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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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The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost. Random House, 2012. 560 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If they can sift the humanist worldview and dismiss the occasional profanity, discerning teens and reluctant readers may enjoy this action-packed, save-the-world fantasy scenario. One sunny morning in southern California, […]

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Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. Dutton, 2014. 259 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) When Maya’s dad, a college professor, found a quaint title from 1951 in his book stash and handed it off to her, she never expected it would change her life. […]

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Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Storm Siren by Mary Weber. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 333 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up Nymia (“Nym” for short) has 14 circles etched on her arm: fourteen circles for 14 owners. She is a slave with a secret that can and has destroyed. Nym is elemental but […]

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Come On, Seabiscuit! by Ralph Moody. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss.

Come On, Seabiscuit! by Ralph Moody. Bison Books, 2003. 172 pages. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12, Young Adult, ages 12-18, Adult, ages 16 and up Maturity Level: Level 4 (ages 11-12) and up Seabiscuit was the grandson of the great thoroughbred racehorse Man O’ War, but as a colt he […]

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D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson. Holt, 2014. 202 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) On the 1,720th day of World War II (May 5, 1944), a starry host of allied commanders including a future president and a present king gathered to plan for a massive invasion […]

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The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming. Shwartz & Wade, 2014. 292 pages including index and bibliography. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5-6 (ages 12-15) We live in strange days. But the world of 1917, just one hundred years ago, was at least equally strange. […]

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The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

The Forgotten Man: Graphic Edition by Amity Shlaes and illustrated by Paul Riuoche. Harper Perennial, 2014. 307 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) Amity Shlaes’ Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression was published to great acclaim in 2009. Written for adults, it tackled the common perception […]

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Picture Book Biographies

Picture Book Biographies Picture book biographies are excellent choices for introducing students of all ages to a particular author or historical figure. Many times they are also good examples of research, characters who persevere in the midst of adversity, interesting historical anecdotes, and just plain good stories—true stories. The Criteria Essentially, a good picture book […]

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