The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Dial, 2015. 292 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-up, especially boys Bottom Line: William Kamkwamba’s own story of his efforts to bring reliable electrical power to his impoverished African village makes fascinating reading, especially for […]
The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America, by Jonah Winter, Illustration by Barry Blitt. Atheneum, 2015. 40 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 7-12 Bottom Line: The Founding Fathers! profiles fourteen men who featured prominently in our country’s birth, using a generally fair but perhaps too […]
*Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH Books, 2015. 32 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 While there’s more to it than simple cooking finesse, one German baker put his baking talents to heroic use during […]
*Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Tenderly House, 1981 (reprint, orig. 1957). 274 pages. Reading Level: Young adult (ages 12 and up) Recommended For: ages 10 and up (see review) Bottom Line: The classic account of Jim Elliot and his four friends who earnestly desired to be used by God to bring the gospel to the […]
*This post is revisited from the archives in honor of Elisabeth Elliot’s passing into glory. Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, by Valerie Shepard, illustrated by Jim Howard. Vision Forum, 2012. 57 pages. Reading a book about growing up among the wild animals of the Amazon jungle put my recent concerns about a few […]
Our favorite graduation gift is, of course, books—whether timely, practical, inspirational, or scholarly. We would never recommend sending a young person off to college (or even out the door to start a career) without some heart-and-head grounding in the essentials of the faith. Ideally, most of this takes place before graduation day, in ordinary conversation […]
*Finding Truth: Five Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey. David C. Cook, 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 15-18 Recommended for: ages 16-up Bottom Line: Finding Truth offers a way for older teens to examine the presuppositions and errors of the intellectual culture around them and strengthen […]
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. Millbrook, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 What do you do when the convenience of plastic bags turns into piles of garbage by the wayside, as well as health […]
You have a Brain: a Teen’s Guide to THINK BIG by Ben Carson, M. D. (with Gregg and Deborah Lewis). Zondervan, 2015. 281 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 13-18 Bottom Line: Ben Carson has achieved an amazing resume of accomplishments in his lifetime, but he claims anyone can accomplish much, […]
Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy by Bill Wise, illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Lee and Low, 2012. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 8-10 Baseball games are full of distinctive sounds: the crack as the ball and bat make contact, the roar of the crowd, the umpire’s “Strike!” Imagine if a […]
Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Holiday House, 2015. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-10 Did you know there was an all-female, interracial jazz band in the early 20th century? A little-known slice of music history comes to life in this vibrantly illustrated nonfiction […]
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- Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard June 15, 2015
- Squelch Not the Series! June 22, 2015
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba July 7, 2015
- Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond June 16, 2015
- *Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot June 19, 2015
- Robyn: Just a little confused when you say that bad langu...
- Betsy: Great review, Janie! This was such a good read....
- Great Christian Books: Thank you for exposing me to Jump Jump the first i...
- This week’s round-up of middle grade sci fi and fantasy is up (7/12/15) « Teens Update: […] The Chosen Prince, by Diane Stanley, at ...
- Betsy: Glad you liked it, Beth! Yes--the end notes are es...