Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin

Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin. Amulet Books, 2015. 268 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: After Franny is stricken with polio, an erudite flea becomes her best friend in this quirky fantasy for middle-grade readers. During the summer of 1952, 10-year-old Franny Katzenback became a statistic: one […]

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*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith. Groundwood Books, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 A little girl in a red jacket accompanies her father through the dull city streets, stopping to gather flowering “weeds” that spring through cracks in the sidewalk. In the midst of busy […]

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Salamandastron (Redwall series, Book 5) by Brian Jacques

This review is brought to us by Malachi Stade, who just finished a semester internship with Redeemed Reader.  Thank you, Malachi!   Salamandastron (Redwall series, Book 5) by Brian Jacques. Firebird, Reissue edition, 2003 (originally published 1992).  400 pages.    Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10 and up Bottom Line: In a […]

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Goblins by Philip Reeve

Goblins by Philip Reeve.  Scholastic Press, 2012.  340 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 12 and up Bottom Line: The Hobbit meets Septimus Heap, with a dose of Lloyd Alexander-esque unlikely hero added. Old Breslaw, the hatchling master, recognized something different about Skarper.  While treasure-loving Goblins have no use for “white crinkly stuff, covered […]

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Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond

Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond. Capstone, 2015. 202 pages Reading Level: Young adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 12 and up Bottom Line: Fallout introduces Lois Lane as a hard-charging teenage reporter with a passion for justice, in this fun, clean YA adventure. Lois, 16, daughter of the famous General Sam Lane, arrives at […]

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Yard Sale by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Yard Sale by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-10 Yard sales: passersby think, “bargains!” while sellers mourn, “my stuff!” Callie’s family is moving to an urban apartment presumably because times are tough; they are having a yard sale to help downsize. In one […]

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Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard

*This post is revisited from the archives in honor of Elisabeth Elliot’s passing into glory. Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, by Valerie Shepard, illustrated by Jim Howard. Vision Forum, 2012. 57 pages. Reading a book about growing up among the wild animals of the Amazon jungle put my recent concerns about a few […]

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Home Library Management: Heart Issues

Weeding your garden? Maybe it’s time to weed your library, too! Summer is a great time to lighten up your overgrown library in order to cultivate the quality of your collection. Having a lot of books doesn’t automatically mean you have a great library! Do your shelves truly reflect the current and reasonable anticipated needs, priorities, […]

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Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper. Atheneum, 2015. 320 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-12 Bottom Line: Stella by Starlight dramatizes the personal and social challenges of an African American girl growing up in the rural south of the 1930s. One dark summer night in Bumblebee, North Carolina, Stella’s […]

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*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson. Blazer + Bray, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Recommended For: Ages 0-8 If you plant a tomato seed, a carrot seed, and a cabbage seed, in time, with love and care, tomato, carrot, and cabbage plants will grow. What if you plant seeds of selfishness or kindness? A […]

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*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Stephen Meschenmoser. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 0-4, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 0-4, Ages 4-8 When Mr. Squirrel awakes one morning to find something round and bright yellow in his tree, his distraught imagination runs away with him. Someone must have stolen the moon […]

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