Which Thelma Bee character are you? The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by Erin Petti

Which Thelma Bee character are you?

The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by Erin Petti

Thelma Cover 2_rgb


So…I thought The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee was going to be like a Lemony Snicket type book. Oh and with some science. And who doesn’t love science? But you know what? It didn’t seem like that at all to me! This fun middle grade novel felt like a touch of Dickens (Bleak House) or even that other one with the weird lady in the wedding dress? Coupled with Bill Nye Science Guy. Maybe with just a touch of Mr. Hooper from Sesame Street.

There’s so much to love about this book it’s difficult to know where to begin. My fave character, however, is Eugene. He would be the Mr Hooper character. I love Eugene’s sense of adventure and the fact that he makes super great hot chocolate.  I kinda dig his helmet too.  His ghost hunting helmet. Don’t know what that is? Read the book to find out!

Props to author Erin Petti for including some diversity in the book.  Her BFF Alexander is Native American, Eugene is Hispanic and peppers his conversation with Spanish words. He’s fun! Much more fun than mean old Mr Understone or as I call him Undersnoot; cause he’s always sneering at our heroine.

Check out the author, Erin Petti or check the book  out here.  It’s a great addition to your middle grade reader’s library.

Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

CYBILS Finalist: Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older

CYBILS Finalist: Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older

Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older


This lovely title was my personal favorite but sadly didn’t win the Cybils award. Don’t despair Daniel Jose Older, cuz it made it to the final round and that’s VERY impressive!

There is so much to love about Shadowshaper, and prolly DJO (Daniel, call me, you can be my new boo) so I’ll dive in.  Excellent diversity: black and latino characters, in and around Bed Stuy NYC. Smart characters, witty, personable, LGBT representation, hipsters, etc. fairly a-typical depiction of Hispanic teens. The kids in this story are smart and funny and their very quick one liners kept me in stitches.  They SLAY!

The Shadowshaper bit was an interesting twist. Some people can see these supernatural ghost type creatures and make them bend to their will, in a good way. So there’s some kind of revolution going on in this ghost world and it manifests in the artwork around the neighborhood. Our heroine is an artist and I think most of her friends are artsy in some sort of way? And so when the art starts crying and disappearing (I know right?) the kids need to figure out what’s going on.

There are dark family secrets and dying grandfathers with coded messages and danger. Lots of weird supernatural danger.

It’s all good.

Even though this title didn’t win the Cybils Award it’s still a great read for kids who want to see more people of color.  Given that the protagonists are African American and Latino American this title will also count toward the Diversity Reading Challenge for its diversity!