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Adventures Through Awkwardness: January!

Welcome to the first month of Adventures Through Awkwardness: 2014 MG Challenge!

The theme for January is: CONTEMPORARY
Yeah, I know. It's broad.
More variety!

You can choose any Contemporary/Realistic Fiction Middle Grade book for this month's challenge.

If you're looking for suggestions on what Middle Grade book to read for the challenge, here's a few solid recommendations:

Wonder by R. J. Palacio {Summary from Goodreads}

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter {Summary from Goodreads}

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.
As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret. 

Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger {Summary from Goodreads}


Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. Dwight does a lot of weird things, like wearing the same T-shirt for a month or telling people to call him "Captain Dwight." This is embarrassing, particularly for Tommy, who sits with him at lunch every day. 

But Dwight does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that's when things get mysterious. Origami Yoda can predict the future and suggest the best way to deal with a tricky situation. His advice actually works, and soon most of the sixth grade is lining up with questions.

Tommy wants to know how Origami Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. Is Yoda tapping into the Force? It's crucial that Tommy figure out the mystery before he takes Yoda's advice about something VERY IMPORTANT that has to do with a girl.

This is Tommy's case file of his investigation into "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda."

If you have other suggestions, please list them in the comments! 
After you're read and reviewed your book for the month, please enter to win the January prize!

Keep it awkward, y'all!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Wonder is one of my all time favorite books! I haven't read the other two, but I do so love middle-grade. I love your reading challenge.

    1. I haven't read Wonder yet but I obviously need to! I love MG too! You're welcome to join in on the challenge any time, you know! :)

  2. I haven't read Wonder yet, but I definitely want to! I think this might be the perfect time for me to do that. Plus, I also remember hearing about The Humming Room from April (Good Books and Good Wine), and it sounded FANTASTIC. Thanks for the reading suggestions!

    1. I heard good things from April too! And plus, who doesn't love The Secret Garden and any retelling?! So many good choices!

  3. I love Origami Yoda! The next book is about Leia and will be out in March or April.

    I still really need to read The Humming Room and Wonder. Too many awesome books and not enough time. Wah!

  4. You're adorable.

    I'm not really participating in any challenges, but I do read picture books and middle grade books when it's slow at work (AKA all of the winter) so I might participate unintentionally. (Right now I'm reading The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield, so it doesn't fit this month so much).

    BUT. I'd recommend Counting By Sevens. I haven't read it yet, but it's high on my GABY WHY DON'T YOU READ ANNNNY MIDDLE GRADE? list.


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