One day while helping my mom sort through some boxes, I came across a pile of books that belonged to my brother and I, when we were kids. Among these old treasures included three books from the A to Z mystery series. They made a good addition to my Middle Grade March TBR.
The A to Z Mysteries are a great way to introduce kids to short chapter books, as well as the mystery genre. Each installment begins with a map and includes pictures too. Readers follow three friends as they solve simple cases they uncover, in their community and on their journeys.
I would recommend the A to Z Mystery series by Ron Roy to children in grades 2-4.
Published: October 2019 Published by: Audible Original Format: Audiobook, Audible Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Series
Viva Durant, New Orleans’ youngest detective, is on a quest to solve a jazzy mystery involving hidden treasure, while exploring the city’s unique culture, history, and music. This family-friendly audio original features original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant, and an enthusiastic performance from Audible Hall of Fame narrator, Bahni Turpin.
Plucky 14-year-old Viva Durant heads to New Orleans every summer to spend time with her loving but stern grandmother, known as Gram. After Gram reads Viva an article in the local paper about a missing treasure related to the world-famous song, “Miss Mary Mack,” Viva traverses the Crescent City on an epic adventure to solve the mystery. Along the way she meets some of the city’s most colorful characters as her journey takes her to the French Quarter, a jazz club, a creepy cemetery, and even the circus. Can Viva rise to the occasion and solve this musical mystery? Listeners will find Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons a joy to listen to!
I came across Ashli St. Armant’s, Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons when searching Audible Originals. I thought it would be a cute story to listen to for the Middle Grade March Read-a-thon. Surprisingly, I ended up loving Viva’s story and it became my second 5 star book of .
California girl Viva is given her first taste of freedom, while visiting her grandmother in New Orleans. She is taken by a newspaper article about a missing treasure, connected to the children’s song Miss Mary Mack. Using the article and the song lyrics, Viva goes on a treasure hunt that takes her into the French Quarter, on a discovery of music history and even to circus school. Additionally, it is all set to a soundtrack of some great Jazz music.
I thought that a mystery involving such a widely known song as Miss Mary Mack, was so clever. It features a stellar audio production and Banhi Turpin’s performance brought Viva to life. The setting felt authentic and vibrant. This audio book will also introduce a whole new generation to the Jazz genre, including those who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
Viva Durant is a wonderfully put together audio book that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Another month has gone by and we are still social distancing. We had a very quiet and sparse Easter this year. It was the first holiday we spent at home. Instead of turkey, I did a small roast for the three of us.The Easter Bunny left some treats and an egg hunt for my son Charlie. April is also the month in which my family has many birthdays to celebrate; both my parents, my niece and several cousins. Charlie celebrated his birthday in April too. My little guy is now 3 years old!
I didn’t feel as motivated to read this past month, as I did in March. I read my first ever graphic novel, which I borrowed from my local library in eBook format. I also read a short story. Both of these I have included in my monthly total.
Total Books Read in April: 5 Total Books Read in 2020: 23
Published: November 2019 Published by: Sweet Cherry Publishing Format Read: eBook, ARC, Kindle Genre: Middle Grade, Adapted Classics, Mystery
NOTE: I was sent a copy of A Study in Scarlet, adapted by Stephanie Baudet, from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Body thought to be that of E.J. Drebber discovered last night in empty London house. No obvious cause of death. Address given as Cleveland Ohio. Any information would be appreciated.
After a mysterious murder leaves the police baffled, the world’s best amateur detective is asked to investigate. Along with his fellow lodger, Dr Watson, Sherlock Holmes sets about uncovering a quest for revenge that runs far deeper than anybody suspected.
About The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection
Elementary-age reading, my dear Watson! This fun series adapts the classic mysteries of Holmes & Watson for young readers, and makes the perfect introduction to whodunit fun for ages 7 and up. All titles are also leveled for classroom use, including GRLs.
It has been quite a while since I read any of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, so this was a great refresher. I was excited to see that these stories are being adapted for a younger audience. My hope is that it will encourage young readers to appreciate classic literature.
Although it follows the basic plot of the original A Study in Scarlet, this book has simplified sentences and side notes that describe terms used that might not be familiar to kids today. An example of these side notes include the description of words like; hansome cab. Illustrations are also included.
Sherlock Holmes himself, has even been adapted for the younger audience. He is portrayed as more chipper and whimsical than the well-known character Arthur Conan Doyle created.
This version of A Study in Scarlet is being promoted as Middle Grade, however the story does center around a murder. Therefore I would recommend it to slightly older ages or even those who fall under the ages of young adult. I look forward to reading more of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations in the future.
What do you say about a month that has brought about so much fear, sadness and unease? I’m not sad to see March end as the pass of time will hopefully bring us closer to better days. Here in Ontario Canada, our government is tightening its reins, in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. We have been “Social Distancing” for over 2 weeks now. As someone with serious heart problems, I have been taking the warnings very seriously. Unfortunately many people still aren’t listening and so the number of cases continue to grow. Its hard on everyone, especially children. It breaks my heart that families are being kept apart. My son is so upset that he cannot see his Nanny and Poppy and he is too young to really understand why. However it is important that we all do our part.
I’d like to send a shout out to all the front line medical and retail workers for all they are doing to fight this deadly outbreak. We will be forever grateful.
I hope that you are all staying safe and healthy.
As you will see by my total of books, I made great progress on my reading challenge for the year. This is due in part to the two reading challenges I participated in. Charlie and I read some of these books together, along with MANY MANY more of his current favourites, haha.
Total Books Read in March: 9 Total Books Read in 2020: 18
This past month I participated in Middle Grade March. It is a genre I don’t read a lot of, but I really enjoyed participating and am looking forward to joining again next time. What made this read-a-thon special to me was that some of the books I shared with my son Charlie. He especially enjoyed listening to the audiobook Viva Durant.
NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Rating: 3/5 Prompts Covered: A book set in another country (England), Book to screen adaptation, Mystery book, a book with illustrations.
During the month of March, the book community is celebrating the middle grade genre. This is a genre I don’t pick up very often, so I am not as familiar with the popular books released in the past several years. I am looking forward to discovering some new (or new to me) authors and their stories. This will also be a great opportunity for me to revisit some books from my childhood. And even though my son is still several years from this age-group, I hope to share some books with him too.
I will be participating in the Middle Grade March Read-a-thon, which is hosted by Life Between Words and Books and Jams. It is a month long read-a-thon and the prompts are as follows:
Books set in another country.
Book to screen adaptations.
Books with illustrations.
Books about stories
Funny enough, I recently came across a box of old books from my childhood, at my parents. Which was great timing as there were several that would fit the bill. I’m also looking forward to gathering some books from my library.
As of this posting, I have two definite books that I intend to read this months. Those include:
I will be sharing my reading progress on my Instagram page. You can follow me @melissaleesredhousereviews .
Will you be reading any middle grade during the month of March? Let me know in the comments.
I hope that you all had a wonderful February. I was happy to have participated in my second read-a-thon for the year. (I’m hoping to participate in one a month, if possible). It was my first time joining the Contemporary-a-thon and I managed to complete some of the prompts. You can see my wrap-up here.
Total Books Read in February: 5 Total Books Read in 2020: 9
Crashing the A-List By: Summer Heacock Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance NOTE: I was sent a copy of Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock, from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Total Number of Books Read: 5 Total Number of Fiction: 4 Total Number of Non-Fiction: 1 Total Books Sent for Review: 0 Total Books Read from My Shelves: 3 Total Library Books Read: 2
Physical Books: 3 eBooks: 1 Audio Books: 1
March is Mystery Madness Month. I’m not signing up for any groups or a read-a-thon for this theme, in particular. However I do hope to read some books from the mystery genre over the next 4 weeks.
Another genre I am hoping to read from is middle grade fiction. So, I have decided to participate in the Middle Grade March Read-a-thon. This is a month long challenge, that is hosted on YouTube by Life Between Words and Books And Jams. I will make a separate post announcing my intentions soon.