Bible Review: Children’s Easy-to-Read Bible

Children’s Easy-to-Read Bible. Leafwood Publishers, 2012. 1820 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 7-10 Bottom Line: The Children’s Easy-to-Read Bible is attractive and accessible to fourth-through-sixth-graders, but the translation has some drawbacks. This is the latest edition children’s Bible from the World Bible Translation Center, originally (and perhaps still) associated with […]

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Jasper John Dooley: You’re in Trouble! by Caroline Adderson

Jasper John Dooley: You’re in Trouble! by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Ben Clanton. Kids Can Press, 2015. 124 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8 Bottom Line: Jasper John Dooley drinks a high energy drink that makes him “Bad” in this funny, illustrated chapter book; early elementary students everywhere will relate! After the weekly […]

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Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind by Caroline Adderson

Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Ben Clanton. Kids Can Press, 2011. 132 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8 Bottom Line: A humorous illustrated chapter book that celebrates the special relationship a young boy has with his grandmother. First grader Jasper John Dooley spends every Wednesday afternoon with his grandmother. They […]

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Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. Random House, 2015. 610 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Bottom Line: Seraphina, a half-dragon, half-human ityasaari, is desperately trying to rally her fellow ityasaari to the aid of her country, Goredd, but must first face her own personal nemesis. Three years ago, a debut fantasy novel about a young […]

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The Charm of the Penderwicks (Janie and Betsy and discuss)

Periodically, Janie and Betsy discuss great middle grades literature, trying to figure out what makes it so great. Today, the charming Penderwicks clan are held up to the microscope. [Betsy] Hey Janie! The fourth Penderwicks book is out this month, and I think it might be my favorite of the series. I know I’m not […]

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Six Picture Books for Boys Who Can’t Sit Still!

Here are six favorite, irresistible picture books for boys who are competitive,   WHO WILL WIN?! love superheroes, Both MARVELous and COMICal hate peas, She eats worms and mice with ease, but not those last ten little green peas!  dig holes, So close to finding something spectacular… (read review) and occasionally take baths “Dawg, nobody […]

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The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, 2015. 352 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Bottom Line: The best installment of the Penderwick family adventures to date features ten-year-old Batty, a new dog walking enterprise, the airing of family secrets, and new personal discoveries. Both long-time Penderwick fans and those just discovering this […]

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The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall. Yearling, 2012 (originally 2011). 320 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Bottom Line: While Rosalind and the Penderwick parents are off on their own adventures, the remaining Penderwicks head to the Maine coast for a very eventful summer vacation. At the start of this third volume, […]

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The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, by Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, 2005. 262 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Recommended For: ages 8-10 and up, especially girls Bottom Line: The Penderwicks, first in a series, delightfully introduces readers to the four Penderwick sisters, their widowed father, […]

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The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, 2008. 302 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Recommended For: ages 8-10 and up Bottom Line: The Penderwick girls return for more good-natured family adventures, this time involving a touch of romance and a dollop of deceit. The Penderwick sisters and their long-suffering dad are […]

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The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex

*The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: ages 4-8 (especially boys) This ol’ boy needs a bath! Four characteristics of an outstanding picture book read-aloud include: great story, excellent artwork, quotable lines, and a fun accent. The Dirty […]

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