9781625509560. ea vol: (Red Rhino Books). illus. Saddleback. 2016. pap $7.95.
Gr 3–6—With genres spanning from realistic fiction to sci-fi, this middle grade series boasts compelling tale for those reading at a first grade level. In Blackout, Ellie, a social media—crazed girl who is visiting her grandparents for the week, discovers how to have fun without a smartphone after the power goes out. Stones tells the story of Jan, a young girl grieving the loss of her father, who is sent to an underground world filled with creatures called Cherts who need her help. In the action-packed sequel to Clan Castles, Jake and Kyle must beat the video game villain, Norja, again, only this time in the real world. In The Forever Boy, Bruno, a foster child who is thriving under the care of the Brown family, yearns for his forever home but does not want to get his hopes up. In the process, she learns to overcome her own pain.
VERDICT These fast-paced books feature doodle-style drawings on each page that will draw in reluctant readers.

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