Cover Image: Second Sleep

Second Sleep

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.
4/5 stars
This is such a cute middle grade novel! The story is similar to “Where’d You Go Bernadette” but written for a younger audience and I honestly enjoyed this book more. There are elements of Magic and a strong emphasis on friendship and family. The author did a great job of developing the characters. The book takes place in the normal world so there wasn’t too much world-building needed. I loved following along with the mystery while the MC solved the puzzle of his disappeared mother. I highly recommend this book.
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Got this free from NetGalley in order to review. It was pretty interesting and well-written, but I grew bored after they got to the cabin and my dislike of middle grade resurfaced. I really need to see if that tree pruning game was for real. It sounded cool. :)
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Second Sleep by Diane Stanley was such a touching story. Max and the gang are wonderful characters that middle grade readers can easily connect with and learn from: they are adventurous and fun, but still respectful of their elders and the rules.

I was very impressed with how the author made what almost amounts to a time travel/portal fiction story seem both plausible and dream-like. I also appreciated how she very cleverly worked around what could’ve been awkward/creepy ages differences for love interests. And I loved her explanation of “second sleep,” and how she even explained its historical significance in middle grade terms. It was very enjoyable to get lost in Max’s story.

This is one I would most definitely recommend for middle grade readers. I listened to the audiobook voice galley and would love to listen to the final production. It was all that the blurb promised it to be: insightful, tender, thought-provoking, and more. 4 out of 5 stars. 🙂

Many thanks to HarperAudio and NetGalley for the voice galley of this story for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂
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Max and Rosie's mom has disappeared.  No on, least of all their dad, knows where she has gone.  This isn't typical for her and everyone is worried about what may have been so important that she had to disappear with very few details.

To help the kids get their mind off the mystery the kids grandmother, Mozelle, takes them up to their old family cabin which she needs to clear out before developers come and knock it down.  As a city kid, Max is unprepared for life without his phone and wi-fi, let alone electricity.  When he has to fall asleep early he finds there is something magical about the cabin and finds himself transported to a fun lake-side location with new kids to make friends with.  As Max discovers the secrets of the lake he also starts finding new ideas for how he may be able to help solve his mother's disappearance.

While reading this book you definitely need to keep in mind that it is a middle grade read.  If you go in expecting an adult or even a YA book you will be disappointed.  At times I felt myself critical of the mystery and the resolution process but when you remember the intended audience and take this book at its level it has a good message and is a good overall story.
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I started listening to this while I was reading another book that took place in summer, with unknown things about a parent, and a magical realism in it. I decided I needed to put this on hold and come back to it later so I wouldn't get the two books confused. I enjoyed this book so much better than the other one.

When Max's mom doesn't return home or return any phone calls his family is unsure what happened to her. When Max finds her cell phone hidden in a drawer he comes really worried about what is going on with her. The only clue she left behind is that she had to leave to help an old friend and can't say more.

Max's grandmother takes him and his sister, Rosie, to a cabin she owns to help her pack it up before it's demolished. She's hoping this will be the perfect distraction for Max and Rosie while their dad tries to find out where their mom is.

At first Max thinks time is going to move slowly since their isn't any internet and his cell phone is dead. How will he pass all this free time he has and stop worrying about his mom? Before long Max discovers something special about this cabin that allows children to have a "second sleep". During second sleep kids meet other kids in their dreams even kids from different time periods.

That's the plot. As for my thoughts, hmm. I'm not a fan of time travel in anything because I feel like there are always errors with timelines and then books/movies/tv shows can change anything they want based on a disruption in the paradox or a different version of a person doing something. Not a fan. So while this wasn't time travel per say, it was close enough. I feel like some of the events could have worked, but I feel like for as long as this has been going on, there would be some major disruptions in time. Also, they mention that kids eventually out grow the second sleep. It's never really explained how this happens and it's confusing since the kids are from different periods of time. They've since grown into adults, but yet a part of them is still there in present day? I didn't follow all of that.

The dialog in this book made me laugh out loud at times. Not because it was supposed to be funny, but because it was so awkward. It didn't feel like a real conversation between kids and their parents. Too informal perhaps? I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but I didn't find it believable and it made for the worst parts of the book.

Overall, I did enjoy the story. A few things could have been better and the way the second sleep works isn't my cup of tea, but overall that didn't distract from the story so I still enjoyed it.
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This magical realism story was it take on dreaming that I've never read before. The main character Max reminded me a lot of my nephew. He's very logical in a magical world. I enjoyed the mystery of his missing mom. I could picture myself at the cabin playing in the woods with the other characters in the book. I enjoyed the friendship that Max made with the other children and I loved the relationship between Max and his sister. The grandmother also was a great character. I can't wait until this book comes out and I can listen to the audiobook. If you like middle grade books with a little bit of a mystery, a little bit of magic, and friendships I would recommend reading this book.

ARC was kindly provided by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
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When Max’s mom doesn’t come home as expected, his grandmother convinces him to go with her to her cabin in the woods that she needs to pack up. Max and his sister Rosie discover the magic of the place when they have dreams together. As Max works to solve the mystery of his mom’s disappearance, both he and Rosie come to understand each other better. Max’s drawing and writing are an interesting facet of his character. 

Middle grade readers will connect with Max’s annoying younger sister and his worries about his missing mom. They will enjoy suspending their beliefs about dreaming and perhaps try for a second sleep of their own. I will enjoy recommending this book to my middle schoolers and will have a print copy in the library. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5 Stars — SECOND SLEEP is a very sweet middle grade book with an original magical premise that I enjoyed. When Max’s mother disappears, his grandmother takes him and younger sister Rosie to the family’s cabin by the lake, a special place where their mom spent her childhood summers. There Max and Rosie find themselves in an alternate dream world filled with kids who share a unique connection. Max soon realizes that his new friends may help him solve the mystery of his missing mother.

I think middle grade readers will have fun with the magical realism in this book. The dream world is never explained, it just is. I loved the friendships that were formed there, between kids that wouldn’t even know each other in the real world (you’ll find out why!).

There were two things that bothered me in this book. One was how formal the dialogue seemed, even with the younger characters. This may be in part because I listened to a synthetic voice galley, and the delivery made it seem stiff. Second was the story behind the mystery and a certain character’s decisions that made me so mad, though a young reader would probably see it differently. I’m glad Max was ultimately able to express his feelings about the situation.

SECOND SLEEP is a lovely story of friendship, dealing with unavoidable change, and holding onto childhood magic for as long as possible. It will leave readers with a lot to think about.
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I adored this quiet book about embracing change, the power of family, the wonder of friendship, and the magic of childhood. 

When Rosie and Max's mom goes missing, their grandmother gets the kids out of the city and takes them to help her pack up the cabin she's recently sold. With no internet and no electricity, Max is ready to leave before they even walk in the door. The place is old and now he has to look after his little sister too. But when sleep comes, there's a magic to be found and friends to meet. A trace of all the kids who've stayed on the lake in the past... as they once were, they return. Perhaps even a connection to his mother, and maybe just maybe a way to help. 

I loved the characters in this story more than anything else. Everyone grows and their journeys are beautiful. I love the quiet steady pace, the touch of magic that is timeless in childhood. This book was a perfect escape. Some of the logic leaps the characters make are a little big to swallow, but overall, I think this book will be adored and cherished by everyone who opens these pages.
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While I didn't love the narrator of the audio book, I LOVED the story. It was magical but still felt like it could really happen. The author made me believe the story was real and be captivated into the second sleep dream world. It included so many themes that would interest lower middle grade and upper elementary students. There were complex family dynamics, a close relationship with a grandmother, friendships and a young boy who was working to help his mom. In the midst of this magical story where children at a certain lake all go to a magical dream world that cross time lines, there was also real world issues like the environmental impact of new house developments and what is lost when they are build. There was also a great connection to ethics and there  are a lot of opportunities tie in nonfiction texts about whistle blowers, ethics, environment.
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I didn’t find the premise of the book that interesting, but was looking for something to listen to so decided to try it. I don’t regret my choice. I thought it was a sweet, original story. The “magical “element didn’t bother me, even though it was never explained. Some things in life are simply not explained. And, the target audience for the book, the upper elementary/lower middle school ages are still young enough to be able to suspend their sense of reality without question. So, I did too! 
What did bother me, however, is the email at the end. I really dislike books that use this cop out way of furthering or explaining plot. One of the mantras I use for writing in my classroom is “show me, don’t tell me.”  This author broke my rule.
Other than that, and a few loose ends here and there (Why does Rosie act like a 3 year old? Why wasn’t the dad worried when the mom disappeared? Why was a 12-year old the one one to question the random email sent by a stranger on behalf of the mom?) I enjoyed the story and am actually now quite fascinated by this idea of a “second sleep.” I wonder if getting into this habit could increase creativity or brain function? I might just have to try and find out for myself! 
Oh! And I’m DEFINITELY going to have wall space for my students to “graffiti” in my next classroom! 
The pure  innocence of the children, the lack of so much as a swearword, much less sex or any reference to it, and no references to violence or death make this a book that I could  unquestionably recommend to elementary school kids, or even have in a classroom library. 

I would probably have given it 3.5 stars if it was possible. It’s not quite a 4 for me. Also, I really hate the stupid AI voice and am curious as to what the final voice actor will sound like.
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