Book Review: Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas – A Heartfelt Summer Read about STEM-Girl Power, Cats, and Having Faith in Yourself

sir fig newton and the science of persistence by sonja thomas. reviewed by cw, the quiet pond
Blurb:

From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this heartfelt middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.

Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.

Mira’s beloved cat, Sir Fig Newton, has been the most stable thing in her life lately, but now he seems off, too. With her phone gone and no internet over the weekend at her strict Gran’s house, Mira must research Fig’s symptoms the old-fashioned way: at the library. She determines that he has “the silent cat killer” diabetes. A visit to the vet confirms her diagnosis, but that one appointment stretched family funds to the limit—they’ll never be able to afford cat insulin shots.

When Mira’s parents tell her they may have to give Fig up to people who can afford his treatment, Mira insists she can earn the $2,000 needed within a month. Armed with ingenuity, determination, and one surprising ally, can Mira save her best (four-legged) friend before it’s too late?

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Young readers who love science and cats will adore Sonja Thomas’s middle-grade novel, Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence. This heartfelt story follows Mira, a young science-loving Black biracial girl and aspiring astronomer, and her rollercoaster summer of changing friendships, her beloved cat’s “silent cat killer” diagnosis, and the implications this has on her family.

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Blog Update: The Quiet Pond will Close in Three Months

To my dearest friends of the Pond,

Hello, it’s CW here. 💛 I hope all of you are doing well and are taking care in these strange and uncertain times.

Since October 2018, The Quiet Pond has been my labour of my love, a place where all my love for books, reading, and blogging reside. Running The Quiet Pond has been a very fulfilling endeavour; I’ve discovered so many wonderful books and I’ve had the opportunity to work and connect with some truly fantastic authors. I’ve made lifelong friends and connections, and I am grateful that my paths with some truly remarkable human beings have intersected with mine because of book blogging. I have genuinely loved everything that I have done with The Quiet Pond and I am so, so proud of the work that I did and the things I have created.

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Book Review: One for All by Lillie Lainoff – Mystery, Musketeers, and Sisterhood Coalesce in this Affirming Gender-Bent The Three Musketeers Retelling

Blurb:

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.

Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.

With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In this remarkable historical retelling of The Three Musketeers, Lillie Lainoff’s debut One for All promises mystery, action, stabby girls, and a phenomenal story with a disabled protagonist who proves that strength comes in many forms. Set in 1650’s France, One for All follows Tania de Batz, a chronically ill girl and daughter of a former Musketeer. When her father is mysteriously and brutally murdered, Tania is whisked off to Paris at his bequest – but what everyone believes to be a finishing school is actually a secret training ground for girl Musketeers.

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Black History Month – An Interview with Aislinn Brophy, Author of How to Succeed in Witchcraft; On Crafting a Magical Alternate Reality, Theater, and Their Queer Enemies-to-Lovers Witches

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

If you have been craving a story in a magical alternate reality, with a queer enemies-to-lovers romance that also critiques how elite educational institutions can oppress BIPOC and poor students? Oh, and the main character is a witch? Then I’m super excited for you all to learn more about How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy, a story about a biracial teen witch who is confronted with a tough decision about risking the scholarship and future she’s worked so hard for by exposing a predator teacher.

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