Remarkable Happenings

Remarkable, by Lizzie K. Foley.  Dial, 2012, 325 pp.  Age/interest level: 9-13 Jane is remarkable in her town for being unremarkable.  In fact, she and her grandpa are the only people she knows who aren’t world famous or incredibly gifted.  But “everybody is so busy being talented, or special, or gifted, or wonderful at something […]

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Web Newberys (July 23)

Noteworthy book-related articles and news: Olympic Christians:  Betsy at reviews Zonderkidz kids’ books about Olympic athletes.  Get ‘em while they’re hot! New Christian ereader:  Do Christian stores need their own ereaders?  Family Christian Stores think so.  It remains to be seen whether consumers do. The Dark Knight and Dickens:  Christopher Nolan and his brother […]

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Bible Reading Challenge, Week 28

THE PROPHETS:  Jonah, Amos, Hosea Anybody for minor prophets?  When naming the books of the Old Testament, that’s the category where we often stall out, and except for the perennial Sunday school favorite, Jonah and the Big Fish, we may be pretty vague on what distinguishes one “minor” from another.  Yet these prophets are “minor” […]

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Hoping Against Hope

Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt.  Clarion, 2011, 368 page.  Age/interest level: 12-up Gary Schmidt’s Newbery-honor-winning The Wednesday Wars featured 13-year-old Holling Hoodhood, a child of the mid-1960s and the only Presbyterian in a private school filled with Catholics and Jews.  Holling sits out Wednesday afternoons, when all the other kids are at catechism or […]

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Christian Books for Burgeoning Readers

This summer I’ve been on a mission to find books with specifically Christian content for my kids.  We get plenty of great literature from the local library, as well as from family members.  Plus there are the junior readers at Target, an outstanding investment for just $1.  (We’re reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm right now.  […]

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Just-For-Fun Fantasy

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy (drawings by Todd Harris).  HarperCollins, 2012, 436 pages.  Age/interest level: 8-13 First, we need to clear one thing up: the princes in those stories—you know, stories about Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel–were not all named Charming.  No; they had real names, people!  And […]

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Web Newberys, July 16

Noteworthy book posts I’m ruminating on these days: Big Truths for Little Kids:  a wise and thoughtful review of Susan Hunt’s classic book at The Hankins Family website. “Little Bear” Author Dies:  After losing Maurice Sendak and Jean Craighead George this year, classic kids’ lit suffers another loss. Batman Readers: I haven’t checked out any […]

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Bible Reading Challenge, Week 27

THE PROPHETS:  Elijah ​The great days of the kings are over.  God promised to divide the kingdom after Solomon’s time, and (surprise!) that’s just what happened.  From now on, there will be political division and animosity between the 12 tribes.  Worse than that, though, they will continue to fall deeper into sin, and God will […]

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Dystopia, Junior

Dystopian fiction for middle-grades isn’t new: Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a classic of the genre.  The success of The Hunger Games means similar titles for younger ages would be showing up soon.  These two are good examples, even though each comes with a little twist–the first stirs in a generous measure of magic, and […]

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The Hero’s Journey: A Teaching Tool

On Tuesday, Janie talked about the Higgs boson, and the search for what’s under the surface in physics.  Today, I’ve invited Nathan Huffstutler, a writing and literature teacher at Maranatha Baptist Bible College, to lead us on a similar search in literature.  And I’m so excited to share his thoughts with you guys. The basic […]

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Hard Science

God particle, Higgs boson—it’s been news since Independence Day (no relation to said holiday) and most of us scratch our heads.  It’s too hot to put our brains in gear!   But discovery has a way of grinding on, whatever the season, and every time some big news in physics pops up, the religious skeptics pop […]

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