New Middle Grade Fiction: Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands

Ocean’s Eleven meets The False Prince in this thrilling heist story for young readers, in which five kids with unusual talents are brought together to commit an impossible crime. Failure is unacceptable … but success could be deadly.

From the bestselling author of the Blackthorn Key series, this magic-infused fantasy brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they’ve ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. There’s Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn’t hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they’ve never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done.

But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it’s best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you’re the one running the con game, when in reality you’re the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Viking Books for Young Readers (October 5, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593327519
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593327517
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 – 12 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 – 7

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Indiebound

Kyle & Corey and the Game Store Mystery by Joe Stephens

Looking for a fun, adventure-filled mystery? You’ll find it in Kyle & Corey and the Game Store Mystery by Joe Stephens.

Kyle and Corey are brothers who are as different as they come. In typical brotherly fashion, they fight a lot, but they also have a knack for solving crimes. When their town of Fairly Springs experiences a rash of robberies, the boys are quick to investigate. The one thing all the crimes have in common is that each family that was robbed has a college-age son and high-end desktop computers are stolen. In between Corey’s sports tryouts and Kyle’s job at the local video game store, they work to put together the pieces of the puzzle before more robberies occur.

A fan of mysteries since my childhood, I grabbed a copy of this one as soon as I could. What a fun read! Two brothers working together to solve crime in their hometown in the middle of having regular teen (Kyle) and pre-teen (Corey) challenges makes for a great story. My son is a gamer, so I best connected to how Kyle’s storyline unfolded.

What I enjoyed about Stephens’ work is that he dropped just the right amount of clues to move the story along. It was an easy and engaging read from beginning to end. Though I had figured out most of the pieces before I got there, I still felt satisfied once the story concluded.

The reader will also find a preview from the second book in the Kyle & Corey Mystery series included. I’m glad there will be future adventures for these two brothers. I look forward to more!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Read an excerpt

“Wanna have a catch outside?” Corey said after a minute. “Before it gets too

dark?”

“I guess,” Kyle said without enthusiasm.

“Homework, Corey?”

“It’s Friday night, Mom. Can’t you chill out? Besides, I did it in school.”

“You always say you do it in school—then I get your report cards and they say

you haven’t turned it in.”

“They must be losing it, then. I’m doing it.”

Mrs. Holley shook her head. She knew Corey and knew that nagging him

about it was hopeless. “Clear the table before you go.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Corey cleared the plates, glasses and silverware, put the

napkins and salt and pepper shakers in the kitchen, and covered the leftover

food. Without being prompted, Kyle wiped down the table, the counter and the

stove, and swept the floor.

Mrs. Holley watched through the sliding glass door as they hurried outside. As

always, any sport absorbed Corey, but baseball was his favorite. He pitched for

the local rec department team for most of the year, and hoped they’d eventually

add a travel league. For his sake, she hoped so, too.

Outside, Corey and Kyle pulled on their baseball gloves and lobbed the ball

back and forth across the wide backyard. “So what’s our next case?” Corey

asked. “It’s been a long time since summer.”

Kyle snorted. “That was a one-off, dude. It won’t happen again. They do have

a police force here, you know.”

“But we were great together! Bet we could make something happen again.”

“If we do, the cops’ll be after our butts, for sure. They didn’t like it when we

made them look bad by catching those bank-fraud guys.”

“If we’re catching crooks, who cares if it’s us or them?”

“They care. They’re the ones paid to do it.”

Purchase from…

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I received a digital copy of this book from the author through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Joe Stephens will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better your chances of winning.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflcopter giveaway

The Wormwood Mysteries: Beyond the Cliff’s Edge by Kimberly Palmucci

Kitten sisters Mayra and Rosie Wormwood have left Lake Falls Animal Shelter and now live in their forever home with Mom and Dad and fellow felines Lucky and Princess. It doesn’t take long however, for strange things to happen at their new home. Mayra and Rosie rally their animal companions to uncover the identity of the nighttime creature that has invaded their happy home and to figure out what is beyond the cliff’s edge.

Having read the first book in The Wormwood Mysteries series, Secret of Lake Falls, I was eager to read the second book. Palmucci’s trademark style of featuring rescue animals in her stories is such a great way to celebrate our furry friends who have led shelter lives and to subtly encourage adoption of rescues.

In Beyond the Cliff’s Edge, middle grade readers are treated to another mystery filled with adorable, well-defined characters with unique personalities. They get a chance to see Mayra and Rosie, now adopted, find a special place to call home.

I enjoyed how the author worked a variety of different animals into this story and how she created such a fun plot for this one.

If your middle grade readers enjoy mysteries or stories with animal characters, this series is a great choice.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MSV1YF9
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (November 6, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 220 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8560133627

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Wormwood Mysteries: Secret of Lake Falls by Kimberly Palmucci

Welcome to the start of a new series by Kimberly Palmucci. Secret of Lake Falls is the first book in Palmucci’s The Wormwood Mysteries series. It features kitten sisters Mayra and Rosie Wormwood, who have arrived at the Lake Falls Animal Shelter, only to discover that someone–or something–is chasing away potential adopters. It is up to Mayra, Rosie and the animals at the shelter to uncover the culprit so they can find their fur-ever homes.

Palmucci has found her niche in writing children’s stories about rescue animals. This is her first time delving into the middle grade market, and she presents a strong offering filled with mystery, friendship, and resourceful animals with tons of unique personalities.

The covers on this and the next book in the series are so clever. The cover for Secret of Lake Falls captures the characters and the setting perfectly, while giving the reader a sense of the ominous happenings going on at the shelter.

Young readers will enjoy getting to know Mayra, Rosie, and all their friends as they try to solve the mystery. I am eager to read the next book, Beyond the Cliff’s Edge.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher : Independently published (January 24, 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 204 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1658726332
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1658726337

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

First Chapter Review: The Wormwood Mysteries: Beyond the Cliff’s Edge by Kimberly Palmucci

This first chapter review is from the middle grade mystery, The Wormwood Mysteries: Beyond the Cliff’s Edge by Kimberly Palmucci. I’ve read Palmucci’s picture books, so she asked me if I wanted to read books 1 and 2 of this series. I am currently reading the first book The Wormwood Mysteries series, Secret of Lake Falls. Beyond the Cliff’s Edge is the second book, which I purchased from Amazon.

BLURB: After being adopted, kitten sisters Mayra and Rosie Wormwood arrive at their fur-ever home and quickly settle in with their new brother and sister, Lucky and Princess. But the kittens have no idea that something else lives in this seemingly cozy house in the middle of the woods—something that only comes out at night.

When several items go missing from the house, and a raccoon disappears from the jagged cliffs in the forest nearby, it’s up to the kittens and their new friends to solve the mystery before time runs out. Will the animals figure out what lies beyond the cliff’s edge? Or will they end up taking a leap of faith to survive?

COVER: Just like the first book in this series, the cover features the outline of animals from the story with the background featuring the setting. These are sharp looking and adorable.

FIRST CHAPTER: Barry is scrounging through the trash cans at the end of the long driveway of a house in the middle of the woods. Hungry, he ran off by himself to find a late night snack. He might end up regretting that decision.

KEEP READING: Definitely. This first chapter sets up the mystery Mayra and Rosie will be investigating and propels the story forward.