Tag Archives: Middle Grade Book

Review: A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin

A Perfect Mistake

I received and advanced copy of A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin (Little Brown and Company) which goes on sale today. These are my honest opinions on the book.

I get pitches to check out books all the time. I read things from kids picture books to YA fantasy and Graphic Novels and everything in between. I got the pitch for A Perfect Mistake and reading the quick synopsis of the book made me very interested in reading it. The book deals with family ties, ADHD, toxic masculinity, responsibility and friendship. It was one of those books that when I began reading it I wanted to read the entire thing right away to get to the resolution of the mystery within the book.

We have our main character, Max, he’s 11 years old but has the height and size of a kid in high school. So a lot of responsibility and unfair expectations get put upon him because of that. Max is also dealing with ADHD, he is seeing a therapist and this is helping him come up with strategies to manage his experiences. The book is based upon the experiences of the author’s husband and son and is one of the most honest and authentic portrayals of ADHD that I’ve ever read. It was fascinating how the author described how Max processes the world around him.

So you have Max and when the story begins we get bits and pieces of an incident that happened with Max and his two friends Will and Joey. Will is in a coma and we do not know exactly why. Max may know but he cannot piece together exactly what happened. He’s crushed by the guilt of not knowing and also of his involvement or even responsibility for what happened to Will. Meanwhile, his friend Joey is no longer talking to him and his once tight band of brothers is fractured.

Along the way we meet Max’s family, his perfectionist mom, perfect older sister and his dad who is dealing with unemployment but not giving up on his creations and ideas. We also meet Sam, a girl from Max’s class. Is she a friend or does she hate Max for some reason. Then there is Max’s uncle Cal. Uncle Cal is the free spirited younger brother of Max’s mom. He rumbles into town in the Supervan which brings along its own set of issues and possibly some answers.

I loved the authentic relationships between the family members complete with old wounds and new revelations. Max is a very interesting character that I think will be very relatable to so many kids. It is a very well done middle grade book that makes many serious issues easily accessible for kids. It is for ages 8-12 and it is one that I want my son to read this Summer.

If you would like to pick up A Perfect Mistake from Amazon.com please consider using my affiliate link below. Thank you.

Read to Me, Dad! Review – Interview with Samantha San Miguel – Author of Spineless

Spineless cover

I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha San Miguel about her book, Spineless, is being released out today. I received an advanced copy of the book to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is about a young boy named Algie Emsworth who dreams of becoming a recognized naturalist. He does have a few things stacked against him, though. He has asthma in the early 19th Century. This can be severely limiting to his activities. However, Algie find that he has more strength than he ever imagined. His adventures take him to Florida where he meets new friends and confidantes who challenge him and help him. I don’t want to give too much away but here is the official synopsis of the book.

Dive into the beautiful, surprising, adventure-filled world of The Grand Hotel of Gilded Age South Florida with Samantha San Miguel’s debut middle grade, SPINELESS (On Sale June 7, 2022 | Union Square Kids), where twelve-year-old aspiring naturalist Algie Emsworth stumbles upon a brand-new species. Despite the protests of his overprotective family and the threat of his chronic asthma, Algie must face-off against a famous collector of exotic animals, as well as contend with a mysterious deadly red tide, to save the species—and the Grand Hotel’s guests—from destruction. For science nerds, historical fiction lovers, and fans of an underdog, this thrilling, immersive middle grade is Hoot for the Gilded Age, with a classic mystery-filled hotel as a backdrop, and some fantastical twists.

Sam San Miguel

Samantha and I had a great conversation about the book and I recorded it for my YouTube Channel. You can watch below.

If you are interested in picking up this wonderful book for yourself or your family please consider using my Amazon.com affiliate link below.