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Book/Author Spotlight: This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker


About the Book: In this heartwarming companion to Drive Me Crazy, twelve-year-old Fiona Coppleton is living a middle schooler’s worst nightmare: her diary was made public and her best friend is partly to blame.

Fiona and Cassie are supposed to be best friends forever. No one else listens or makes Fiona laugh like Cassie, and that meant everything when Fiona’s parents were divorcing. They love each other in spite of their (many) differences, and even though Cassie cares a little too much about being popular, Fiona can’t imagine life without her.

Until Fiona’s diary is stolen by the most popular girls at school, and her most secret thoughts are read out loud on the bus. Even worse: Cassie was there, and she didn’t do anything to stop it. Now, for some reason, she’s ignoring Fiona. Suddenly the whole world has shifted.

Life without a best friend is confusing, scary, maybe impossible. But as Fiona navigates a summer of big changes, she learns more about herself—and friendship—than she ever thought possible.



  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 10, 2016)
  • Cost: $16.99





About the Author: I have been reading and writing, basically, ever since I learned how to, and everything I’ve done has pretty much been connected to those two things. I went to college at a small, fantastic school (with a super writing program) called St. Andrews Presbyterian College. I got my Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Florida State. I have worked as an event coordinator at a major chain bookstore; as a freelance writer; a composition instructor; an editorial assistant at an NYC publisher; as manager of an independent children’s bookstore, in Decatur, GA, Little Shop of Stories (where I still work as a bookseller); and as Program Director of the AJC Decatur Book Festival.







October 21, 2016 Posted by | Author and Book Spotlight, HarperCollins Book Review | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Picture Perfect #4: Between Us


About the Book:  Being one half of a BFF heart necklace is serious business—and in the Picture Perfect series, each story tackles a tough friendship challenge. Through the ups and downs of life in middle school, through braces and boy bands, family feuds and fashion disasters, your best bud is there. But what happens when friendship suddenly gets complicated? Tween readers will adore these sweet, accessible stories about the power of friendship.

Bailey Broadwell and her best friend, Olivia, are going to have the greatest year ever in middle school! Bailey has it totally figured out. All they need to do is follow her foolproof list of ways to make sixth grade epic. But Bailey’s plan doesn’t include her aunt and cousin Hannah unexpectedly moving to town.

Though Bailey hasn’t seen Hannah since they were little, she sets out right away to make her cousin feel welcome. And right from the start, Hannah and Bailey seem to enjoy similar things. Only, it’s a little strange how Hannah likes everything that Bailey does. And it’s weird when Hannah starts joining all the clubs that Bailey’s in. Soon, she starts dressing like Bailey. And agreeing with everything Bailey says!

Bailey tries not to let Hannah’s copycat behavior bother her, until it seems like Olivia and the rest of Bailey’s friends like Hannah more than her. How can Bailey have the best school year ever if Hannah is taking over her life?




My Review: Bailey and her best friend Olivia planned on having an epic first year of middle school. Their plan was to go to the mall and check out what the 7th and 8th graders are wearing. Then shop! Start getting up at time you need to get up for school. Eat breakfast so that their stomach wouldn’t grumble. Smile at people and more.

She was set for middle school, until her mother told her that her cousin Hannah and aunt are coming to stay. Bailey promised her mom to help Hannah fit in and plan to make her feel incredibly welcome. She planned on giving her the tour of the school, take her to S&I for ice cream, introduce her to her friends, take her to the mall and many more. When Hannah turned up, Bailey started to enjoy Hannah’s company enjoying similar things. After awhile, Hannah started to dress like Bailey, joined the clubs she’s in and agreeing with everything Bailey says. It soon done on her that Hannah was a copycat, and that all her friends likes Hannah more than her.  Bailey needs to come up with a plan before Hannah take complete control of her life.

A book every middle school grader will love to read, full of fun and will appeal to young girls.



FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from HarperCollins in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.



About the Authors: Cari Simmons and Melinda Metz

Melinda Metz: Melinda Metz is the author of over sixty books for teens and kids, including the YA series Roswell High (based on the TV show Roswell) and Echoes. Her middle grade mystery Wright and Wong: The Case of the Nana-Napper (co-authored by the fab Laura J. Burns) was a juvenile Edgar Award finalist. Melinda lives in Concord, North Carolina, with her dog, Scully, a pen-eater like the dog who came before her.






July 4, 2016 Posted by | Book Review, HarperCollins Book Review | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Spotlight: Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child & Watch Out, Hollywood!

About the Book: It’s Mean Girls for tweens in the tradition of Paula Danziger’s Cat That Ate My Gymsuit and Judy Blume! Watch out, world: here comes Charlie C. Cooper-computer whiz, reformed bully, and so-called middle child-in this seriously funny debut tween novel from screenwriter Maria T. Lennon.

Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child stars the hilariously cheeky reformed bully and tween hacker Charlie Cooper as she tries to ditch her middle-child reputation and make cool friends at her new school in Los Angeles. But being cool isn’t as easy as it looks. Charlie has to face down the mean girls and decide between right and wrong once and for all when she learns the terrible truth behind Marta the Farta’s bad attitude and loner status. And Charlie has to do it all in outfits meant for the runways!


  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (August 26, 2014)
  • Cost: $6.99




About the Book: Hilarious tween heroine Charlie C. Cooper—reformed bully, misguided fashionista, and so-called middle child—is back! This sequel to Confessions of a So-called Middle Child will delight fans of Louise Rennison, Mean Girls, and Harriet the Spy.

Charlie’s adventures offer a fresh look at middle school, bullying, and mean girls. In Book Two, Charlie navigates sudden celebrity and auditions for a television series, but a little white lie may endanger the one friendship Charlie can truly count on—and her connection to swoonworthy crush Bobby! Poignant and seriously funny, Charlie’s account of her dilemma is one all tweens will relate to.

Charlie knows what it feels like to be stuck in the middle, but it’s finally her time to shine. After saving her friend Marta in the old Houdini tunnels of Los Angeles, Charlie’s become a local hero, gained sudden celebrity, and *MIGHT* just become a TV star! But will Charlie let her newfound fame go to her head? Watch out, Hollywood


  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 26, 2014)
  • Cost: $16.99



About the Author: At fifteen, I left Santa Barbara to study at The American School in Switzerland. I continued my studies at Brillantmont in Lausanne, got kicked out, then went on to London to complete her A levels. I was accepted to the London School of Economics and studied International Economics and the Politics of International Aid. After graduating, I moved to Italy where I ate and drank enormous quantities. I also taught summer school at The American School in Genova, an elementary school. I later moved to Paris and wrote my first novel. When I returned to Los Angeles, I quit all bad habits and continued working on my novel, Making It Up As I Go Along, which was published in 2004.

I also completed a screenplay about the Red Brigade, which was a third place finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s screenwriter’s competition. Today, we live in Laurel Canyon and have four children ranging in ages from 5 to13. When not driving one of my four children to school or volunteering at school libraries, I can be found sitting in a parked car, a café or a library writing novels, travel articles or just passed out.





FTC Disclosure: I received these books from HarperCollins Publishing. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.



May 17, 2016 Posted by | Author and Book Spotlight, HarperCollins Book Review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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