It’s Party Time! How to wish Will a happy 450th

Can you throw a party by the end of the month?  With at least 10 guests?  If so, you may be eligible to win a grand prize box of goodies from Redeemed Reader.  (More about prizes later.) But wait! think’st thou.  Parties take a lot of planning and expense and just plain work—and more than […]

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The Playmaker by (our very own) J. B. Cheaney

When I first read this book, I did not know Janie personally. I knew of her from WORLD Magazine, but it took a flyer at my local library for me to discover her middle grades fiction. I managed to finagle a face-to-face meet-up with Janie when she came to town for a Shakespeare Festival (and, like all […]

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Introducing Shakespeare’s Plays to Children

Should you wait until your children are in high school before expecting them to tackle Shakespeare? Why not start them young, while they love learning words and listening to stories, while memorizing is easy for them? They might as well, because as Janie observed yesterday, we’re surrounded by Shakespeare in literature and culture, and our children might […]

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Why Shakespeare? A Rationale for Revelry

This month we’re having a party: not with cake and ice cream but with words showered like confetti.  Since our honoree was possibly the greatest English wordmaster who ever lived, he would probably appreciate the words even more than the ice cream, especially since the latter was unknown in his time.  But lots of kids […]

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Book Bits, March 31, 2014

Special announcement!  Today is the last day of March, and that’s not the announcement.  Tomorrow, besides being April Fool’s Day, is the beginning of the month in which William Shakespeare was born, 450 years ago!    Lord willing and Lord tarrying, our kids will probably live to see his 500th birthday, but we might not, so […]

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Should Not the Judge Do Right? Thoughts about “Noah”

For the last six months at least, I’ve been seeing reports about the movie version of Noah: Is it faithful? Is it trendy? Is it a cynical attempt to capitalize on a supposed interest in biblical themes (even while society drifts farther from biblical truth)?  Is it really a story about God destroying the world […]

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Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 3

In this third part of our series, Hayley shares a list of nonfiction titles that encompass both Ukraine and Russia. (Here are links to part one and part two.) Eyewitness Books: Russia by Kathleen Berton Murrell Did you know that the first Russian state, during the Middle Ages, was the Kievan Rus’?  Name look familiar? […]

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Middle Grade Fiction with Fibonacci, Tesla, and More!

When I was a child I read large numbers of mysteries and was always somewhat irritated when I had to go to math class. I did just fine in math class, but all that specificity got in the way of my more verbal and creative side. If you have children that sound like this–or, believe it […]

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Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway!

NOTE: The giveaway contest is closed–congratulations to Nellie, who recommended Ivanhoe as her favorite adventure story.  “High interest” children’s literature (see our explanation here), covers many genres and age levels.  Today we look at some worthy titles in the travel/adventure genre for middle graders–and you, lucky reader, may have a chance to win three of […]

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Easter devotional: Why Easter?

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Cathy!   Compared to the proliferation of Christmas-themed titles, the availability of books about Easter is sparse. As we noted last year, many of them focus just on Passion Week or try to justify the use of eggs and bunnies as part of the celebration of the suffering, death […]

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America, the Future: Divided We Fall and Sylo

This month we’re looking at some YA and middle-grade titles that could be described as “high-interest”: maybe not top-notch on the literary side, but stories that grab you and don’t let go.  These two YA novels certainly qualify in the “interest” department, but also contain some thought-provoking material–especially the first.  And speaking of “high-interest,” the […]

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