Retro Reads: Lloyd Alexander’s Vesper Holly Series

Ginger-haired, green-eyed, and very determined, 16-year-old Vesper Holly is ready for anything, especially an adventure.  Possessing “the digestive talents of a goat and the mind of a chess master. . . . She is familiar with half a dozen languages and can swear fluently in all of them.”  Not that she does swear –not in […]

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Retro Reads: Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain

It’s Retro Reads week with Lloyd Alexander! Today, we take a look back to Lloyd Alexander’s marvelous Chronicles of Prydain, the first of which was published 50 years ago. The Prydain Chronicles are modern classics which have influenced contemporary fantasy literature for children and remain highly readable/enjoyable in their own right 50 years after their first […]

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Retro Reads: The Sword in the Stone

This week we begin a series of occasional posts called Retro Reads: those modern-day classics you may have missed in your teen years or before you were even on the radar screen.  We’ll do this mostly by author: Beverly Cleary, E. L. Konigsburg, Elizabeth Speare, Natalie Babbitt—and any favorites you’d like to suggest?  We launch […]

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Sequelville: in Which We Follow up on Some Old Favorites

Sometimes fans of a popular book DEMAND a sequel (see Origami Yoda, below), and sometimes the entire series is planned out from the beginning.  Whether a series conclusion lives up to its promise is another story, but all of these sequels have their charms.  Click on the highlighted title of the previous book to read […]

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Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1

Oh, those early (slow) reading sessions when your son or daughter labors to sound out each and every phoneme…. It seems to take forever to listen to one page, doesn’t it? And what should they be reading when the process starts to become just a little bit easier for them? Your friendly RedeemedReader librarians have […]

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Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1

From Emily: As my kids are solidly in the middle of Medieval History in our home schooling, they haven’t had many opportunities to hear the the words, “Cold War.”  But with the events unfolding over the past week in Ukraine, I have had to fill them in somewhat on the history of Russian’s communist history […]

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Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway)

Ready to move on from Frog and Toad? Henry and Mudge getting too easy for your newly independent reader? Rest assured:  Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, Captain Underpants, and their ilk are not the only new kids on the block. Back in my day, readers would have graduated from Frog and Toad to a book […]

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Middle Grade Winners: Cheesie Mack and Jack Strong

We’ve written about “middle-grade losers” before–those feckless, clueless fifth-and-sixth grader boys (exhibit A being The Wimpy Kid) so popular with boy readers of that age and younger.  Here we try to balance the ledger with a couple of fifth- and sixth-graders who have a lot going for them, but just a few little problems appropriate […]

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Book Bits, March 3, 2014

Are you one of those moms (or possibly, dads) who buys old Baby Einstein videos and early reader flashcards?  Maybe there aren’t too many of those parents any more, and just as well.  Because guess what?  You Can’t Teach Your Baby to Read.  And here’s proof.   But . . . you can now give […]

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Portrait of the Fantacist as a Young Man: Carpet People

The Carpet People, written and illustrated by Terry Pratchett.  Clarion, 2013, 261 pages.  Age/interest level: 11-up Sir Terry Pratchett, grand old man of fantasy/science fiction, began his career at the age of seventeen, with this very book (the original version is included in the appendix of this edition).  He revised Carpet People while in his […]

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The Man with the Violin

 One ordinary Friday morning in January, a famous musician in disguise descended into the busy Metro station in Washington share the glory of his music with an unsuspecting public. Joshua Bell, a virtuoso violinist, played his priceless instrument with skill and passion. Hardly anyone noticed in the rush. A few children gazed curiously while […]

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