I'll admit I've been in a bit of a slump when it comes to middle grade reading. Maybe I've gotten pickier? Maybe I just haven't found the right books? But when I managed to snag an ARC of fellow-Austinite Nikki Loftin's debut novel, I started it and fell absolutely in love! And as it turns out, today is Nikki's release day, so please help me offer up congratulations for her and her amazing novel!
THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill , August 21, 2012)
Five quick things about THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY:
1) It's middle grade. And even though I've mentioned I've had a hard time recently finding books I love in this category, this one completely proved me wrong. The funniest thing is that about a year ago Nikki and I were having just this conversation...about how finding middle grade that really hooks the reader is hard. And Nikki said, "wait for my book."
I love that she was right!
2) It's a Hansel & Gretel retelling set in today's world. And with this retelling and the many references to food in the novel, I will be thinking about eating sticks of butter and crab shells forever. But in a good way :)
3) It's creepy and cool and clever and unique. Truly, this novel takes a story from ages ago, sets it in our world, not at a boarding school, with parents around and everything, and makes it such a treat to read.
4) Don't let the title scare you. It took me many a try to remember even what it was.
5) It's amazing! A fun read that will keep you turning pages until the very last minute! And late into the night. And while you are eeking out your last few days of summer at the pool. Grab this book. Read it. And then pass it on to kids you know!
I gobbled this one up just like the kids gobbled food in the story. And I loved every minute of it. Highly recommended for boys and girls (seriously, both will love it), third grade and up.
Source of book: From publisher by request
And for those in the Austin area, Nikki will be holding her release part this weekend!
WHAT: Release party for THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY
WHERE: BookPeople, Austin, TX
WHEN: Saturday, August 25th, 2012, 4:00 pm
“A mesmerizing read…a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new.”—Publishers Weekly
“A pinch of Grimm, a dash of Greek mythology and a heaping helping of fresh chills make for an irresistible contemporary fairy tale…Deliciously scary and satisfying.”--Kirkus
Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy--Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?
It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones--and might even pick them clean!
Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.