Grade (ages 8-12) and Young Adult (ages 13-18) readers in your life. So, eat until your fat pants are tight and then take advantage of Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday deals to snatch up some great books that will leave your big kids asking for more please, Oliver Twist style.    

Holiday Gift Guide:

Middle Grade (ages 8-12) books

Quest Kids and The Dragon Pants Gold by Mark Leiknes  

The Kwlade series by Emily Chenowith

The Confessions of a Dork Lord series by Mike Johnston

The Switch by Roland Smith

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Secret Letters by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Odder by Katherine Applegate

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

Spaceboy by David Walliams

Big Rig by Louise Hawes

Young Adult (ages 13-18) books

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy Lin

Once Upon a Broken Heart and The Balland of Never After by Stephanie 

Gabe in the After by Shannon Doleski

I Must Betray You – Ruta Sepetys

Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid

Episode 56: MG Books to Read in the Dark

The Mamas celebrate spooky season with three books perfect for middle graders (ages 8-12) to read in the dark even if the two middle-aged Mamas read them in bright daylight (insert chicken noises here). The Mamas chat about witches, night beasts and ghosts. Oh my! And, debate if its okay to kill books by DNF-ing them. Listen in to find out who is a serial killer and who is a brain sucking zombie. 

Book Chat:

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

The Clackity by Lora Senf  

Episode 54: Who Knew the End Times Could be Fun

The end is near unless a few resourceful and persistent middle grade heroes can stop the apocalypse in three fun books for 8–12-year-olds. For this episode, The Mamas have jumped into a big pile of raked up spooky season, careful not to spill their pumpkin spice lattes, to bring you their opinions on all things dystopian ­– just in time for Halloween. 

Book Chat:

Fenris & Mott by Greg Van Eekhout

It’s the End of the World and I’m in my Bathing Suit by Justin Reynolds

Apocolypse Taco by Nathan Hale

Pick 6: Our Fave Halloweeny Shows

  1. My Best Friend’s Exorcism
  2. Hocus Pocus 1 & 2
  3. Escape to Witch Mountain
  4. Halloween ‘78
  5. Sleepy Hollow 
  6. Tales from the Crypt