Whatcha Reading: May 2021

By: Shanleigh Klassen

Hello, readers!

It’s no secret that we’re BIG readers here at OwlCrate Jr, but we don’t always get to share what we’re actually reading with you all. So we thought we’d start bringing our favourites to you!

Here are some of Team OwlCrate Jr’s favourite middle grade books that we read in May.

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu
Book cover of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy, showing a stone tower with four girls looking out four windows. Purple magical smoke crawls up the tower.

After a mishap during her brother’s sorcerer assessment, Marya is sent away to Dragomir Academy, a mysterious boarding school for wayward girls. But there’s something dreadful going on in the kingdom of Illyria…

I loved this book! Anne Ursu does such a wonderful job of capturing the complicated emotions and frustrations of the girls in this story. If you liked The Lost Girl, make sure to pick this one up when it comes out on October 12th!


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Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
Book cover of Show Me a Sign, showing the face of a young girl holding her hands up in sign.

“Deafness is not an affliction. The only thing it stops me from doing is hearing.”

Some Islanders are hearing and some are not, but because everyone uses sign language, no one is left out of the conversation.

This book addresses heavy subject matter, such as grief, family bonds, racial tension between the Native Islanders—the Wampanoags—and the settlers, to name a few. The writing is beautiful and weaves everything together so that hope rises to the top.

Based on a real community. Information on Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language and the history of both Martha’s Vineyard and Deaf education are found at the end. Suggesting this beautiful read for ages 9 and up.


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The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horowitz
Book cover for The Dark Lord Clementine, showing a young girl with purple hair in a black dress. Swords stick up from the surrounding ground.


The Dark Lord Clementine is a magical coming-of-age story with all the charm, humour, and whimsy of a Studio Ghibli film—which is honestly the highest praise I can give a fantasy story.



Three Keys (Front Desk #2) by Kelly Yang
Book cover of Three Keys, showing three children face the front. Green motel in background, with a man in background updating a sign that reads Calivista Motel: Immigrants welcome

The second installment of the Front Desk series continues to explore racism, the Western class system, immigration, and MANY more complex social topics with incredible finesse, and all within an already compelling contemporary story. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, you’re missing out!

Related: Front Desk (Front Desk #1) by Kelly Yang


What great books did you read in May?
Let us know in the comments!

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