Basketball season has peaked and poetry month is almost over, but here are some sports novels in verse (not so strange a genre as you might think), plus a poetic tribute to baseball, that are well worth a look. The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 237 pages. Age/interest level: 10-up. Basketball Rule […]
The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000), and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003), by Gary Blackwood. Penguin Group; Puffin Books. Age/interest level: 12-16. True story: in 1998 I was shopping around a manuscript about a 14-year-old boy in 16th-century London who through a series of happy misfortunes becomes an actor in William Shakespeare’s theater company. Before starting […]
When I was a child I read large numbers of mysteries and was always somewhat irritated when I had to go to math class. I did just fine in math class, but all that specificity got in the way of my more verbal and creative side. If you have children that sound like this–or, believe it […]
NOTE: The giveaway contest is closed–congratulations to Nellie, who recommended Ivanhoe as her favorite adventure story. “High interest” children’s literature (see our explanation here), covers many genres and age levels. Today we look at some worthy titles in the travel/adventure genre for middle graders–and you, lucky reader, may have a chance to win three of […]
This month we’re looking at some YA and middle-grade titles that could be described as “high-interest”: maybe not top-notch on the literary side, but stories that grab you and don’t let go. These two YA novels certainly qualify in the “interest” department, but also contain some thought-provoking material–especially the first. And speaking of “high-interest,” the […]
Last week, we began our Ukrainian series with a personal reflection from our executive assistant, Hayley. Having recently visited orphans in Ukraine, Hayley gave us insight into their situation, which is only made more tenuous by the current political upheaval. And most importantly, she gave us a detailed look at how we (and our kids!) […]
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 […]
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- Easter devotional: Why Easter? March 24, 2014
- Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway) March 5, 2014
- Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Pt. 2 March 15, 2014
- Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway! March 25, 2014
- Retro Reads: Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain March 12, 2014
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