The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty, read by Jim Weiss

The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions, 2004.  Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up You would think that G.A. Henty, the prolific Victorian writer of vivid historical fiction, was an eyewitness to Hannibal’s campaign to conquer Rome by taking his army […]

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I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters by Lauren Tarshis

 I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters by Lauren Tarshis. Scholastic, 2014. 176 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Fans of the popular I SURVIVED historical fiction series by Lauren Tarshis will find her latest nonfiction endeavor just as exciting. Tarshis’s cliffhanger prose keeps readers on the edge of their […]

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*MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan

MindWar: A Novel (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 1) by Andrew Klavan. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 336 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12 and up Maturity Level: 4-7 (ages 12 and up) The title MindWar sums it up perfectly: Rick is fighting a mental battle that has far-reaching effects in the temporal world. A high school senior […]

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*Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Note: this review was originally published on February 4, 2011.  Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus, Amulet Books, 277 pages plus historical note and glossary. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10 and up) One-line Summary: This Newbery-winning fictionalized biography for middle graders is as likeable as its hero, with […]

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*Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

Nuts to You, by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, 2014. 259 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) One-line Summary: Nuts to You is a charming animal fantasy for younger middle-graders to read alone, or for the whole family to read aloud. So…one day the author took her lunch to a […]

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The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophesy: Book 1 by Mark Frost. Random House, 2012. 560 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If they can sift the humanist worldview and dismiss the occasional profanity, discerning teens and reluctant readers may enjoy this action-packed, save-the-world fantasy scenario. One sunny morning in southern California, […]

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Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2014. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-8, 8-10) In this latest Lulu installment, Lulu bravely rescues a forlorn hedgehog during the “wettest [day] in sixty-four years.” Her love […]

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Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2013. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 Lulu and Mellie’s grandmother (Nan) is staying with them while their parents are away, and the book opens with the three of […]

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Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2014. 112 pages. (originally published in the United Kingdom, first published in the U.S. by Scholastic in 2011) Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 Lulu and her cousin Mellie rescue a […]

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Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Company, 2012. 112 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 4-8, 8-10) This is Lulu’s debut, and it is one of the strongest of the Lulu books by Hilary McKay. Lulu, her cousin […]

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Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. Dutton, 2014. 259 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) When Maya’s dad, a college professor, found a quaint title from 1951 in his book stash and handed it off to her, she never expected it would change her life. […]

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