Teen Sci-Fi Writing Contest & Discussion: From Ender’s Game to Hunger Games

***NOTE: AN ANONYMOUS DONOR HAS JUST UPPED THE 2nd AND 3rd PLACE PRIZES IN THIS CONTEST TO A $30 AMAZON GIFT CARD!*** Introduction It’s been months in the making, but it’s finally here–our Teen Sci-fi Writing Contest and Finale Podcast!  And not a moment too soon, since I’m going to a screening of Ender’s Game […]

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Hear That Lonesome Whistle: Locomotive and Train

Every year children’s publishing offers at least one major picture book related to trains, but this year we’ve been blessed with three.  One of them, Sherri Rinker’s Steam Train, Dream Train, we’ve already reviewed.  The other two, Brian Floca’s Locomotive and Elisha Cooper’s Train, were released within weeks of each other, and both to glowing […]

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Empire of Bones (Ashtown Burials, #3)

Empire of Bones (Ashtown Burials #3) by N. D. Wilson. Random House, 2013. 448 pages. Age/interest recommendation: age 10 and up. We’ve been talking about history this month at Redeemed Reader, but today’s offering takes a different approach. Just out this week, N.D. Wilson’s third Ashtown Burials book, Empire of Bones, has been worth the […]

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Septimus Heap

You know you have a good book . . . . . . when you love it so much that as soon as you finish it, you read it aloud to your younger siblings, and they love it. You know it is exceptionally good . . . . . . when your mother keeps hearing […]

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The Dogs of History

Duke, by Kirby Larson.  Scholastic, 2013, 229 pages.  Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Boy loves dog; boy loses dog.  That’s what happens to Hobart (Hobey) Hanson, and it seems like a raw deal.  There’s been a big war going on for the last three years, and he and other “young citizens” […]

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Lara’s Gift by Annemarie O’Brien

Lara’s Gift, by Annemarie O’Brien.  Knopf, 2013, 193pages, including appendix Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12, Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 10-15 Bottom Line: Lara’s Gift enters the world of a peasant girl in czarist Russia, with country estates, borzois, wolf hunts, and spiritual overtones. Compared to most Russian peasants in the early […]

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Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 4: Conclusions

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, plus lots of free books or gift cards! ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, Week 3: Science of the Story, […]

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Early America: Friendship and War

Friends of Liberty, by Beatrice Gormley.  Eermans, 2013, 184 pages.  Age/interest level: 8-14. Sally Gifford, as the daughter of an honest craftsman in 18th-century Boston, doesn’t have such a bad life, but it suffers by comparison with that of her new friend Kitty Lawson.  Except for one key fact the girls share: both have lost […]

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How God Used a Thunderstorm by Joel R. Beeke and Diana Kleyn

*How God Used a Thunderstorm and Other Devotional Stories  by Joel R. Beeke and Diana Kleyn, illustrated by Jeff Anderson (Building on the Rock Series). Christian Focus, 2007. 176 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 and up Ever wonder if it makes a difference whether you read your Bible and pray or not? The […]

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Anselm: An Interview with Simonetta Carr

Anselm of Canterbury (Christian Biographies for Young Readers) by Simonetta Carr.  Reformation Heritage Books, 2013.  64 pgs.  Ages 8-up. Simonetta Carr recently published Anselm of Caterbury, the sixth in her Christian Biographies for Young Readers with Reformation Heritage books.  The books fill an important niche in Christian publishing–picture books about church history.  They are not […]

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Church History for Everybody

I’ve been in church all my life.  I’ve been around Christians all my life.  I’ve read the Bible all my life, and after the Bible my most consistent form of reading is history.  So why is it that I, like most Christians, are much more knowledgeable about the church’s first 70 years than about the […]

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