Tag Archives | boys

It’s Summertime! Let’s Learn Something!

While we’re gearing up for our summer reading challenge (still time to sign up!) the kids may be looking around for something to read. Fiction comes to mind—what a great time to catch up with Percy Jackson or Greg Heffley! Or not. Though lighthearted fantasy or humor seems right for summer, don’t neglect nonfiction. Kids […]

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The Shakespeare Stealer–and an Interview with Author Gary Blackwood

The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000), and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003), by Gary Blackwood.  Penguin Group; Puffin Books.  Age/interest level: 12-16. True story: in 1998 I was shopping around a manuscript about a 14-year-old boy in 16th-century London who through a series of happy misfortunes becomes an actor in William Shakespeare’s theater company.  Before starting […]

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Middle Grade Fiction with Fibonacci, Tesla, and More!

When I was a child I read large numbers of mysteries and was always somewhat irritated when I had to go to math class. I did just fine in math class, but all that specificity got in the way of my more verbal and creative side. If you have children that sound like this–or, believe it […]

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Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway!

NOTE: The giveaway contest is closed–congratulations to Nellie, who recommended Ivanhoe as her favorite adventure story.  “High interest” children’s literature (see our explanation here), covers many genres and age levels.  Today we look at some worthy titles in the travel/adventure genre for middle graders–and you, lucky reader, may have a chance to win three of […]

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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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Second-Grade Perils: The Year of Billy Miller

The Year of Billy Miller, by Keven Henkes.  Greenwillow, 2013, 229 pages.  Age/interest level: 6-8. Kevin Henkes’ name on a book jacket automatically gets attention.  No wonder: not only is he equally successful at writing and illustrating, he’s one of the very few children’s writer/illustrators to win both Newbery and Caldecott medals.  And probably the […]

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Newbery Buzz: The Truth of Me, plus one more

This is our last “buzz” post, but tomorrow Betsy and I are going to go out on a limb and make some predictions about the winner–maybe even name some titles that should be the winner. The Truth of Me, by Patricia MacLachlan.  HarperCollins, 2013, 114 pages.  Age/interest level: 8-14. Janie: Robert, the latest in a […]

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Tough Times: Two Middle-Grade Historical Novels for Boys

River Rats, by Leslie J. Wyatt.  Royal Fireworks Press, 2013, 212 pages.  Age/interest level: 10-14. Kenny Barton would be the first to admit he doesn’t have it too bad.  A Missouri farm boy’s life in 1940 doesn’t lack for hard work and long days, but when the work is done adventure calls: fields and woods […]

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Nurturing a young reader’s literary tastes

Parents with avid readers often find themselves with a dilemma: after my child has read all the age-appropriate books, where do we go from here? Progression to the next reading level adds to the scramble at the bookstore or library. What author should I try next? How can I get my child interested in a […]

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Pilgrim’s Progress Revisited: Two Versions and a Giveaway!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER.  WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY.*** As our hearts turns toward the reason for the season, we moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas long to give our children something of lasting spiritual value amongst all the trinkets and gizmos. It might be a good time to revisit John Bunyan’s classic, especially since […]

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Winter Tales

I live in a fairly mild climate.  Hardly has the first frost melted when cashiers and postal employees start saying, “I’m ready for spring.”  Come on, people!  It’s not like we have to chop our own wood and stoke our own leaky furnaces any more.  I like winter (within reason)—it gives land and trees a […]

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