New Middle-Grade Book: ELLIE ENGLE SAVES HERSELF Book Review
Today, I'm happy to be hosting a spot on ELLIE ENGLE SAVES HERSELF! by Leah Johnson and Disney-Hyperion Virtual Blog tour sponsored by Turn the Page Tours. Please find my review below and all the book details.
TITLE: Ellie Engle Saves Herself!
AUTHOR: Leah Johnson
RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2023
GENRES: MG Contemporary, magic, coming-of-age, LGBTQ+ BUY LINKS:
Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she’s alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock. Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend, Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.” To someone else, a life in the shadows might seem boring, or lonely. But not to Ellie. As long as she has Abby by her side and a comic book in her hand, she’s quite content.
Too bad life didn’t bother checking in with Ellie. Because when a freak earthquake hits her small town, Ellie wakes up with the power to bring anything back to life with just her touch. And when a video of her using her powers suddenly goes viral, Ellie’s life goes somewhere she never imagined—or wanted: straight into the spotlight.
Surviving middle school is hard enough. Surviving middle school when paparazzi are camped out on your front lawn and an international pop star wants you to use your powers on live TV and you might be in love with your best friend but she doesn’t know it?
I give ELLIE ENGLE SAVES HERSELF! ⭐⭐⭐⭐!
Ellie is getting ready to go to seventh grade but on the night before she goes on her first day of school, there's an earthquake that shakes the entire house. Which is unusual because she lives in the middle of Indiana. But after the earthquake, Ellie feels different, but can't explain why she feels different. As her day goes on strange things happen, she touches a dying plant and revives it, hears things from afar, and brings Burt the Betta Fish back to life! So what does she do, she goes to tell her best friend Abby.
Beautifully written, the author does a wonderful job setting up the story and introducing Ellie and Abby. We soon discover that Ellie doesn't like herself much due to her dad leaving her and her mother. Her mother is hardly around because she must work long hours as a single mom. Then her friend's family is the polar opposite of Elle's family. The Ortegas are loud with many children and always there.
So when Ellie gets her superpowers she begins to change and realizes she's important and she matters. I love the plot and premise but felt it took too long to set up the conflict and wished the author got there faster. Overall, this is a fun book and I feel many fifth, sixth, seventh, and maybe eighth graders would enjoy this story.
About the author:
Leah Johnson always wanted to be a superhero, but she became a writer instead, which she thinks is the next-best thing. Her best-selling debut novel, You Should See Me in a Crown, was a Stonewall Honor Book, the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA Pick, and named one of Time’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. Leah lives in Indianapolis, where she writes books about Black girls with big hearts, plays fetch with the best dog in the world, and talks about Miles Morales to anyone who will listen. Ellie Engle Saves Herself is her middle-grade debut.