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 […]
Most kids enjoy comics or their upscale cousins, graphic novels. Of those who enjoy them, many will decide they want to create them. Does your son draw aliens and superheroes in his spare time? Does your daughter block out stories in panels? He or she might appreciate a little direction and a few pointers in […]
The Warrior’s heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage, by Eric Greitens. Houghton Mifflin, 2012, 263 pages. Age/interest level: 15-up. You stand in freezing water up to your chest. Every muscle in your body throbs with pain. You are exhausted beyond anything you could ever imagine, and all around you the night air carries […]
The Wimpy Kid phenomenon keeps on going, and so far has outlasted the dystopia phenomenon, the vampire phenomenon, and the zombie phenomenon. Volume 8 in the series, Hard Luck, is set to release on Nov. 5 with a 5.5 million print run. I reviewed The Third Wheel, Wimpy Kid #7, with observations on the genre […]
On a Beam of Light: a Story of Albert Einstein, by Jennifer Berre, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky. Chronicle, 2013, 50 pages. Age/interest level: 6-9 Despite the title, this is not a story of Einstein; it’s the story, from birth and toddlerhood and unremarkable school career to revolutionizing the study of physics. Though a late talker, […]
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody. Bison Books, 1991. It is hard to find well-written stories with strong father-son relationships. Little Britches by Ralph Moody, a read-aloud our family recently finished, succeeds admirably. (Actually, since most of my extended family has read this book, I am grateful to my husband Michael, […]
If we were picking favorite periods of history, World War II would be near the top of the list. Though it’s fast fading from living memory, it still seems close enough to be relevant to our world today, with plenty of drama and grit, as Betsy’s review of Rose Under Fire demonstrates. Rose is geared […]
Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, by Annette le Blank Cate. Candlewick, 2013, 54 pages. Age/interest level: 8-up Yes, I know—bird-watchers are eccentric English librarians with elastic stockings whose idea of a good time is to hang out in bushes with painted buntings. But you should really meet Annette, because she hangs out with […]
Welcome to Week 6 of our Summer Reading Challenge! If you’d like to see other posts in this series, check out our Summer Reading Challenge Page. Introduction by Emily Whitten Today, I’m happy to re-introduce you to our former intern, Hayley Schoeppler, who is now a permanent part of the staff as our Executive Assistant. […]
We’re taking a week off our Summer Reading Challenge to celebrate the glorious Fourth. But be sure to join us next week, when we crack open George McDonald’s classic fairy tale, The Light Princess. One hundred and fifty years ago, two great armies collided in a small Pennsylvania town. The actual site of the battle […]
(NOTE: Have you heard about our summer writing contest for kids? Scroll down to find a link to the details!) Geography, like Grammar (and God), is a neglected subject in today’s public school system. Too bad—I well recall my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Nelson, a world traveler whose students generally caught her enthusiasm for foreign […]
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