Middle Grade Madness | The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano


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I’m excited to share my thoughts on The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano. But first, read a little bit about the book —

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I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Middle Grade Madness | The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefanoThe Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 13th, 2016
Genres: Middle Grade, Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: The Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.

Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.

Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.


What’s it About?

Best friends Lionel & Marybeth must find answers and stop the mysterious “bluefox,”, as they call it, from taking over Maybeth permanently.

Why did I pick it up?

I really like Lauren’s writing, and when I saw The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart for review, it just called to me. I’ve been trying to expand my MG reads. It didn’t realize at first it had more of a paranormal flare but I quite enjoyed it!

Describe the book in 5 words

Beautiful. Haunting. Sad. Loving. Creepy.

Who was your favorite character, and why?

I adored both Lionel & Marybeth, but Lionel’s fierce protectiveness and love for Marybeth was one of my favorite parts of the book. He did things out of his own comfort zone to help her and did remarkable things to find out what was happening to her.

Who would LOVE The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart?

I do feel that The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart may appeal to older readers of the genre, even though the characters are on the younger side, being 9. It was dark, and sad at times, but it’s written so well. It will raise questions by younger readers, and I think that’s a great thing!

Are there Illustrations? 

The chapter headers have lovely drawings of leaves and they progress as the chapters continue.

Overall thoughts

I quite liked it! Lauren’s writing is beautiful and haunting, and she tells this story well. This isn’t her first middle grade, and I will for sure pick up her first one. I highly recommend it!



Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart? If so, what did you think? 
  • If not, does it sound like something you’d enjoy?


6 thoughts on “Middle Grade Madness | The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

  1. Cheryl

    I got an arc of this at TLA in Houston last April, and it’s been sitting in a box, then on a shelf. I picked it up the other day because I needed a new read aloud for my 3rd graders. They are LOVING it–they fuss everytime I have to shut the book (after all, we must make it to lunch on time!). I am also getting quite a glimpse as to how many of my students can’t take the given clues to make a good prediction! HA!! Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out–we’re at the part where she met up with Reginald chopping wood and then she runs off from Ms. Mannerd the next morning…

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