Sometimes fans of a popular book DEMAND a sequel (see Origami Yoda, below), and sometimes the entire series is planned out from the beginning. Whether a series conclusion lives up to its promise is another story, but all of these sequels have their charms. Click on the highlighted title of the previous book to read […]
We’ve written about “middle-grade losers” before–those feckless, clueless fifth-and-sixth grader boys (exhibit A being The Wimpy Kid) so popular with boy readers of that age and younger. Here we try to balance the ledger with a couple of fifth- and sixth-graders who have a lot going for them, but just a few little problems appropriate […]
One ordinary Friday morning in January, a famous musician in disguise descended into the busy Metro station in Washington D.C.to share the glory of his music with an unsuspecting public. Joshua Bell, a virtuoso violinist, played his priceless instrument with skill and passion. Hardly anyone noticed in the rush. A few children gazed curiously while […]
Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2013, 226 pages. Age/interest level: 10-up. When our story begins, Tilda, age 13, has no interest in dragon-slaying; she just wants to write the definitive book on the subject. Or the definitive book about something. Due to a lame foot and a retiring personality, she’d just like […]
Tommysaurus Rex, by Doug TenNapel, Scholastic (Graphix), 2013, 238 pages. Age/interest level: 8-12. Ely’s best friend is a dog, which seems pretty normal except that Tommy (the dog) is his only friend. Ely’s parents worry about this, but worry takes a back seat when Tommy is hit by a car. To help Ely get his […]
Will in Scarlet, by Matthew Cody. Knopf, 20134, 272 pages. Age/interest level: 12-up. We’re introduced to William Shackley as a callow, nervous 14-year-old on his first real wolf hunt. He has expectations to live up to: heir apparent to the family estate while his father is away crusading with Richard the Lionheart, he’s spent most […]
The Year of Billy Miller, by Keven Henkes. Greenwillow, 2013, 229 pages. Age/interest level: 6-8. Kevin Henkes’ name on a book jacket automatically gets attention. No wonder: not only is he equally successful at writing and illustrating, he’s one of the very few children’s writer/illustrators to win both Newbery and Caldecott medals. And probably the […]
This is our last “buzz” post, but tomorrow Betsy and I are going to go out on a limb and make some predictions about the winner–maybe even name some titles that should be the winner. The Truth of Me, by Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins, 2013, 114 pages. Age/interest level: 8-14. Janie: Robert, the latest in a […]
I’ll admit it: I cracked up when I read Wimpy Kid. Clearly, my sense of humor is rather juvenile (or, maybe I’ve just spent a LOT of time around middle school kids). I still thought the kid was a jerk, though, and didn’t read any more in the series. I’m currently an intern in an elementary school […]
River Rats, by Leslie J. Wyatt. Royal Fireworks Press, 2013, 212 pages. Age/interest level: 10-14. Kenny Barton would be the first to admit he doesn’t have it too bad. A Missouri farm boy’s life in 1940 doesn’t lack for hard work and long days, but when the work is done adventure calls: fields and woods […]
Parents with avid readers often find themselves with a dilemma: after my child has read all the age-appropriate books, where do we go from here? Progression to the next reading level adds to the scramble at the bookstore or library. What author should I try next? How can I get my child interested in a […]
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- The Spiritual World of The Hobbit + Giveaway January 23, 2014
- Nurturing a young reader’s literary tastes January 9, 2014
- Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway) March 5, 2014
- Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1 March 7, 2014
- ALA Midwinter Conference Reflections January 30, 2014
- Melinda Speece: I visited Ukraine with a group called HopeHouse In...
- Cathy: Great list, thanks!...
- Mandi: My boys liked Henry & Mudge, Mr. Putter & ...
- Betsy: Exactly, John! That's a good description of the F...
- Janie: Heather: I can't explain the wording choices for ...
- Melinda Speece on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- Cathy on Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1
- Mandi on Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway)
- Betsy on Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1
- Janie on Sorting Out the Children’s Bible Market