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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
*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 […]
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 […]
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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