MOTLEY EDUCATION for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Congrats to Amanda at A Bookshelf Monstrosity,the winner of a $25 Starbucks gift card in my Golden Cup Year End Celebration Giveaway. Amanda is a librarian and provides a wide variety of reviews on her site.

Now, on to this weeks feature…

I gravitated toward MOTLEY EDUCATION first by the unique title and then by the motleyeducintriguing and creepy cover design. Sixth grade at Motley Junior High brings more than just the 3 R’s. There’s mystery, ghostly spirits, and a great pairing of two memorable characters, Ebony and Fleishman.

The story moves along at a perfect pace. Doses of humor and many plot twists keep the pages turning. The world building in this fantasy is excellent, and you’ll feel like you are right in the middle of the action.

There’s series potential as Ebony Charmed still has much to learn as her importance in the grand scheme is very evident. I’m looking forward to the next chapter!


FULL PLOT (From LEAP BOOKS) Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire afterlife alive.

Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially Gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad’s moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.

When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures & Relics’ project goes missing she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world.

Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans…including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.


  1. Fantasy worlds always boggle me with their new words. I was happy to receive a little help before the story began with a welcome Mythical Terms and Creatures section. There’s also more facts in the back along with a quiz to see what role you would play at the school–a Luminary or a Sensory.
  2. Norse mythology is a super backdrop to the action. It made me want to learn more about this body of mythology.
  3. The creatures are fierce but not too scary. They’re unique and ones you’ll still be happy to keep in the book and not behind one of your doors.
  4. The Terms for Enrollment form at the beginning of the story is full of funny lines like “Conjuring spells or energy to get rid of a sibling is strictly prohibited.”
  5. The imagination that went into the construction of the plot is superb. You’ll remember Ebony’s tale long after reading.

FAVORITE LINESThe remainder of the front door shook, and the eccentric door handle rattled with more noise than Ebony thought possible. One piece of the vase rolled toward the bottom of the staircase. The center of the door bloated like the belly of a plump pig.

AUTHOR QUOTE:  I’m a dreamer by nature. I’ve always loved make believe and how it can apply to real life. Being a movie buff as a tween/teen, I used to deconstruct films scene by scene and then add my preferences or touches. Life moved on, and I married. My love for storytelling gained new breath, when I had my kids. They grew and kept me more than busy. But about four years ago, I decided it was time to do more. Thus – the birth to becoming an author was born. (From S.A. Larson’s website)


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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8 Responses to MOTLEY EDUCATION for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. So excited for Sheri’s book release. She’s worked so hard to get here. And glad you liked this. I love the Norse mythology connection.

  2. This book sounds great! I’m trying to read more fantasy books. Thanks for the review!

  3. I enjoyed your enthusiasm for a Motley Education and your review. This fantasy world sounds like it has been exceptionally executed. Like the Norse mythology connection with fierce creatures.

  4. Congrats to Sheri! I’ve followed her blog for quite a while. Good world building is difficult to pull off (at least for me, which is why I write realistic fiction!) and it sounds from your excellent review as if Sheri’s done a masterful job. Love the line from the school Terms: “Conjuring spells or energy to get rid of a sibling is strictly prohibited.” Fantasy AND humor. Nice.

  5. Well, this sounds downright creepy! That should garner a lot of readers in the middle-grade set. Thanks for telling me about this one. I know some people who need to hear about this book.

  6. Denise Pyra says:

    This sounds great. My son would love it for sure. Thanks for telling be about the story.

  7. I just saw this, Greg! I’m not sure if I’m more thrilled that you enjoyed Ebony and Fleishman’s story or that you’re looking forward to the next book in the series. Humbled, I am … as Yoda would say. Truly. I’m currently writing book II and it’s so much fun. Can’t wait to share. Think Sleeping Beauty crossing paths with Sleepy Hollow. 😉

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