Andreas Steinhöfel: The Pasta Detectives (Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten, originally published by Carlsen Verlag GmbH 2008)
The author has already published about twenty middle grade and young adult books, several of which have become recommended readings in the schools in his home country, Germany. His works have already been translated into several languages, and he presents himself with this story in Hungarian, with which he won the German Children’s Literature Prize in 2008 in addition to several honorable recognitions. Rico is a nice boy, there’s nothing wrong with him, only sometimes things get a little tangled in his head so he can think much more slowly than the others. Oscar, on the other hand, is a gifted kid, but has no friends and wears a helmet on his head. The two children make friends, but Oscar is kidnapped, and Rico decides to free him. Very, very good book! I read it last year, then it became my favorite book of the year.
Jacqueline Harvey: Alice-Miranda series (Penguin Books Australia)
The Australian writer is the author of several successful middle grade series, she previously has taught in a boarding school herself. We all know the protagonists who get into trouble with their every move throughout their history. Alice-Miranda is not like that. She is a phenomenal seven-year-old girl who enrolls herself in a boarding school called the Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies to conquer everyone there with her kindness. Very cute book. For younger ones (and bigger ones also) it promises perfect summer relaxation. The 20th volume will be published this year.
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman: Book Scavenger (Henry Holt & Company 2015)
The novels take place in San Francisco, the author’s hometown. The depiction of the city is accurate and interesting, but not intrusive, it does not distract attention from the plot. The protagonist of the story is Emily, who must move constantly as her parents aim to live in every state in the US. If so, at least Emily can get involved in her favorite game, Book Scavanger, in another city. By the way, this game has since been available at https://bookscavenger.com/. I liked the book so much that I thought how good it would be if it were a series and it turned out to be a series indeed. The second and third volume were published already, and they were really good as well.