Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

dyamonde-daniel“Dyamonde liked even numbers. In fact, Dyamonde liked numbers, period.  Math made sense to her…Math was something you could always count on.  Well, mostly.

For a long time after her mom and dad got divorced, Dyamonde hated math because all she could see was subtraction.  Mom’s voice minus Dad’s.  Two for breakfast instead of three.  Monday night TV minus the football.  It just didn’t feel right, at first.  But things were a little better now.  Dyamonde plus her mom equaled two, and two was a nice even number and even numbers rule.”

Y’all, you are going to love Dyamonde Daniel.  She’s new in town, living in a different neighborhood than she did before her parents divorced, but she’s settling in lickety-split. She knows everybody in the neighborhood already!  Her big concern is Free, the new kid.  Why is he so grumpy?  Why does he say he can’t read when she knows very well that he can-in fact, she saw him reading on the playground?

Dyamonde’s determined to figure out Free.  She knows the little kids are scared of him, ’cause he seems so crabby, but she suspects that he’s not as grumpy as he looks.  They might even be friends!

Nikki Grimes has done it again-given us loveable, relatable, real-feeling characters with positive solutions to troubles they encounter.  Fans of Clementine, Junie B. Jones, and Babymouse should find a friend in Dyamonde.

If you liked this, why not try:

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs series by Crystal Allen

Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes

Sunny Holiday by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Nikki and Deja by Karen English

The Magical Animal Adoption Agency: Clover’s Luck by Kallie George

clover's luck“Going into the Woods to chase her bird was one thing.  Going to apply for a volunteer position was quite another.  Who would run an animal adoption agency in the Woods?  Weren’t beasties supposed to be the only creatures that lived here?”

Clover was supposed to be a lucky girl.  After all, isn’t her name the luckiest of names?  But all the charms and finger-crossing in the world can’t change things:  she’s actually terribly unlucky.  When her canary escapes, it’s just her luck that she flies into the forest, a forest that Clover has already heard is full of beasties.  But still, Penny was her bird, and Clover has to take care of her!  So she ventures into the woods after her flyaway pet, and discovers a place full of the most fantastic pets she has never heard of before.

When she sees a posted flyer seeking volunteers at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, Clover knows it’s the place for her.  She begins volunteering, and is soon feeding squashed flies to magical toads and trying to avoid being toasted by a baby dragon, who’s still learning to control his fiery breath.  When the owner of the agency is unexpectedly called away, Clover is left in charge of the magical animals.  There’s a lot to do! Not only do all the creatures need food and care, but she also has to make sure the people coming in to adopt her precious animals are good families who will treat the animals well.  When a sneaky witch almost spoils everything, Clover has to save the day-and she learns that she’s not as unlucky as she thought.

Fairy ponies! Baby dragons! Enchanted mood toads! It was enough to get me to review this book, even though it’s for an audience a bit younger than I typically review for.  This one’s for the under third-grade crowd, or those kids who can’t get enough glitter fairies.

If you like this one, why not try:

The Imaginary Veterinary #1: The Sasquatch Escape

Sarah’s Unicorn

The Candy Fairies Series

The Enchanted Files #1: Diary of a Mad Brownie