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Back to the Bibles

Last year we ran an extensive series of posts on the lucrative market of “specialty” Bibles, particularly for teens and children. That market just keeps on pumping, so it seems like a good idea to make this an annual feature. Today we’ll talk about new or new-ish Bibles for various age groups and demographics; tomorrow, […]

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The Playmaker by (our very own) J. B. Cheaney

When I first read this book, I did not know Janie personally. I knew of her from WORLD Magazine, but it took a flyer at my local library for me to discover her middle grades fiction. I managed to finagle a face-to-face meet-up with Janie when she came to town for a Shakespeare Festival (and, like all […]

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America, the Future: Divided We Fall and Sylo

This month we’re looking at some YA and middle-grade titles that could be described as “high-interest”: maybe not top-notch on the literary side, but stories that grab you and don’t let go.  These two YA novels certainly qualify in the “interest” department, but also contain some thought-provoking material–especially the first.  And speaking of “high-interest,” the […]

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The Lunar Chronicles, continued

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.  Feiwel and Friends, 2013.  452 pages.  Age/interest level: 14-up.    As a sequel, Scarlet picks up right where Cinder ended.  Linh Cinder, now a fugitive fleeing New Bejiing, is struggling to accept the reality she has only just learned. . . . she wasn’t just a cyborg anymore.  She was Lunar now. […]

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Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Pt. 2

Last week, we began our Ukrainian series with a personal reflection from our executive assistant, Hayley.  Having recently visited orphans in Ukraine, Hayley gave us insight into their situation, which is only made more tenuous by the current political upheaval.  And most importantly, she gave us a detailed look at how we (and our kids!) […]

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Portrait of the Fantacist as a Young Man: Carpet People

The Carpet People, written and illustrated by Terry Pratchett.  Clarion, 2013, 261 pages.  Age/interest level: 11-up Sir Terry Pratchett, grand old man of fantasy/science fiction, began his career at the age of seventeen, with this very book (the original version is included in the appendix of this edition).  He revised Carpet People while in his […]

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Cyborg Cinderella

Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  Square Fish, 2012.  387 pages.  Age/interest level: 14-up.    Linh Cinder is a teenage mechanic, the best mechanic in New Beijing.  She is also a cyborg, part of her limbs robotic due to a childhood accident.  Early in the story, Cinder meets Prince Kai, heir apparent of New Beijing.  Kai needs […]

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Be My Valentine: The State of Teen Romance

If you go back as far as I do, you remember the YA novels before there was any such category as “YA.”  These were mostly insipid girl-meets-boy or girl-changes-boyfriend stories that I, little snob that I was, turned up my not-unsubstantial nose at.  The other option in the early-teen fiction landscape was series books, chiefly […]

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On the Court and in the Woods: Books for Teen Boys

Will in Scarlet, by Matthew Cody.  Knopf, 20134, 272 pages.  Age/interest level: 12-up. We’re introduced to William Shackley as a callow, nervous 14-year-old on his first real wolf hunt.  He has expectations to live up to: heir apparent to the family estate while his father is away crusading with Richard the Lionheart, he’s spent most […]

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The Spiritual World of The Hobbit + Giveaway

(Giveaway is now closed) The ever-increasing popularity of Middle Earth has brought a profusion of books written about both J. R.R. Tolkien and his created world.  The recent Hobbit movies have focused this popularity on Tolkien’s prequel to The Lord of the Rings.  Those who love to read about the unexpected journey of Bilbo Baggins […]

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Eyes of Lightning

I have issues . . . more than I can count.  I’m stubborn, prideful, a so-called religious fanatic, and a tomboy with freakish eyes.  My family and upbringing are both abnormal, and I might be harboring a thousand-year-old spirit.  Most relevant of all -I hate showing weakness. Eyes of Lightning (Thunderbird Legacy), by Erin Keyser Horn.  […]

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