The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis, illustrated by Todd Harris. Little, Brown, 2014. 433 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: The Map to Everywhere offers an action-packed fantasy quest in which protagonists must find and assemble the pieces of a map. Fin, formerly […]
Story Thieves by James Riley. Simon & Shuster (Aladdin), 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: This action-packed fantasy-within-a-fantasy puts characters into their favorite stories, but also raises questions about authorship, fate, magic, and science. The only excitement Owen has in his life is breathlessly following each […]
Masterminds by Gordon Korman. Balzer & Bray, 2015, 336 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom Line: Masterminds raises some interesting ethical questions in the midst of a fast-moving thriller that pits kids against grownups. Who would want to live anywhere but Serenity, New Mexico? Yes, it’s small, and kind […]
*Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnischen. Simon & Shuster, 2015, 392 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom line: In Red Butterfly, a Chinese girl raised by American parents must figure out who she really is after discovering she has no official identity. Kara, age 11, speaks English as well […]
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Candlewick, 2015, 376 pages Reading Level: Middle grades ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 (especially girls) Bottom Line: The protagonist of Paper Things struggles to be loyal to her brother and her guardian as she endures a season of homelessness. For four years, ever since Arianna’s mother died, Ari […]
Lucky Strike by Bobby Pyron. Scholastic (Arthur Levine), 2015. 263 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A “lucky” lightning strike changes a lonely boy into a celebrity, with results no one would have predicted. Nate Harlow figures he’s the unluckiest boy on the whole Gulf Coast, starting when […]
A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic, 2014, 311 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A Snicker of Magic is the folksy tale of a girl who needs a home, but it may rely too much on “magic” as a cure-all. Felicity Juniper Pickle just wants to […]
*The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton adapted by Nancy Carpentier Brown, illustrated by Ted Schluenderfritz. Hillside Education, 2007. 147 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Bottom Line: This well-done adaptation of four famous Father Brown stories preserves the original lively spirit of Chesterton’s famous sleuth. The Father Brown Reader is a collection of four famous Father […]
*ESV Following Jesus Bible. Crossway, 2015. 1401 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: The features of Following Jesus Bible point young readers to the presence of Christ in all scripture in a way that’s accessible to middle grades. In recent years, much welcome attention has been paid to […]
The Only Game by Mike Lupica (Home Team series, #1). Simon & Shuster, 2015. 321 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-10, especially boys Bottom Line: Character values and the drama of baseball itself take the field in The Only Game, while character development and plot remain on the bench. Walton […]
Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. Scholastic Press, 2009. 194 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: The young reader’s version of the author’s best-selling Manhunt offers all the drama of Lincoln’s assassination and the ensuing search for John Wilkes Booth. One hundred and fifty years ago, on […]
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- Finding Good Chapter Book Friends: Junie B. Jones v. Jasper John Dooley April 13, 2015
- Caroline Starr Rose: An Interview! March 30, 2015
- Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It’s Spring! by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by John Shelley April 22, 2015
- The Well-Gifted Grad May 19, 2015
- *The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton adapted by Nancy Carpentier Brown April 23, 2015
- Janie: Thanks, Dean--we'll put that one on our list!...
- Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog: […] Sally Lloyd Jones: A Mini Interview | Re...
- Dean Aguirre: Another great book for grads would be Three Tips f...
- Beth: Great list! My son loves the Scaredy Squirrel boo...
- The Sage: I like a moment to address several commenters... ...