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Audacity by Melanie Crowder

Audacity by Melanie Crowder. Philomel, 2015. 389 pages, including historical notes. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Bottom Line: Audacity tells the story of union organizer Clara Lemlich from her point of view, in a way that communicates her strength and her vulnerability. In 1904 Clara Lemlich reached New […]

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10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 197 pages. Reading Level: 12-15 Recommended for: 15-18 Bottom Line: Blogger Kari Kampakis frankly and warmly addresses teen girls about what’s most important for personal growth, relationships, and a life centered on Christ. This book grew out of a speech leading to a […]

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Bible Review: God Girl Bible ESV

God Girl Bible ESV and God Guy Bible ESV edited by Michael and Hayley DiMarco. Crossway, 2014 (latest edition). 1488 pages. Reading Level: ages 12-14 Recommended for: ages 12-14 and up Bottom Line: God Girl and God Guy, ESV Bibles for young adults, include devotional features of unusual depth. The difference between the girl and […]

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Bible Review: The Story

The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Also available in NKJV). Zondervan, 2011. 513 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 and up Bottom Line: The Story is not a complete Scripture text, but a judicially edited collection of passages arranged to present the Bible […]

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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 15-18 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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