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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

 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 Lauren Tarshis will find her latest nonfiction endeavor just as exciting. Tarshis’s cliffhanger prose keeps readers on the edge of their […]

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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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The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost. Random House, 2012. 560 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If they can sift the humanist worldview and dismiss the occasional profanity, discerning teens and reluctant readers may enjoy this action-packed, save-the-world fantasy scenario. One sunny morning in southern California, […]

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The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr

The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. Square Fish, 2000 (reprint; original pub. date 1998). 208 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades (ages 10-12) Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 10-12, 12-14) Fifteen-year-old Simon Green has just finished third grade for the fourth time, and his beloved teacher Miss Rogers has convinced him he needs to “spread […]

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Young Houdini: The Magician’s Fire by Simon Nicholson

Young Houdini: the Magician’s Fire by Simon Nicholson. Sourcebooks, 2014. 232 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Imagine a pre-teen Harry Houdini as an immigrant shoe-shine boy in New York City, with a showman’s flair and two loyal sidekicks, and you’ve got the gist. The real Houdini grew […]

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Come On, Seabiscuit! by Ralph Moody. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss.

Come On, Seabiscuit! by Ralph Moody. Bison Books, 2003. 172 pages. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12, Young Adult, ages 12-18, Adult, ages 16 and up Maturity Level: Level 4 (ages 11-12) and up Seabiscuit was the grandson of the great thoroughbred racehorse Man O’ War, but as a colt he […]

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*Carry on Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss.

*Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss, Greathall Productions, 2009. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Maturity Level: Levels 3-5 (ages 8-14) Nathaniel Bowditch is blessed with a remarkably mathematical mind, but his dreams of attending Harvard are dashed when he is indentured at a young age. Instead of […]

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D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson. Holt, 2014. 202 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) On the 1,720th day of World War II (May 5, 1944), a starry host of allied commanders including a future president and a present king gathered to plan for a massive invasion […]

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World War I: An Interactive History Adventure by Gwenyth Swain

World War I: an Interactive History Adventure by Gwenyth Swain. (You Choose Books), Capstone, 2012. 112 pages including timeline, index, etc. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) As in all the “You Choose” history series books, readers have three main paths to travel: as a nursing student in Belgium, a […]

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