Young Houdini: the Magician’s Fire by Simon Nicholson. Sourcebooks, 2014. 232 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Imagine a pre-teen Harry Houdini as an immigrant shoe-shine boy in New York City, with a showman’s flair and two loyal sidekicks, and you’ve got the gist. The real Houdini grew […]
*Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss, Greathall Productions, 2009. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Maturity Level: Levels 3-5 (ages 8-14) Nathaniel Bowditch is blessed with a remarkably mathematical mind, but his dreams of attending Harvard are dashed when he is indentured at a young age. Instead of […]
The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman. Clarion, 2010. 176 pages including notes and index. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) [T]his war changed forever the way wars are fought and the way people think about the use of military power. And unfortunately, it did […]
World War I: an Interactive History Adventure by Gwenyth Swain. (You Choose Books), Capstone, 2012. 112 pages including timeline, index, etc. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) As in all the “You Choose” history series books, readers have three main paths to travel: as a nursing student in Belgium, a […]
Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi. First Second, 2014. 125 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up This is the second of Bertozzi’s graphic series on explorers. (The first is Lewis and Clark: The Greatest Adventure in American History.) His books are notable for a casual style and […]
Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey. Viking, 1979, 191 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up Centerburg Tales is set in the same, small Midwestern town as Homer Price and uses many of the same characters. While Homer Price, though fiction, has a down-home, realistic feel of a boy’s experience, […]
I Can Read! Made by God series, edited by Mary Hassinger. Zonderkidz, 2010-2011, 32 pages. Reading Level: Easy/Leveled Readers, Ages 4-8 Maturity Level: Level 2 (Ages 4-8) Each volume in this God-honoring nonfiction series describes four fascinating creatures with plenty of interesting details and colorful photos. The wisdom and goodness of God in his […]
Zane and the Hurricane: a Story of Katrina, by Rodman Philbrick. Scholastic, 2014, 181 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 4 Zane does not want to spend a couple of weeks in New Orleans—Smellyville, he dubs it—but his mom has just discovered an almost-relative of his late father there and insists he […]
Almost Super, by Marion Jensen. Harper, 2014, 251 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Every four years, on February 29, the Baileys of Split Rock gather for the adolescent members (12 and older) to receive their specials powers. It always happens at 4:23 p.m.: a flash of light, and […]
Curiosity, by Gary Blackwood. Dutton, 2014, 310 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 11-12, Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (Ages 12-14) Philadelphia, 1836: Rufus Goodspeed has led a sheltered life as the only child of his sheltered father, a Methodist minister. Partially crippled from birth (which birth also took his mother), Rufus feels […]
How do you use the label “anti-war?” As in, “Saving Private Ryan is the best anti-war movie ever made, or “All Quiet on the Western Front ranks at the top of anti-war literature.” In 1969, Edwin Starr’s Motown song “War” became a huge hit. Its theme was simplicity itself: WAR! What is it good for? […]
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