Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffin, illustrated by Margot Tomes. Puffin Books, 2002. 48 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Recommended For: Ages 8-10, Ages 10-12 Phoebe’s father owns an inn in Boston around the time of the American revolution, and one day he comes to her with a serious matter. He has heard […]
The Last Dragonslayer: The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 1 by Jasper Fforde. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013. 306 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 14 and up Bottom Line: In an engaging alternative reality, punctuated with interesting sentences and quirky British humor, a teenage girl faces sorcerers, politics, and a dragon. Jennifer […]
The Doll People Series, by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin. Disney/Hyperion Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 7-12 (mostly girls) Bottom Line: The Doll People series, rolling out in a leisurely way with four titles since 2003, offers a winning set of “living dolls” and an ideal transition from chapter books to […]
Janie’s newest novel for young folks, I Don’t Know How the Story Ends, hit store shelves this month, and she’s been busy signing copies and enjoying early reviews. Book babies are a bit like eggs in a nest: patiently, the author sits on the drafts of the book, keeping them warm until they hatch. Publication day […]
Five years ago I picked up a middle grade fantasy book called The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan and was hooked by the end of the first page. For those unfamiliar with Riordan’s work, his first series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” follows a middle school student, Percy, who discovers he’s a Greek demigod, and […]
I’ve been thinking a lot about movies lately–perhaps because my latest novel, published this month, is set in the early days of the silent film industry. Next week we’ll publish my interview with Betsy about that novel in particular. But on the general theme of movies, and looking forward to the big holiday film season […]
Brick Flicks: A comprehensive guide to making your own stop-motion Lego movies by Sarah Herman. Skyhorse Publishing, 2014. 206 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, Ages 12-15 Recommended For: Middle Grades, Young Adult, Ages 10-up (for experienced Lego builders; may require parental assistance) Moviemaking with Legos has been going on long before the popular feature film […]
Janie’s sixth middle grades novel, I Don’t Know How the Story Ends, is due to hit store shelves this Wednesday (October 6th)! We will be featuring an interview with Janie about the new book in particular in two weeks (so you all have time to read it before then!), but today we are taking the opportunity to […]
While summer is a nice time to read —fall is here. A season of chilly nights and hot cups of tea, fall brings the perfect weather for curling up with a good book. On the other hand, time can be limited, so here are four ways to enjoy and maximize your fall reading. 1. Read […]
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2009. 352 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 16-up Bottom Line: A problematic retelling of a Nordic fairy tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” which explores the story of a nameless young woman and an ice bear […]
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne. Scholastic, 1976. 32 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Picture book Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When a child hears her parents using idioms, she imagines literal interpretations with humorous results. How do you hang shoes on a tree? Would a new wing on the house have feathers? Would […]
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- “The book is a lot better than the movie” – Usually October 14, 2015
- A Reflection on Rick Riordan October 16, 2015
- A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne September 28, 2015
- The Uses of Terror October 29, 2015
- Scary Stuff October 28, 2015
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