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The Founding Fathers! by Jonah Winter

The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America, by Jonah Winter, Illustration by Barry Blitt. Atheneum, 2015. 40 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 7-12 Bottom Line: The Founding Fathers! profiles fourteen men who featured prominently in our country’s birth, using a generally fair but perhaps too […]

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*Gingerbread for Liberty! by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

*Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH Books, 2015. 32 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 While there’s more to it than simple cooking finesse, one German baker put his baking talents to heroic use during […]

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The Fog Diver by Joel Ross

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross. Harper, 2015. 323 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-16 Bottom Line: The Fog Diver imagines a dystopian world of Haves and Have-nots, with plucky heroes, a wealth of detail, and a dash of humor. Hundreds of years ago, mankind proposed to meet a crisis […]

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*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2009. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Stunning illustrations, a vast African savannah setting, and perfect pacing make this picture book a true delight. As is typical of Pinkney’s art, the story begins on the front endpapers with a sweeping panorama inspired by […]

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*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Vibrant, colorful water colors breathe new life into this familiar fable of the lazy grasshopper and industrious ants. Beginning with the front endpapers, illustrations tell of a lonely, proud, and lazy grasshopper […]

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The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2013. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Slow and Steady Wins the Race! Nearly wordless, this lively depiction of one of Aesop’s most famous fables starts right away on the front endpapers as the hare bounds over hills and the […]

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Woof by Spencer Quinn

Woof (a Bowser and Birdie Novel) by Spencer Quinn. Scholastic, 2015. 293 pages Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 9-13 Bottom Line: Bowser, a loveable mutt, gets to tell his own story about how he and his “off the charts” owner, Birdie, started their crime-solving partnership. Two humans stood outside my cage, […]

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Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson

Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson. Carolrhoda Lab, 2013. 320 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Recommended for: Ages 16 and up Bottom Line: In an engaging sci-fi thriller, one girl attempts to outrun her past while discovering her true identity. On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace. On […]

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Hammer of the Huguenots by Douglas Bond

Hammer of the Huguenots by Douglas Bond. P&R, 2015. 215 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10 and up Bottom Line: Douglas Bond’s latest fictional excursion into church history focuses on the struggles of the French Protestants during the mid-seventeenth century. Philippe had no idea when he apprenticed to the shipbuilder, […]

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*Anna Hibiscus Series by Atinuke

*Anna Hibiscus (series) by Atinuke. Walker Childrens and/or Kane Miller. 2010s. Reading Level: Chapter books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8, especially girls Bottom Line: An illustrated chapter book series set in contemporary Africa that celebrates large families, its childlike protagonist, and traditional values. Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa, Amazing Africa, with her African father, her Canadian […]

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Squelch Not the Series!

If you recognize names such as Jack and Annie or Patrick and Beth, know that mysteries can be ordered A to Z, or believe in Rainbow Fairies, then you likely have a child in second-fourth grade/aged 6-10. Series fiction exists for nearly every reading level, but it certainly reaches its peak during these significant elementary […]

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