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The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville

The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville. Knopf, 2015. 389 pages Reading Level: Young adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 12 and up (especially girls) Bottom Line: This clever fairy tale/Jane Austen mashup retells the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from the point of view of an ursine governess. Ursula Brown, an […]

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*Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke

*Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke. First Second, 2011 (to the present). ~200 pages Reading Level: Graphic novels, ages 8-12 Recommended For: Kids ages 6-12 Bottom Line: Zita the Spacegirl and her intrepid friends battle the forces of evil in extra terrestrial dimensions in this lively graphic novel series. Zita the Spacegirl is an accidental […]

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The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan & John Park Davis

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis, illustrated by Todd Harris. Little, Brown, 2014. 433 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: The Map to Everywhere offers an action-packed fantasy quest in which protagonists must find and assemble the pieces of a map. Fin, formerly […]

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*The Imagination Station (Series) by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker

*The Imagination Station Series by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker. Focus on the Family, 2011-present. 130 pages each. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 8-10 Recommended For: Ages 6-10 Bottom Line: More than simply a “Christian version” of the popular Magic Treehouse books, the Imagination Station books are a solid chapter book time travel series. Mr. Whitaker is the proprietor […]

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Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd Jones and David McPhail

Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by David McPhail. Zonderkidz, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 A little bunny explores his world through changing seasons, sharing his exuberant observations with his affectionate parents. As winter arrives, he mourns the world that seems to be dying. Fearful of changes and very […]

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The Well-Gifted Grad

Our favorite graduation gift is, of course, books—whether timely, practical, inspirational, or scholarly. We would never recommend sending a young person off to college (or even out the door to start a career) without some heart-and-head grounding in the essentials of the faith. Ideally, most of this takes place before graduation day, in ordinary conversation […]

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Story Thieves by James Riley

Story Thieves by James Riley. Simon & Shuster (Aladdin), 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: This action-packed fantasy-within-a-fantasy puts characters into their favorite stories, but also raises questions about authorship, fate, magic, and science. The only excitement Owen has in his life is breathlessly following each […]

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*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell. Candlewick, 2014. 50 pages. Reading Level: Easy Readers, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Age 4-8 Rabbit’s friend Robot is coming for a sleepover, and Rabbit has plans: make pizza, watch TV, play “Go Fish,” and go to bed. Instead of being annoyed with Rabbit’s demands that his list […]

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Good Night, Knight by Betsy Lewin

Good Night, Knight by Betsy Lewin. Holiday House, 2015. 24 pages. Reading Level: Easy Readers, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Knight and his faithful Horse go on a quest to find the golden cookies that were in Knight’s dream. After looking high and low with perseverance, at last they are successful. Then Horse dreams […]

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*Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcy

*Finding Truth: Five Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey. David C. Cook, 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 15-18 Recommended for: ages 16-up Bottom Line: Finding Truth offers a way for older teens to examine the presuppositions and errors of the intellectual culture around them and strengthen […]

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A Pet for Fly Guy (Fly Guy Series) by Tedd Arnold

A Pet for Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. Orchard Books, 2014. 32 pages.  Reading Level: Early Reader, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8, especially boys The Fly Guy series is a must see for new readers, particularly boys. Arnold takes the “quirky pet” early reader theme (a la Danny and the Dinosaur or Henry and Mudge) a step […]

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