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 […]
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, […]
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011 (reissue of 1989 copy). 156 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Number the Stars is one of those books that carries many awards and accolades: Newbery Award (1990), National Jewish Book Award (1990), Rebecca Caudill Award (1992), and others. It has […]
Dash by Kirby Larson. Scholastic, 2014. 256 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 8-12) Eleven-year-old Mitsi’s best friend is her little dog, Dash. She used to have some other best friends, but after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, they’ve been avoiding Mitsi because she is Japanese American. And so the […]
*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 […]
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming. Shwartz & Wade, 2014. 292 pages including index and bibliography. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5-6 (ages 12-15) We live in strange days. But the world of 1917, just one hundred years ago, was at least equally strange. […]
The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman. Clarion, 2010. 176 pages including notes and index. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) [T]his war changed forever the way wars are fought and the way people think about the use of military power. And unfortunately, it did […]
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne. Henry Holt, 2014. 245 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Alfie Summerfield is five when the war starts—July 18, 1914, his birthday. Too young to know that his cozy London neighborhood is about to change forever, but […]
Life Behind the Wall by Robert Elmer. Zondervan, 2014. 515 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up This novel is actually a collection of three shorter novels published between 2008 and 2010: Candy Bombers, Beetle Bunker, and Smugglers’ Treasure. Together they make a family saga set in Berlin […]
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