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A Scary Story

The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet, 2014, 350 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (age 10 and up) Teenage Mollie and her little brother Kip are on the road at a very inauspicious time and place—mid-nineteenth-century Ireland. Their parents have sailed for America, intending to send for them when they […]

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The Castle Behind Thorns

The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2014, 341 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 5 (ages 11 and up) Sand awoke curled in the ashes of a great fireplace. He doesn’t even remember falling asleep, and his surroundings give him no clue how he got here—wherever “here” may be. As […]

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Achoo! Bang! Crash!: The Noisy Alphabet

Achoo! Bang! Crash!: The Noisy Alphabet by Ross MacDonald. Neal Porter Books, 2003. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (Ages 4-8) This riotous book is full of noisy words! Onomatopoeia comprises the entire text, making this a perfect read-aloud (and read with) choice for kindergarten and early elementary students. MacDonald’s illustrations […]

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Count on the Subway

Count On the Subway by Paul Dobois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Knopf, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-4 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) Bright, colorful illustrations help young listeners count with a little girl and her mom as they walk to the subway, board the train, ride to […]

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What in the World?: Fun-Tastic Puzzles for Curious Minds

What in the World?: Fun-Tastic Puzzles for Curious Minds by Julie Vosburgh Agnone. National Geographic Society, 2014. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) Reminiscent of I Spy books, What in the World? is exactly what its subtitle says it is: fun puzzles for curious minds. Patterns from the natural world, […]

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Fall Book Lists! Books to Lighten Your Kids’ Book Bags.

Are your kids’ book bags feeling heavy this fall?  How bout a few enjoyable reads to lighten the load? Thanks to each of the Redeemedreader writers who helped me put this list together!  We very much hope you and your kids will appreciate this short list of fun yet faith-friendly backpack additions. Picture Books (Ages […]

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The Finisher

The Finisher by David Baldacci.  Scholastic,  2014, 497 pages.   Reading level: Young Adults, 15-18 Maturity level: 6 What do you get when you blend a medieval town with a bit of magic and science fiction, then add a small dose of dystopian bleakness?  A place like Wormwood.  Vega Jane is a teenage inhabitant of […]

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I Kill the Mockingbird

I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora. Roaring Brook Press, 2014, 177 pages. Reading level: Middle grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up Lucy and her friends Elena and Michael are cemented by the lasting ties of book-fandom. They all love books, but not necessarily the same ones. Michael, for instance, has […]

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Zane and the Hurricane

Zane and the Hurricane: a Story of Katrina, by Rodman Philbrick. Scholastic, 2014, 181 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 4 Zane does not want to spend a couple of weeks in New Orleans—Smellyville, he dubs it—but his mom has just discovered an almost-relative of his late father there and insists he […]

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Almost Super

Almost Super, by Marion Jensen. Harper, 2014, 251 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Every four years, on February 29, the Baileys of Split Rock gather for the adolescent members (12 and older) to receive their specials powers. It always happens at 4:23 p.m.: a flash of light, and […]

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This Plus That by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. Harper, 2011. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Book, Ages 4-8 Maturity Level: same Rosenthal has a knack for creating a twist on an educational subject and applying it to real life. In this deceptively simple book, various elements of life are […]

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