Katt vs. Dogg

Authors: James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: November, 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a very different, but fun book for young readers. Another winner by James Patterson for young readers.

Oscar is a rambunctious kid who is also a dogg. He loves being a dogg and everything that entails. His family has taught him that doggs are the best and katts are no good. When Oscar and his family go on a trip and end up at the same resort as Molly, a Katt and her family who hate doggs, things get a little hairy.  When Oscar and Molly end up lost in the woods together, they must decide if what they have always been told about hating each other is right or if they should work together to find a way home.

James Patterson has become a major player in the young reader category. He is an author that can churn out books like no other. This series is a fun and very different one where the story goes to the dogs, and cats. Set for 8 to 12-year-olds this is a perfectly written story that will have these young readers engaged and happy to pick up a book and escape into the world of fiction. There is nothing too much or anything for this age reader and I can happily recommend this to my youngest son to read and enjoy.

Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar

Authors: James Patterson & Lisa Papademetriou

Series: Middle School #3

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: June 23, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another fun fast read by Patterson perfect for middle school readers.

Georgia Khatchadorian is getting her chance at middle school. Her brother, Rafe, left a reputation as a troublemaker and now everyone expects Georgia to be the same kind of trouble as her brother. She isn’t given a chance by most of the teachers to prove that she is a good student and only wants to do her best. The popular girls at school instantly dislike her and to top it all off, she has made a bet with her brother that she will become one of the most popular girls at school. 

This book is the third in the series, but the first from the point of view of Georgia and it is fun, refreshing and a good change for the series. Georgia finds herself dealing with the struggles of middle school in a similar way as her brother but for different reasons. She doesn’t come into the year wanting to break the rules like he did; she is a rule follower but the teachers and faculty at the school assume she is like her brother and think the worst of her from the beginning. This is a good example of showing that everyone is different and even in families we shouldn’t judge one child based on what we know of another one. I really enjoyed the way it was set up showing her struggle and try to overcome the way she was looked at just because she was Rafe’s sister.  Children reading will be able to relate to a lot of moments in these books and hopefully gain some good ways to deal with problems they might face. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy the series and are fans of Patterson’s children’s books.

Timmy Failure: Zero to Hero

Author: Stephan Pastis

Series: Timmy Failure #0

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun, silly book that children will enjoy reading, which is the biggest win to get kids reading.

Timmy Failure has a great imagination and uses it to create a detective agency and solve the crimes in his town. He uses his detective skills to find out who stole his favorite shirt and from there he solves all crimes he comes across. Timmy is so famous there are multiple books about his life and even a movie! Now, Timmy gives us an inside look at to how he became the greatest detective in the world.

I read this book after my son started enjoying them to see what he was reading and be able to talk about it with him. With all that is out in the world, it is important to read and be involved in all our kids’ encounters. This book is silly, somewhat stupid at times but doesn’t have any of the “agenda” so many try to put in shows and books. I was happy reading this and finding out that it was an okay series for my kids to read. I was able to read it in a single day and can talk to him about the characters and storyline. On Amazon this is a “Teacher’s pick,” I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as the best pick for kids for the reason that it is a bit stupid and annoying but the fact that it doesn’t have any of the other things, I would consider inappropriate makes it worth the read. This is a good book for young readers to pick up and just enjoy reading.

The Terrible Two

Author: Jory John & Mac Barnet

Series: Terrible Two #1

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fun and exciting book for young readers they will enjoy well past the last page.

When Miles Murphy moves with his family to the small town of Yawnee Valley, he is not excited at all. At his old school he was the best prankster and decides to become the best prankster at his new school. The only problem is he might have met his match with the prankster already at the school. Now they are off on a prank war, and no one is safe.

I picked this book up to read before my 7-year-old to see how it would be for him. I love being able to read the things my boys do so we can talk about them and help them find a love for reading. This was a fun and quick book that young readers will enjoy and fly through. The story is fast and the characters are funny, making it perfect for young readers starting out and finding enjoyment with books. I can’t wait to see what is in store in the next books in the series.

Middle School: Get Me Out of Here

Authors: James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Series: Middle School #2

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: February 13, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The second book in the Middle School series is even better than the first!!

Rafe Khatchadorian’s sixth grade year wasn’t great and now he has the chance to start over at a new school in a new city. He is starting his seventh-grade year at a new art school and just when he is thinking it’s going to be a new start, things go wrong. The other students are super competitive and when he realizes he needs to find a way to fit in, he starts on a new mission that leads to more problems and an even crazier year for Rafe and his family.

It’s hard for a second book in a series to be better than the first, but James Paterson has done it with this book. I loved the way Rafe tried to turn over a new leaf and do better to not disappoint his mom, but is also trying to find his way in a new school with new problems. Rafe has real hard issues he is struggling with and the way he deals with them is written really well for kids reading to be able to relate and find ways to deal with those struggles. One of my favorite things about these books is the way the characters are relatable but easy for kids to read and follow along with. I read these to connect with my kids as they find a love for books and reading. I would recommend this book and series to kids and their parents that want to find a great series for them to enjoy books and have something to talk about together with their kids.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Author: James Patterson & Chris Tobbetts

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: November 6, 2012

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The first book in the Middle School series is an imaginative, fun read for kids that will be great for getting them into reading.

Rafe Khatchadorian is starting middle school and doesn’t expect it to be great and so he puts in place a plan to make it the best year ever. Rafe has his best friend Leonardo the Silent at his side egging him on with points for every rule in school he breaks. He does all of this to avoid what he is afraid of but it doesn’t take long for it to all catch up to him and he must decide what is most important in surviving middle school. 

There are now 15 books in the Middle School series for a good reason. James Patterson has created an empire with his children’s books and this one, which was released ten years ago, I’m just now reading it because my kids are into them are fantastic. Rafe is such a relatable character for kids that might be having a hard time fitting in and wanting to read about a kid that is having the same problems as them. One of the things about the book is that even though Rafe becomes a bit of a troublemaker, he is also going through a lot and we see him struggling with that and letting it be a real thing. This is a great start to what I’m sure is going to be a great series for kids to read and enjoy reading instead of books that turn them off from reading.

The Oasis King

Author: Mark David Pullen

Publisher: Morgan James Fiction

Release Date: February 28, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A cross between Narnia and Journey to the Center of the Earth (movie, not the book,) made for a great fantasy adventure book for young readers.

Dylan, Jack, and Tripp are cousins spending a week at their grandmother’s farm. As they are out exploring, they are transported away to the Valley of the Oasis, a land unlike anything they are used to. In this strange land, they find creatures extinct in their world, talking animals and Tripp’s father, Martin, who has been missing since before he was born. Martin and his dogs have been pursued by a Stranger with green skin and other odd features that seems to be from another time and place. As the boys stick close to Martin, they work together to try and find a way to get them all back home.

With elements of both Narnia and the Journey to the Center of the Earth movie, this book made for a fun adventure for younger readers. I would say this book was good, not great, but also not bad. For such a short fantasy novel, Pullen did a pretty good job of setting up this different world we find our characters in but left me with several questions about the world; how they actually ended up there, since the boys’ method was different than Martin and what is to come next. I understand his thought process of keeping it short to attract young hesitant readers but there was a lot left unanswered and several head scratching moments. I don’t want a fantasy book that is super hard to understand, but also need this new world to make sense which I felt was lacking here. This is the start of a series and I am looking forward to seeing what is coming next for these characters and hopefully seeing the Oasis world built up more and expanded in a way to make the story come together fully. I would recommend this to young readers that enjoy fantasy but don’t want a 500 page book that is full of words they won’t understand.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Unbelievably Boring Bart

Author: James Patterson & Duane Swierczynski

Publisher: Little Brown

Release Date: September 3, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another fun book for young readers that is the perfect mix of humor and adventure to keep readers turning the pages!

When Bartholomew Bean and his father move to a new town, he feels himself becoming invisible. He creates a game with invisible creatures that surround the school and town and the only way to see them is through a game on the phone. He likes staying invisible, and if the kids at school who have been playing the game find out he is the creator, he will become the most popular kid in school.

James Patterson has done it again with another great book for early readers. I love reading these books of his before handing them off to my son to read. For a while after reading Patterson’s adult novels, I got a little bored with his writing and felt like his writing was predictable; but for younger readers these are the perfect stories to get them excited about reading and books. This story is fun and entertaining with a great set of characters and fun storyline perfect for kids and adults to read together and have a bonding experience over reading, doesn’t get much better than that.

Micah’s Got Talent?

Author: Andy McGuire

Illustrator: Girish Manuel

Series: Micah’s Super Vlog #1

Publisher: JellTelly Press

Release Date: June 4, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great series for young readers with a great message.

Micah is so excited when his school announced a talent show with the gaming systems has been wanting for a long time as the prize. Without even thinking about it, he signs up for the talent show without knowing what his talent is. For weeks he tries to come up with a talent that could win him the gaming system, but nothing comes to him. Micah struggles to find who he is and what he is good at in time!

Micah’s Got Talent was a super cute and quick read that young readers will easily fly through and enjoy. I read this one wondering if it would be a good fit for my little one to read and after I finished I quickly put it on his bookshelf for him to read next. This book has a great message of friendship and not giving up. I loved the way the author tied all of this in together to make the story just right.

My Life as a Smashed Burrito

Author: Bill Myers

Series: Incredible World of Wally McDoogle #1

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The first book in the Wally McDoogle series is fun, adventurous, and a great start to a kids series!

Wally McDoogle is twelve years old and forced to go to church camp where he is up against a bully the likes he has never seen. Every step he takes puts him right in the crosshairs of this bully and everyone else at the camp puts Wally on a pedestal thinking he is the one to take down the bully for them all. Wally ends up learning a very valuable lesson that it is more important to love your enemies than hate one other.

This is the start of a fantastic series for young readers, it is fast, fun and purely entertaining that will keep reluctant readers engaged and ready to turn the pages. I love fun books for kids with a great message; this is one that parents can feel perfectly capable letting their kids read and not worry that there is any questionable material within the pages. So many books out now that are even marketed to kids have material that is questionable in it. I know that some of the material may not bother some people but for parents that want a good book for their kids to read without worrying about language or anything else, this is a great one for them to pick up and feel good about.