Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Knopf, 2014. 240 pages. Age/interest level: 9-12. Disney’s popular Frozen is a tale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is also a retelling of “The Snow Queen.” No romance here as in Frozen, and the Snow Queen is back to […]
There didn’t used to be a Presidents Day; instead, Americans observed Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 22) separately. But since those two had thoughtfully arranged to be born in the same month, and achieve the rank of Best President, and we didn’t want to slight the other 42 (I guess)—why not just slide them […]
If you go back as far as I do, you remember the YA novels before there was any such category as “YA.” These were mostly insipid girl-meets-boy or girl-changes-boyfriend stories that I, little snob that I was, turned up my not-unsubstantial nose at. The other option in the early-teen fiction landscape was series books, chiefly […]
Fantasy for middle grades (4th-8th/ages 9-12) is ever expanding. Hayley and Betsy look at two new additions to the field, both of which look light and cheerful on the outside (talking animals, colored thought bubbles, other worlds) but contain deeper thematic elements under the surface. Hayley reviews The Twistrose Key, and Betsy looks at Jinx’s Magic. The […]
Presidents’ Day is one of those weird little holidays: school children rejoice in their day off, and lots of people don’t give it another thought. Lincoln and Washington both have birthdays this month, but we thought we’d broaden our focus on this list to include the Presidents in general and a couple in particular. Below, […]
Tommysaurus Rex, by Doug TenNapel, Scholastic (Graphix), 2013, 238 pages. Age/interest level: 8-12. Ely’s best friend is a dog, which seems pretty normal except that Tommy (the dog) is his only friend. Ely’s parents worry about this, but worry takes a back seat when Tommy is hit by a car. To help Ely get his […]
Lots of interesting little links and tidbits for you today in our weekly Book Bits feature (formerly Web Newberys)! Please remember that we do not necessarily endorse every book listed through these links. Rather, these are interesting ways to see what the nation is reading, what book trends are circulating, and other oddments we bibliophiles […]
As Christians we are called to practice so many forms of love besides the romantic kind. Themes for Valentine’s Day can be broadened to emphasize kindness in all kinds of human relationships, from friendly to intimate. Whether or not chocolate is involved, it is worth taking time to enjoy expressing the unique gift of love […]
The Animal Book: a Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest—and Most Surprising—Animals on Earth, by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, 208 pages. Age/interest level: 6-up. Steve Jenkins has made a name for himself writing about specified corners of the animal kingdom (see our review of The Beetle Book) and illustrating them with […]
Maps, by Eleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. Candlewick, 2013, 107 pages. Age/interest level: 4-up You like maps? We’ve got maps! After a view of the whole world, followed by a political map of Europe, the fun begins: big, double-page spreads of each country, lavishly illustrated with folk-arty, idiosyncratic icons of flora, fauna, geographical features, local […]
Ghost stories: most of us relish that slightly spooky feeling we get when an urban legend or hair-raising tall tale is well told around a campfire. Our society seems to be erring on the side of “more is more” these days, though; instead of slightly spooky, we have shows like The Walking Dead, YA fiction has run […]
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- The Spiritual World of The Hobbit + Giveaway January 23, 2014
- Nurturing a young reader’s literary tastes January 9, 2014
- Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway) March 5, 2014
- ALA Midwinter Conference Reflections January 30, 2014
- Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1 March 7, 2014
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- Hayley S.: Thank you so much for your kind comment, Miriam! ...
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- Megan on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- Betsy on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- Hayley S. on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- Miriam Tucker on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- DL on Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway)