Welcome to Camden Falls (Main Street) by Ann M. Martin

When I was in elementary school, I was slightly obsessed with the Babysitter’s Club books. Later in life, I was shocked to discover that many of the later books had been ghostwritten and were not products of Ann M. Martin. This shocked and dismayed me, because I used to list her as a favorite author and I worried that maybe she wasn’t real after all, and all those books were just hired out to ghostwriters. I was very happy to learn that Ann M. Martin is very real, and was even happier to see that she has a new series out.

Welcome To Camden Falls (Main Street) has been on my TBR pile for a while, but something kept bumping it to the bottom. The 48 Book Challenge was the perfect chance to read it.

Flora and Ruby are recently orphaned and must move to Camden Falls, Massachusetts to live with their grandmother, Min. Both girls are still struggling to deal with the death of the parents and the move is not easy for them. However, Camden Falls is a quaint little town and they realize that they can make a life there. Even better, they slowly begin to connect to their mother’s life in Camden Falls, back when she was a child.

Parts of the story are a bit contrived. I am not a fan of books that employ small towns full of quirky characters. However, Camden Falls is loosely based on Princeton, NJ (one of my FAVORITE places in the world), and I could see bits and pieces of Princeton throughout the book. Welcome To Camden Falls (Main Street) is an enjoyable read, and I imagine the series is quite cute. This book would be perfect for middle grade readers, just like The Babysitters Club was perfect for me in elementary school.

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- 314 pages
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson- 250 pages
Welcome To Camden Falls (Main Street) by Ann M. Martin- 174 pages


Total Pages Read- 2838
Total Time Reading- 17 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 13

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson has long been one of my favorite authors. I read “Speak” when I was in 6th grade, and I have been devouring her books ever since.

Twisted is the story of Tyler, the loser his entire life. He was always made fun of and always picked on- that kid in high school that isn’t the biggest nerd, but definitely not a jock. When he decided he wanted to prove how cool he could be, he designed what he thought was a safe but memorable prank. But when pulling off the prank led to him getting arrested, he never expected what would happen next. Who would have thought that all those hours of community service would make him look like the Incredible Hulk instead of an incredible dweeb? But people are noticing. Some of them are embracing his new personality, but it seems like others hate him even more then they did before. But isn’t that what happens in high school?

This book had me teary-eyed at the end and on the edge of my seat during the climax. Tyler is everykid- every kid who is picked on, miserable, treated like garbage, and still tries to do the right thing. He isn’t your stereotypical teen, and I loved that. He is sweet, moral, but also confused. And his father doesn’ t make his life any easier.

A fantastic novel, though I expect no less from Anderson.

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- 314 pages
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson- 250 pages


Total Pages Read- 2664
Total Time Reading- 16 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 12

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

I am a little late reviewing this one. But I figured I could get in some of the Newbery winners that I missed over the years, and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale was my first choice.

I admit it- I always assumed Princess Academy was another one of the “princessy-fairy tales-giggling girls” books. Boy, was I ever wrong! A small mountain village, whose only export is the stones they mine from their quarry is chosen by the Chief Priests as the place the young Prince will find his bride. Thus, a Princess Academy is built and run by a seemingly miserable woman. All the girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are taken from the village to live at the Academy where they are trained for a year to learn the ways of a Princess. Some of the girls are dying to become the princess and leave their miserable mountain while others are dying to escape and live their lives of freedom on their beautiful mountain.

I don’t think a simple summary can do this book justice (which is part of the reason I was never convinced to read this before- it seemed blah). Any summary will include spoilers of the small twists and turns that make this book magical. All I can say is I loved it, and I completely understand the medal on its cover!

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- 314 pages


Total Pages Read- 2414
Total Time Reading- 14.5 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 11

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise is a multigenre book told through letters, memos, newspaper articles, and other forms of correspondence. NJ included Regarding the Fountain (Regarding the…) as a Battle Book this year, so I was already familiar with the cast of characters- Principal Walter Russ, Florence Waters, the townspeople, and the middle schoolers.

In this adventure, Principal Russ is hosting the SPA conference for principals at Geyser Creek Middle School. His problem? The bathrooms in the basement are gross! He enlists the help of the amazing Florence Waters once again, while the students are involved in various summer school initiatives. Criminal cases are solved by the students, the newspaper is being run by a student, and convicts break out of jail! Puns and potty humor abound, while Klise also includes plenty of historical information about baths and bathrooms, from Ancient Greece and Rome.

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