Old School Middle Grade Roundtable I participated in last week over @ the Book Smugglers. Ana and Thea took one of their weekly Old School Wednesdays (happily inspired by our very own Retro Fridays) and made it a special edition post, inviting five bloggers to sit down and discuss their top five old school middle grade books. I was there, along with Heidi @ Bunbury in the Stacks, Charlotte @ Charlotte's Library, Liz @ A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy, and Ana @ Things Mean a Lot. So basically the stellarest of stellar company. As Liz points out, no titles overlap! Which was completely unplanned and which makes the whole thing sort of that much more awesome. I went with two historicals, two contemporaries, and one high fantasy. Stop in and see which ones I chose and check out the whole fabulous list.
I feel a bit giddy finally talking to you all about this series. If you'll remember, I fell madly in love with The Q when it came out a few years ago. Now, Beth Brower is writing The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion — a series of novellas set in London in 1883. Each volume is an excerpt from the incorrigible Emma's journals, and the first two volumes are already available with the third on the way soon. I think they'd make rather perfect pandemic reading. Humorous and charming down to their bones, they're just what the doctor ordered to lift your spirits in this uncertain time that just proves to be too much some days. If you're experiencing one of those days, I suggest giving Volume 1 a go (it's only 99 cents on Kindle, $4.99 for a trade paperback copy). It will surprise exactly none of you that I own print and digital editions of both volumes. Miss Emma M. Lion has waited long enough. Come hell or high water (and really, given her track record, both a