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Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. Random House, 2015. 610 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Bottom Line: Seraphina, a half-dragon, half-human ityasaari, is desperately trying to rally her fellow ityasaari to the aid of her country, Goredd, but must first face her own personal nemesis. Three years ago, a debut fantasy novel about a young […]

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The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes. HarperTeen, 2015. 306 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 15-18 Bottom Line: This YA survival story offers thrilling outdoor adventure and relevant questions about faith but doesn’t quite close the circle. Hallelujah Joy Calhoun, 17, isn’t super-religious, as everyone guesses, but her […]

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The Caldecott Committee Throws a Curve

The American Library Association (ALA) stages a huge event every winter when it names the winners of its coveted John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott awards. “Newbery & Caldecott,” awarded for text and illustration respectively, were the only awards for decades. But as the interests of the ALA extended beyond just books (i.e., became more political), […]

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An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund. Zondervan, 2015. 249 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 15 – 18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15 – 18) and up Bottom Line: A beautiful maiden, an unbreakable vow, a mysterious sickness, and a sudden change of events are all parts of Jody Hedlund’s Christian historical romance. Lady Rosemarie Montefort is content […]

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*Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder

*Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder (edited by Pamela Smith Hill). University of South Dakota Press, 2014. 400 pages. Reading Level: Adults, ages 16-up Recommended for: ages 12-15, 16-up Bottom Line: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s own account of her growing-up years shows how life became art and is a must for fans of […]

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All for Love? Five Red Flags to Watch for in YA Christian Romance Fiction

I remember when Jeanette Oke and “deliverance” stories were about the only options teenage girls had if they wanted to read some Christian romance. The inventory has greatly expanded and almost every secular literary genre now has its Christian counterpart, especially for girls. Does she like historical, cozy mystery, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, lighthearted chick-lit (all […]

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Running Lean By Diana Sharples

Running Lean by Diana Sharples.  Zondervan/Blink, 2013.  400 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended For: ages 16 and up Bottom Line: Running Lean deals sensitively with teen love and the complications brought to it by anorexia. Calvin Greenlee, 17, suffered the worst blow of his life when his brother Michael was killed in […]

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Eight Twenty Eight: An Interview with Larissa Murphy

With 50 Shades of Grey opening in theaters this weekend, we are happy to share an interview I did recently with Larissa Murphy, author of Eight Twenty Eight.  Written with her husband, Ian, the book presents a godly picture of true love, and this piece produced by TW&E is an introduction to their book and […]

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The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.  272 pages Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Bottom Line: In this classic YA novel originally published in 1958, four ghosts from Revolutionary War days teach a lonely young woman about romance. Peggy Grahame, latest in an unbroken […]

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Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, 2015. 220 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up Bottom Line: In an originally unplanned prequel, readers are given the backstory for Queen Levana, a tale that mirrors the darkness of its protagonist. If the title hasn’t already triggered a fairytale memory, think of an evil stepmother […]

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*Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from our Winter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! *Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi. Zondervan, 2014. 304 pages. Reading Level: Adult Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15 and up) One-Line Summary: In this moving and convicting account, Qureshi recounts his spiritual awakening from […]

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