Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Middle School Twofer: Lightning Girl by Alesha Dixon

As I continue scaling Mount TBR, I’ve got a fun middle grade two-fer today: the first two books in the Lightning Girl series by British singer, dancer, and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon.

Lightning Girl, by Alesha Dixon & Katy Birchall/Illustrated by James Lancett (June 2020, Kane Miller), $6.99, ISBN: 9781684640782

Ages 8-12

Life isn’t always a breeze for 10-year-old Aurora Beam, a biracial British girl living in a UK suburb, but when she discovers that her hands light up, and that her mom is a secret superhero, things get even wilder! Aurora is descended from a long line of female superheroes, and her mom is delighted to start putting her through training exercises. But how can she keep this a secret from her best friend? And how can she navigate her parents’ separation, school life, and her morally ambiguous auntie while learning about her superpowers? Lightning Girl is absolute fun, using superpowers to communicate all the frustrations of being a tween: Aurora is coping with body changes, weird friendship dynamics, school drama, siblings, and parental ups and downs. The dialogue and action move quickly, and the characters are funny and relatable. Black and white illustrations throughout add to the fun. A great entry into a fun middle grade series.


Lightning Girl: Superhero Squad, by Alesha Dixon & Katy Birchall/Illustrated by James Lancett (Sept. 2020, Kane Miller), $6.99, ISBN: 9781684640799

Ages 8-12

Aurora, aka Lightning Girl, is back and so are her friends, The Bright Sparks! After the events of the first Lightning Girl adventure, Aurora is in high demand: she’s got appearances booked right and left, leaving her almost no time for herself – and the paparazzi is always there to capture her worst moments! Aurora and her family head off to a superhero convention, where she hopes to get away from it all for a little bit, but a crime is committed and all fingers seem to be pointing at her! Can Aurora and the Bright Sparks clear her name, and can she finally get away from the glare of the spotlight? Superhero Squad is Aurora’s second adventure, and takes on the havoc social media can wreak on a person’s reputation and psyche. You don’t need to be a superhero to be bullied on social media; Aurora trying to turn the tide of public opinion is a great discussion point for booktalking and book groups. Themes of friendship and family run strong in this story. Back matter includes stats on the newest members of the Bright Sparks. With a diverse cast and great storytelling, this is a great series to add to your shelves.

There are a total of five Lightning Girl books available.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

The Great TBR Readdown Continues! Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster

Esme’s Wish, by Elizabeth Foster, (2017, Odyssey Books), $13.95, ISBN: 978-1925652246

Ages 10-14

Esme Silver is a 15-year-old mourning her mother, Ariane, who disappeared when Esme was 8. Her father has just remarried, despite Esme’s objection (at the wedding!). Her father takes his new bride away on their honeymoon, leaving Esme under the eye of her stepmother’s sister; not thrilled with that situation, Esme, determined to use the time to learn more about her mother’s disappearance, finds her way to a magical underwater world, where she learns more about her mother and the secret part of her life she hadn’t shared with Esme. Esme’s Wish is geared toward teens, but is more accessible to upper middle grade-middle school students. There is a lot of fantasy world-building, including dragons and mysterious pasts, a mythical history, and new friends from other lands, but sometimes gets mired in itself rather than moving forward. Overall, though, it’s a solid fantasy book, with interesting characters who aren’t merely plot devices. The world-building will appeal to fantasy readers – there are dragons! – and Esme is a likable character that kids can relate to at her heart: a girl who’s lost a parent, and coping with her remaining parent remarrying. The girl who’s considered an outsider by her town, merely because of who her mother was. A girl trying to find out why. A good additional purchase for collections where you have big fantasy readers.

The second book in the trilogy, Esme’s Gift, was published in in 2019. Visit author Elizabeth Foster’s webpage to learn more about the books and view trailers for each.

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday! Books on my TBR list…


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This week, we’re looking at my TBR (To Be Read) list. It’s a terrifying list in its length – I think it exceeds my life capacity, but that doesn’t stop me. This is one of the few places you’ll see grownup and kids’ books mashed together here at MomReadIt, because I do actually read Big Girl books, too. ūüėČ

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


This list features a mix of published and yet-to-be-published books that are on my NetGalley list.

trigger warning Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman (2015, William Morrow) ISBN: 9780062330260

I love Neil Gaiman. I will read anything and everything he comes out with. If he published his grocery list, I’d read it. I also torture myself by getting Neil Gaiman’s books the day they come out, and waiting to read them. Because once it’s read, I have to wait for his next book. And that hurts me.





prudencePrudence, by Gail Carriger (2015, Orbit), ISBN: 9780316212243

Prudence is another book I’ve been waiting for. I rabidly read every Gail Carriger book I can get my hands on. I’m most likely going to draw out the delicious anticipation with this one, too.





MyLifeDioramas My Life in Dioramas, by Tara Altebrando (May 2015, Running Press) ISBN: 9780762456819

This one’s a middle grade book that I’ve received a galley for. I’ve tried to read more realistic middle grade fiction, because my collection needs some solid books, and have discovered some good authors and stories. I’m looking forward to this one; Running Press really puts out some solid stuff.





map to everywhereThe Map to Everywhere, by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis (2014, Little, Brown) ISBN: 9780316240772

Having said that I need more familiarity with realistic fiction, I do love a good fantasy tale. I loved Carrie Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I’m interested in seeing what she does with middle grade fantasy. And there are pirates.







exquisite corpse Exquisite Corpse, by Pénélope Bagieu (May 2015, First Second) ISBN: 978-1626720824

A graphic novel by French superstar artist, writer, blogger, and lady knight. This is Bagieu’s first US graphic novel, and it’s full of literary scandal. I can’t wait.






buterfly parkButtterfly Park, by Elly McKay (May 2015, Running Press) ISBN: 9780762453399

I’m always on the lookout for good picture books – I really don’t review them as often as I should, but I’ve been working to remedy that this year. Butterfly Park just works with spring, and I’m looking forward to seeing the illustrations by Elly McKay. This is another one I’ve received from Running Press, and I’m really excited about it.





ballet cat Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, by Bob Shea (May 2015, Disney-Hyperion) ISBN: 9781484713785

Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series is straight-up awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing what he gives for beginning readers. I also need more books for my step-up from picture book readers, so I’m really hopeful for this one. If we’ve got another Elephant and Piggie-type series here, I will dance on my tables.






this is sadieThis is Sadie, by Sara O’Leary/illus. by Julia Morstad (May 2015, Tundra Books) ISBN: 9781770495326

Another picture book! Yay! This one’s about a little girl with a big imagination. I think it’s going to be a great read-aloud book, and I’m already coming up with great read-alikes and craft ideas to go with it.






book scavenger Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (June 2015, Henry Holt & Co.) ISBN: 9781627791151

I jumped on this NetGalley offering because it sounds similar to Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, which I adored. I’m always up for a good scavenger hunt through a book.





amy-poehler-yes-pleaseYes, Please, by Amy Poehler (2014, HarperCollins) ISBN: 9780062268341

This one has been on my list forever because the wait lists have been INSANE. I may just buy it for myself. I love her positive messages for girls and women alike. I love Amy Poehler, period. Amy, The Bloggess, Tina Fey, and Mindy Kaling are my Girl Power Go-To, when I need my head back on straight. Throw in a side of Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, and a cup of coffee, and I’m good to go.