Middle-Grade May Recommendations

Hi! With Middle-Grade May coming up, I thought I would make some recommendations for those that want to read Middle-Grade books and are looking for recommendations.

Mystery

Fearless by Mandy Gonzalez and Boulevard of Dreams by Mandy Gonzalez with Brittney J. Thurman

Fantasy

Any books by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus, The Trails of Apollo, Daughter of the Deep)

Contemporary

The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Graphic Novel

Scout is Not A Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

Historical Fiction

How to Find What You’re Not Looking for by Veera Hiranandani

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (E-ARC Review)

Hi! I was on the blog tour for Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass and I wanted to give a review and my reactions. 

Title: Ellen Outside the Lines 

Author: A.J. Sass

Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary 

Add to Goodreads: Here

Characters 

One of my favorite things in this book was the characters. All the characters had interesting backstories, and they all had personalities that I wanted to read more about. My favorite character was Ellen, not because she was the main character in the story, but because she went on a journey. Ellen’s growth over the novel was absolutely amazing, and I loved reading about how much she grew over the course of the story. I loved the supporting cast. They were all very well-crafted characters, and they all supported Ellen on her journey to find herself. In the end, there was an understanding between all the characters, and that was fantastic. 

Plot

Most of the story took place in Spain, and I just loved seeing Spain from the eyes of Ellen and her friends. The scavenger hunt was an interesting plot element and one that kept me guessing, wondering how it was going to end in the story. Another major element of the plot was the journey that Ellen found herself, and I loved seeing how much the story helped Ellen find herself. Friendships come and go, especially in Middle-School, and this was an authentic story about friends, old and new, coming together, which I loved. 

Writing 

The writing of this novel was excellent, and I loved how the writing worked to tell the story. The lighter tone was welcome during the more light-hearted and fun scenes, where the group was bonding and getting to know each other. This was a story that also had some heavy scenes and the writing during the heavy scenes in the story and the more honest scenes set the tone for the rest of the story. 

Friendship 

Friendship plays a big role in Ellen Outside the lines, and I loved the friend group. Laurel was Ellen’s best friend but as a friendship goes, Laurel started hanging out with two other girls, without Ellen, and Ellen misses the way it used to be. Ellen’s team was made up of Isa, Gibs, and Andy, and as a team, they all worked very well together. The end of the novel was sweet because both friend groups talked, and they came up with a plan where they could all hang out together. Ellen also learned that she could make other friends over the course of the story. 

Enjoyment/ Recommend for 

I loved this story so much. I believe that anyone who enjoys Middle-Grade Contemporary, LGBTQ+ stories, and stories about friendship, would enjoy this novel.