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Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance
Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce
Don't Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci
Flo by Kyo Maclear and Jay Fleck
A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel
My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley and Alitha E. Martinez
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet
Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
The Sandwich Swap by Rania al-Abdullah
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
Slider by Pete Hautman
Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

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April 2018 sources
April 2018 summary
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 07)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 14) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 21) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 28) Reading Current

Road Essays
Getting there: it's the road, stupid
In the upside-down: the hobo life in Oz
Re-Mapping the road narrative project
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Small towns and out of the way places
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A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!: 05/04/18

A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! by Kir Fox (Kirsten Hubbard) and M. Shelley Coats (Michelle Schusterman) is the first book in the Secrets of Topsea middle grade series. Davy Jones and his mother have moved to this weird seaside town for a new start after the death of Mr. Jones. Davy is finding it hard to fit in even though the kids and adults seem friendly enough. Everything though about the town and its people seems weird. Davy feels like the only normal kid here and that's after coming from a town where he was anything but normal.

That set up sounds like any one of a certain type of middle grade novels. You know the type — the new kid in town who has a checkered past and is now a fish out of water. Often the kid has grown up in the big city (or a suburb of one) and is now living in some out of the way country town that has maybe fifty people in it.

It is that, certainly, but it's so much more, in a very slim volume (193 pages with illustrations). The best way to describe A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! is to say it's like Welcome to Nightvale but for middle graders. In fact you can read the entire book in the time that it takes to listen to two episodes of Nightvale.

Where Nigthvale has the weather, Topsea has the tide reports. Where Nightvale has the hooded figures, Topsea has the PTA. Nightvale has the Dog Park; Topsea has a Water Park. Beware of old oak doors in Nightvale, likewise basements and sub-basements in Topsea. I could go on and on with comparisons, but you get the idea.

The spine of A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean has a handy 1 on it. I don't know what is planned for the second or when it's scheduled for release. I can, however, tell you that I will be ordering a copy to read as soon as it becomes available.

Five stars

Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Wednesday, May 09, 2018 at 00:22:00

Jennifer

Thanks for the review! I didn't know about this book, but it sounds like something worth checking out.



Comment #2: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 21:41:00

Pussreboots

It is. It's short and fun.