Whatcha Reading, Jr? June 2022By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @meredith.mara
June is done and dusted, and we read some truly great books last month! Take a peek below at some of the books the OwlCrate Jr team read throughout June 2022.
Leave a comment below and let us know your favorite read from last month for a chance to win a $25 OwlCrate shop gift card! *UPDATE: Winner will be randomly selected on Wednesday, July 13th*
Want even more great recs? Check out OwlCrate's monthly wrap up as well! (and they may also be hosting a giveaway👀)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy
There’s something about summertime that makes me want to dive into epic adventure books, and Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy is absolutely epic! It follows twins Arthur and Maudie, who are struck by the terrible news that their father, a famous explorer, has died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris. And not only that, but members from the explorers society have accused their lost father of sabotaging their most recent expedition. All of this doesn’t add up to Arthur and Maudie, so they decide to join a race to South Polaris to save their family’s reputation.
This story is so engaging from the get-go, and I blame it entirely on Vashti Hardy’s uncanny ability to make you feel for her characters. Once you meet the twins, and the rest of the company you encounter along the way, you’ll want to follow them anywhere. If you love high-stakes adventures, epic landscapes, and awesome family and friendship dynamics, you need to pick this one up!
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Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono
First of all, I would be remiss to say that I had no idea the beloved Studio Ghibli film was based on a novel until it was released for the first time in English a couple years ago. I'm finally so happy to say I read the source material and it was every single bit as lovely and whimsical as the film!
Just in case you are unfamiliar, in this story we follow young witch Kiki who leaves her family (with her sassy black cat familiar Jiji) in search of a new place to call home. Kiki is determined to prove herself, and although she faces challenges and prejudices, Kiki has so many adventures and makes many new friends along the way.
This is a fun and gentle book that was a perfect palate cleanser for a sometimes scary world. Kiki is brave, kind, funny and warm, and I for sure would love to be her friend
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Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar
Obie knew his transition would have an effect on his swim team, but he hadn’t anticipated how his former best friends would react. Though Obie begins to make new friends at his new pool, he can’t seem to get his old coach and critics out of his head. Thankfully Obie’s family always has his back and will help him through it all, from first crushes, to bullies, to competitions.
This middle grade novel is full of depth, heart, and hope. Though it was at times difficult to read (there are some pretty significant depictions of bullying, transphobia, and homophobia), the story takes each of these moments as opportunities to show how Obie is supported and loved throughout. Obie is ultimately a well-balanced story of how great and hard life can be, and how to wade through it all with your head held high.
The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
Petra is one of only a few hundred people who’s been saved from Earth’s destruction. She and her family will journey to a new planet and will carry on the human race. But something has happened in the hundreds of years Petra and her family have been asleep in stasis, and when she awakens, Petra is the only person who remembers Earth. Where once Petra had wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, now she alone carries the stories of our past.
This is an incredible story, from its dark beginning to its promising end. It’s brutally honest, as you would expect from a dystopian, but there’s this enduring sense of hope that filters through the darkness. Although Petra’s situation is certainly difficult and dire, somehow, it never seems impossible. For anyone looking for the modern thematic successor to The Giver by Lois Lowry, this is it.
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