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Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and, Emily Jenkins
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria J. Coe
The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Noragami: Stray God Volume 4 by Adachitoka
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 2: The Pilgrimage by Tim Hedrick
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Miscellaneous
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 05)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 12) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 19)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 26)
January 2018 Sources
January 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Gender in Ozma of Oz
The Splendid Dystopia in the Marvelous Land of Oz
Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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Stanley Will Probably Be Fine: 02/24/18

Stanley Will Probably Be Fineby Sally J. Pla

Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla is set in San Diego and per the acknowledgments was written after the author had broken her leg just before Comic-con. While The Someday Birds starts in San Diego, this one is set entirely in San Diego, with the middle section being Downtown and nearby Balboa Park.

Stanley Fortinbras suffers from anxiety which has only gotten worse with his father being overseas on a variety of charity missions and with his middle school principal hosting constant (but unpredictably scheduled) safety assemblies. Thankfully he finds an understanding adult in the office, Mrs. Ngozo who gives him a safe, quiet place whenever one of these assemblies are announced. It's during a lockdown drill that Stanley creates a comic book hero, alter-ego, that helps him deal with his anxiety.

Understanding Stanley's anxiety in the context of middle school is the set up for the second act — The Great San Diego Comic Quest — a treasure hunt around Downtown (and nearby) in the lead up to the comic convention (the off-brand fictional version of Comic-Con). The clues are a combination comic book reference paired with a local landmark reference to lead contestants around the center of the city to find tokens. Seven tokens equals VIP passes to the convention. This part of the book is very much like the old Magnum PI episode, "Treasure of Kalaniopu'u" (season 6, episode 8) but set in present day San Diego.

As a former San Diegan I loved this part of the book. The clues for the comic book heroes really do mesh with the city. There were a few times when I guessed the right answer before Stanley got there (but I won't share my insights here). If you're not familiar with the city, follow along with Stanley and his friend on Google Maps.

There's a lot more to Stanley Will Probably Be Fine than what I've mentioned here. These other issues are timely and relevant and organically introduced into the plot.

Five stars

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