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The Scavengers by Michael Perry

The Scavengers by Michael Perry. Harper, 2014, 322 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages10-12) and up One-line Summary: The Scavengers is middle-grade dystopian fiction with a warm heart and laughs scattered among the thrills. Maggie, at 13, is a self-described dirty-fingernailed, roughneck girl who has recently taken up residence in […]

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Celebrating Virginia Lee Burton’s Classic Favorites

Once upon a time there was a little boy whose mother regularly took him and his siblings to the library. Every time he went, he either borrowed or returned a wonderful book about a train that ran away. The most vivid picture was of a train leaping over a drawbridge that was partway open, and […]

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Sir Thomas the Hesitant by Liam Perrin

Sir Thomas the Hesitant by Liam Perrin.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.  254 pages.   Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up Thomas has a rather uneventful life, living in the shadow of his perfect big brother, William.  Aside from a nasty famine, life is relatively quiet […]

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Hello Ninja by N. D. Wilson

This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from ourWinter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! Hello Ninja by N. D. Wilson and illustrated by Forrest Dickison. Canonball Books, 2013. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-4 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) The youngest ninja in the house will enjoy this bright, imaginative take on […]

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Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from ourWinter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1) by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick, 2014. 96 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books (ages 4-10) Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-10) DiCamillo consistently creates […]

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The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy

The Miniature World of Marvin and James (Masterpiece Adventures, Book 1) by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Henry Holt and Co., 2014. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books (ages 4-8) Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) Marvin, an artistic beetle, and James, a human boy, first appeared in Broach’s well-received middle grades novel Masterpiece […]

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If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy

If You’re Reading This, by Trent Reedy. Scholastic, 2014. 296 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If You’re Reading This is a moving YA novel about a father establishing a relationship with his son after the father’s death in Afghanistan. For Michael Wilson, life is an endless […]

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The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty, read by Jim Weiss

The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions, 2004.  Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up You would think that G.A. Henty, the prolific Victorian writer of vivid historical fiction, was an eyewitness to Hannibal’s campaign to conquer Rome by taking his army […]

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I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters by Lauren Tarshis

 This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from our Winter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters by Lauren Tarshis. Scholastic, 2014. 176 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Fans of the popular I SURVIVED historical fiction series by […]

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*MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan

MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 336 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12 and up Maturity Level: 4-7 (ages 12 and up) The title MindWar sums it up perfectly: Rick is fighting a mental battle that has far-reaching effects in the temporal world. A high school senior […]

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*Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Note: this review was originally published on February 4, 2011.  Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus, Amulet Books, 277 pages plus historical note and glossary. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10 and up) One-line Summary: This Newbery-winning fictionalized biography for middle graders is as likeable as its hero, with […]

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