The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Dial, 2015. 292 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-up, especially boys Bottom Line: William Kamkwamba’s own story of his efforts to bring reliable electrical power to his impoverished African village makes fascinating reading, especially for […]
Dear Magazine is a sophisticated, attractive magazine for ordinary young ladies who are seeking to serve Christ in an oversexed, feminist, self-centered culture. Although it was started by a 19-year-old homeschool graduate, there is nothing about the content that limits the audience to homeschoolers. The stated purpose of the magazine is “to show young women that they are […]
The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America, by Jonah Winter, Illustration by Barry Blitt. Atheneum, 2015. 40 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 7-12 Bottom Line: The Founding Fathers! profiles fourteen men who featured prominently in our country’s birth, using a generally fair but perhaps too […]
*Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH Books, 2015. 32 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 While there’s more to it than simple cooking finesse, one German baker put his baking talents to heroic use during […]
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross. Harper, 2015. 323 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-16 Bottom Line: The Fog Diver imagines a dystopian world of Haves and Have-nots, with plucky heroes, a wealth of detail, and a dash of humor. Hundreds of years ago, mankind proposed to meet a crisis […]
*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2009. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Stunning illustrations, a vast African savannah setting, and perfect pacing make this picture book a true delight. As is typical of Pinkney’s art, the story begins on the front endpapers with a sweeping panorama inspired by […]
*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Vibrant, colorful water colors breathe new life into this familiar fable of the lazy grasshopper and industrious ants. Beginning with the front endpapers, illustrations tell of a lonely, proud, and lazy grasshopper […]
The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2013. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Slow and Steady Wins the Race! Nearly wordless, this lively depiction of one of Aesop’s most famous fables starts right away on the front endpapers as the hare bounds over hills and the […]
Woof (a Bowser and Birdie Novel) by Spencer Quinn. Scholastic, 2015. 293 pages Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 9-13 Bottom Line: Bowser, a loveable mutt, gets to tell his own story about how he and his “off the charts” owner, Birdie, started their crime-solving partnership. Two humans stood outside my cage, […]
During our break this summer, we are taking the opportunity to experience the richness of great literature in a multi-layered fashion. We don’t have all the distractions of other academics, so we are free to linger over wonderful stories that must be enjoyed and appreciated before they are examined. Hello, friend Shakespeare. Welcome, “A Midsummer […]
Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson. Carolrhoda Lab, 2013. 320 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Recommended for: Ages 16 and up Bottom Line: In an engaging sci-fi thriller, one girl attempts to outrun her past while discovering her true identity. On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace. On […]
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- Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard June 15, 2015
- Squelch Not the Series! June 22, 2015
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba July 7, 2015
- Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond June 16, 2015
- *Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot June 19, 2015
- Robyn: Just a little confused when you say that bad langu...
- Betsy: Great review, Janie! This was such a good read....
- Great Christian Books: Thank you for exposing me to Jump Jump the first i...
- This week’s round-up of middle grade sci fi and fantasy is up (7/12/15) « Teens Update: […] The Chosen Prince, by Diane Stanley, at ...
- Betsy: Glad you liked it, Beth! Yes--the end notes are es...