About Janie

Author Archive | Janie

Through Middle-Eastern Eyes: I Am Malala and Hidden Girl

Two real-life memoirs of girls living in a turbulent time and place: Hidden Girl: the True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave, by Shyima Hall, with Lisa Wysocky. Simon & Shuster, 2014, 232 pages.  Age/interest level: 12-up When we are young, it is often the emotion of an experience that stays with us the longest. […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

On the Blue Comet

Caution: This book was moved from our Summer Reading Challenge because of profanity.  Please note we do not recommend it for young readers for that reason.  (For more info on how it came to be on our Summer Reading List in the first place, see Janie’s explanation.) On the Blue Comet, by Rosemary Wells. Candlewick, […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

SRC, Week 6: Spy for the Night Riders

Other Summer Reading Challenge posts: Introduction, Week One: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.  Week Two: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional.  Week Three: off Week Four: 1) Kids. 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Five: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Six: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Welcome to Week 6!  Time doth fly […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Happy Fourth!

This year marks the bicentennial of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was written after the author witnessed the battle of Ft. McHenry from the hold of a British warship. That happened in September 1814, and we’ll be looking for some good books on the subject to review early this fall. In the meantime, […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

SRC Blue Comet: Problems and Alternate Suggestion

**Please note: We’ve added an alternate reading option for this week.  Spy for the Night Riders: Martin Luther (Trailblazer Books #3)by Dave and Neta Jackson.  If you have already bought the book, we’d recommend either reading it aloud so a parent can edit the bad language or using a Sharpie to “delete” it. Return with me, please, […]

Read full story · Comments { 5 }

Summer Tales

Two middle-grade summertime stories, both by Newberry-winning authors: Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord. Scholastic, 2014, 218 pages. Age/interest level: 10-14 Lucy is used to moving—it’s her third time in 12 years. This time, her photographer dad and computer-programmer mom have moved to a New Hampshire lake mostly populated with summer people, so the friends […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Ice and Jungle–New Middle-Grade Adventure

Ice Dogs, by Terry Lynn Johnson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 279 pages. Age/interest level: 12-16. It’s the call of the wild—Victoria Secord loves her 16 dogs and her life in Alaska, where everything was perfect until the accident that took her father. Dad taught her everything she knows about mushing and wilderness survival, but Mom […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

It’s Summertime! Let’s Learn Something!

While we’re gearing up for our summer reading challenge (still time to sign up!) the kids may be looking around for something to read. Fiction comes to mind—what a great time to catch up with Percy Jackson or Greg Heffley! Or not. Though lighthearted fantasy or humor seems right for summer, don’t neglect nonfiction. Kids […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Digging in the Dirt

Due to the loooong winter experienced by those of us in the Midwest and eastern United State, we’ve been slow to get our garden in. Also a bit tardy to look around and notice the new gardening books that always start popping up in March. But better late than never: here’s one nice addition to […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Gifts for Grads, 3rd Edition

If you have a high school or college graduate, you’re thinking about how fast time flies and how bittersweet the occasion of this very special young adult stretching his or her wings and flying out into the world. We think of all the things we should have told them and all the time that might […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Thinking Christianly–about Everything

Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series, by various authors. Crossway, 2012-2016, 110-140 pages each. Age/interest level: 16-up. This fall, bright, committed Christian students will pack their Bibles and drive blissfully away to secular college campuses. They know their Bible, but if they don’t know how to relate the Bible and Christian thought to the subjects […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }