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Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! by Mem Fox

Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! by Mem Fox, illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist. Beach Lane Books, 2013. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) Little children love rhymes and repetition and hiding games like peekaboo and “I spy.” In a rare combination of all these elements, Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! has irresistible charm. Young children will […]

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*Rise by Trip Lee

Listen to Emily’s audio review of Rise…coming soon! *Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story by Trip Lee.  Thomas Nelson, 2014.  240 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up Bottom Line: Trip Lee’s Rise is a gospel-based, conversational book set to a hip-hop album soundtrack in which Lee challenges young adults to rise above low […]

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Hi, Koo! by Jon Muth

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon Muth. Scholastic, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-8 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) and up It is hard to describe a book that is simultaneously an alphabet book, an exploration of the haiku form, a beautiful collection of watercolor paintings, and the story of a playful […]

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Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky and Trina Schart Hyman

Winter Poems selected by Barbara Rogasky and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Scholastic, 1994. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books (ages 4-10) Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up So many books about winter feature Christmas, New Year’s, or other “special days.” Rogasky and Hyman teamed up to create a collection of poetry that simply celebrates winter. […]

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*Firefly July by Paul Janeczko and Melissa Sweet

*Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Candlewick, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-8 Maturity Level: 1, 2 (ages 0-8) Janeczko’s 36 short poetry selections coupled with Sweet’s bright, boldly colored illustrations will delight young children who instinctively enjoy the rhythm of poetry […]

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The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm. Random House, 2014. 208 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) Bottom Line: A quirky, fun, “science-y” middle grades read about the meaning and importance of life; the stars of the show are 11-year-old Ellie and her grandfather who just happens to be […]

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Arcady’s Goal by Eugene Yelchin

Arcady’s Goal by Eugene Yelchin. Henry Holt, 2014. 234 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) and up Bottom Line: Arcady’s Goal exposes the fear and bleakness of Stalinist Russia through the eyes of a 10-year-old soccer prodigy. Arcady is routinely called a “criminal” by his keepers though he has […]

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Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Revolution by Deborah Wiles (#2 in The Sixties Trilogy). Scholastic, 2014. 485 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 4 (12-15) and up Bottom Line: Revolution uses media clips and an engaging story to introduce middle grade readers to the tumultuous sixties, focusing on the struggle for civil rights. This is the second […]

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The Beatitudes by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Tim Ladwig. Eerdmans, 2009. 36 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up The idea of putting the familiar lines of the beatitudes to the African American struggle for civil rights is a worthy one. How many […]

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Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden

Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Abrams, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books (ages 0-8) Maturity Level: 1 (0-4) and up Beautiful Moon is a beautiful book illustrated by award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez. In it, a young boy is kept from sleeping by the brilliant full moon outside […]

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*Wise Words by Peter J. Leithart

Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring Proverbs to Life by Peter J. Leithart. Canon Press, 2003. 148 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up In I Kings, Solomon notably asked the Lord for wisdom as a little child about to assume his father David’s crown. Proverbs is filled with Solomon’s […]

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