3 stars: I liked it.
The thing is, middle grade has come a LONG way since I was a kid. The books that were the best there was back then often aren’t as good as the average book being published nowadays. There’s just so much excellent stuff being published in this century. I think Harry Potter changed the game permanently, in a good way.
So yeah, this was good. But if you’re not giving your kids more recent MG, you’re doing them a disservice. (And no, I’m not talking about Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)