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The Castle Behind Thorns

The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2014, 341 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 5 (ages 11 and up) Sand awoke curled in the ashes of a great fireplace. He doesn’t even remember falling asleep, and his surroundings give him no clue how he got here—wherever “here” may be. As […]

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Count on the Subway

Count On the Subway by Paul Dobois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Knopf, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-4 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) Bright, colorful illustrations help young listeners count with a little girl and her mom as they walk to the subway, board the train, ride to […]

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Fall Book Lists! Books to Lighten Your Kids’ Book Bags.

Are your kids’ book bags feeling heavy this fall?  How bout a few enjoyable reads to lighten the load? Thanks to each of the Redeemedreader writers who helped me put this list together!  We very much hope you and your kids will appreciate this short list of fun yet faith-friendly backpack additions. Picture Books (Ages […]

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Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Two: Death of a Son

Reviewing School Book Lists: Part One.  Part Two. (SUICIDE LIFELINE: 1-800-273-8255) Death of a Son On Monday morning, April 2, 2012, rumors swirled at Westwood High School that Nathan Austin, a senior, had died. Perhaps even taken his own life. Several teachers hurried to the principal’s office to find out the truth and put such […]

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Flight School

Flight School by Lita Judge. Atheneum, 2014, 32 pages. Reading Level: picture book Maturity Level: all An ambitious penguin arrives at flight school with visions of success. Teacher and Flamingo stifle their doubts and patiently include him until the truth can no longer be denied: “I’m sorry, birdie,” said Teacher. “Penguins just aren’t built to fly.” […]

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Grandmaster

Grandmaster, by David Klass. Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2014, 226 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, Ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (15-18) What if you discovered that your nerdy dad is a superhero? That’s what happens to Daniel Pratzer—sort of, though Dad doesn’t suddenly zoom across the sky in tights and a cape.  Daniel doesn’t make […]

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Where Angels Tread

The Garden Gate, by Christa Kinde.  Zondervan, 2014, 301 pages.   Age level: 10-up Prissie Pomeroy can see angels.  In fact, most of her friends are angels.  In this fourth book in the Threshold series, change is coming to West Edinton.  Prissie and her family face change firsthand as their family business, both orchard and […]

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The Giver: Radio Review & Resource Round Up

RESOURCE ROUND UP Looking for a short summary?  Try Emily’s 8 min radio review for TW&E. For more depth, see Hayley’s teen discussion and summary. To orient yourself to the book and find discussion questions, see Valen’s book review and discussion questions. TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES: Let us know whether your family plans to see the […]

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What is War Good For?

How do you use the label “anti-war?” As in, “Saving Private Ryan is the best anti-war movie ever made, or “All Quiet on the Western Front ranks at the top of anti-war literature.” In 1969, Edwin Starr’s Motown song “War” became a huge hit. Its theme was simplicity itself: WAR!  What is it good for? […]

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Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway

Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway. Candlewick, 2014. Reading Level: Early Chapter Book, Ages 4-8 Maturity Level: All Charmingly illustrated with the same humorous touches James Marshall often added to his works, Pigsticks and Harold are delightful early chapter book friends you must introduce to your children. Pigsticks comes from a […]

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SRC Winners!

Thanks to everyone who read along with us this summer!  Whether or not you finished the challenge, we are grateful for each family that participated…and we hope that next year will be even better!  In the meantime, though, here are the winners for this year’s prizes.  I decided to award prizes to families instead of […]

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