Thursday, February 22, 2024

Today's read... The Backyard Kids: Snowed In by Regina Oakes

The kids headed north (road trip!) this last weekend to discover the slopes, and for all but one of them, the first time snowboarding down the hills. While there isn't any sign of snow here on the farm, their pictures had me snow dreaming. That made today's read a great grab for the week.

This is part of a series about a group of friends and should be written in a somewhat journal form (?) I'm excited to see how it's put together and meet this smiley bunch. So, grab those gloves and scarves because we're heading into a wintery adventure.

by Regina Oakes
Illustrated by Danielle Devine
Middle Grade Contemporary
203 pages
ages 8 to 12

The Backyard Kids are at it again with another thrilling adventure. This time they find themselves on an unforgettable and snowy quest. The kids stumble upon a mysterious time capsule that takes them on a scavenger hunt through the City of Somerville. Who buried the time capsule? Where is the scavenger hunt leading them? Is there really a reward at the end? AND why does one clue lead them to a place no person has ever gone before? Find all the answers (and more) in their TOP secret journal.

With this group of friends, life is guaranteed to be tons of fun.
A 120-question math test marks the next torture arranged by the school, but then, the Backyard Kids don't expect anything else, thanks to the evil principal waiting to drag them to the dungeon...umm office. Luckily, a huge snowstorm hits and shuts down the school for an entire week. Determined to see each other, they shovel snow paths between their houses (tons of work) but discover a strange box along the way. Inside is a surprise, which sends them on a scavenger hunt...which might mean the best snow closure ever.
This is written in a journal format, in which each character writes their perspective and thoughts. It makes for a fun read with personality galore, since each personality is so different from the other. Add the illustrations, and it's a read that even reluctant readers won't shy away from. It's quick, fun, and invites in.
The predicament is one that many readers would enjoy finding themselves in...well, outside of the massive amount of shoveling the kids do and the evil principal. Snow-dreams hit with the huge storm and set a great scene for the following adventure. The secrets of the box and the hunt, which ensues, might be a classic plot direction, but it works well and adds some unexpected twists along the way. 
While friendship, obviously, rings true in these pages, the journal style with the different voices brings each character to life. It's fun to root for them every step of the way and wish to jump right into the fun, too. It will be exciting to see what this gang has planned next.

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