Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

October 22, 2007

Millicent Min, Girl Genius

By Lisa Yee
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Millicent is a genius at age 11 and a complete misfit. She attends high school, belongs to several groups like Math Club and Chess Club, is taking her first college course over the summer, and doesn't have one friend to show for it. Her time is spent with her eccentric grandmother and her parents. But along with the summer college course, her parents sign her up to tutor Stanford Wong, her mortal enemy, and enroll her in a volleyball class. Stanford makes her crazy and volleyball is a disaster until she meets new girl in town, Emily. Emily doesn't know about Millicent's genius, and Millicent quickly deduces it would be better for her never to know. For the first time ever, Millicent is treated like a regular kid by a regular kid. When Emily meets Stanford and assumes that he is the one tutoring Millicent, they both decide to not shatter her illusions. Of course, illusions only last so long. What will happen when Emily finds out the truth? A fun story about learning how to be a friend, filled with humor. Readers will chuckle over how clueless a genius can really be when it comes to dealing with people. Fans of this one can follow it up with Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time and So Totally Emily Ebers.

Wing Nut

By MJ Auch
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Grady loves reading and cars, but he doesn't have much opportunity for either in his life. Since his father died, his mom Lila has taken them bouncing from one place to another, following one poor job after the other. When their car breaks down in a little nowhere town, the waitress at the local diner recommends a job as caretaker for an old man up at his farm. Although Charlie takes the pair on, he is prickly and cantankerous and Grady isn't sure they'll last a day. But then Charlie begins to warm up to their broken little family, letting Grady read books in his library, teaching him how to fix engines, and introducing him to the purple martin colony that nests at the farm every year. Grady likes reading and learning to be a mechanic, but spending a lot of time over a bunch of birds? That's just crazy. Regardless, Lila, Grady and Charlie begin to like and respect each other, and to like their arrangement. Then something happens which could destroy the first place that's felt like home in years. Can Grady make things right? This a nice little story about family, pride, forgiveness and home being where your heart is. Anyone who likes a story about some tough characters learning to give in a little bit will find this a good read.