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*Rise by Trip Lee

Listen to Emily’s audio review of Rise…coming soon! *Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story by Trip Lee.  Thomas Nelson, 2014.  240 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up Bottom Line: Trip Lee’s Rise is a gospel-based, conversational book set to a hip-hop album soundtrack in which Lee challenges young adults to rise above low […]

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First Date by Melody Carlson

First Date (Dating Games #1) by Melody Carlson. Revell, 2013. 212 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) Bottom Line: The first volume in the Dating Games series by Melody Carlson has fun with the burning issue of dating and Christian girls but feels underdeveloped in some areas. It was […]

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Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett, Balzer + Bray, 2014. 415 pages. Reading Level:  Young Adults, (ages 12-14) and up Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up Readers meet Jethro Seagrave and his band of Malleus Shades in the middle of stealing a spaceship.  Jeth and his friends live in a futuristic world of planets and spaceports, most […]

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Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire.  Candlewick, 2014. 496 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-15) and up Bottom Line: Egg and Spoon casts itself as historical legend, making rich use of centuries of Russian heritage, but passes over the most profound heritage of all. Life can’t get much worse […]

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The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp.  Tor, 2014. 295 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Bottom Line: The Accidental Highwayman plunges the reader into 18th-century Britain on a wild, fun ride through its magical subtext. Here’s the subtitle: Being the Tale of KIT BRISTOL, His Horse MIDNIGHT, […]

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Sky Run by Alex Shearer

Sky Run by Alex Shearer. Sky Pony Press, 2014. 228 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) and up One-line Summary: Sky Run is a science fiction adventure for middle grades that views the process of growing up through multiple perspectives. I was 120 years old last birthday. Which is […]

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Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer. Scholastic, 2014. 278 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: Threatened, one of this year’s most honored YA novels, promotes a “natural man,” anti-civilization worldview. As a boy, Luc felt threatened by the “mock men,” the chimpanzees who never ventured near his village but filled […]

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If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy

If You’re Reading This, by Trent Reedy. Scholastic, 2014. 296 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If You’re Reading This is a moving YA novel about a father establishing a relationship with his son after the father’s death in Afghanistan. For Michael Wilson, life is an endless […]

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The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. Crossway, 2014. 94 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up One-line summary: This short devotional guide for teens and adults shares John Piper’s unique perspective on the coming of Christ in preparation for the Christmas season. […]

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Every Valley by Albert L. Blackwell

Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel’s Messiah by Albert L. Blackwell. Westminster John Knox Press, 2014. 160 pages. Reading Level: Adults (16 and up) Maturity Level: 6 (15-18) and up Handel’s Messiah bursts on our ears this time every year even though many of the oratorio’s texts harken to the death and resurrection of Christ. Still, the Messiah […]

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*MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan

MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 336 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12 and up Maturity Level: 4-7 (ages 12 and up) The title MindWar sums it up perfectly: Rick is fighting a mental battle that has far-reaching effects in the temporal world. A high school senior […]

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