Archive | Middle Readers RSS feed for this section

*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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

*Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

Nuts to You, by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, 2014. 259 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) One-line Summary: Nuts to You is a charming animal fantasy for younger middle-graders to read alone, or for the whole family to read aloud. So…one day the author took her lunch to a […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2014. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-8, 8-10) In this latest Lulu installment, Lulu bravely rescues a forlorn hedgehog during the “wettest [day] in sixty-four years.” Her love […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2013. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 Lulu and Mellie’s grandmother (Nan) is staying with them while their parents are away, and the book opens with the three of […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2012. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-8, 8-10) This is Lulu’s debut, and it is one of the strongest of the Lulu books by Hilary McKay. Lulu, her cousin […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell. Amulet, 2014. 241 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Cece Bell is the main character of her own story, told in graphic-novel format with all characters pictured as rabbits.  The story begins with a short but severe bout of spinal meningitis at the age […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Penguin, 2014. 320 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) If verse fiction is a neglected genre, verse memoir is practically nonexistent. Some verse novels make me wonder why they are written in lines and spaces, but this one doesn’t. Woodson’s free verse is […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

My Friend the Enemy by J. B. Cheaney

My Friend the Enemy by J. B. Cheaney. Yearling, 2007 (reprint edition). 272 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades (8-10, 10-12) Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 8-12) If another nation bombs the U.S. on your birthday and catapults your nation into war, abruptly changing your community, you’d be mad, too. When this happens to 12-year-old Hazel Anderson, […]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }