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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

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 […]

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The Founding Fathers! by Jonah Winter

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 […]

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*Gingerbread for Liberty! by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

*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 […]

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*Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

*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 […]

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Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard

*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 […]

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The Well-Gifted Grad

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 […]

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*Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcy

*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 […]

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One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon

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 […]

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You Have a Brain by Ben Carson, M.D.

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, […]

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Silent Star by Bill Wise, illustrated by Adam Gustavson

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 […]

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Swing Sisters by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda

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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