The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Shane Evans. Little, Brown, 2014. 319 pages, including notes and glossary. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) and up Bottom Line: Though it deals with the tragic recent history of Darfur, Sudan, The Red Pencil makes an alien culture and distant […]
Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire. Candlewick, 2014. 496 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-15) and up Bottom Line: Egg and Spoon casts itself as historical legend, making rich use of centuries of Russian heritage, but passes over the most profound heritage of all. Life can’t get much worse […]
If You’re Reading This, by Trent Reedy. Scholastic, 2014. 296 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If You’re Reading This is a moving YA novel about a father establishing a relationship with his son after the father’s death in Afghanistan. For Michael Wilson, life is an endless […]
The Great Trouble: a Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel, by Deborah Hopkinson. Knopf, 2013, 247 pages with historical notes. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 4 (Ages 11-12) London, 1854: “Eel,” at 13, is on his way up after a brief career as a mudlark, when he […]
I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora. Roaring Brook Press, 2014, 177 pages. Reading level: Middle grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up Lucy and her friends Elena and Michael are cemented by the lasting ties of book-fandom. They all love books, but not necessarily the same ones. Michael, for instance, has […]
Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge. Candlewick, 2003, 116 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Maturity Level: 5 (Ages 12-15) One-line Summary: Kevin, age 15, learns to deal with difficult life issues by expressing his thoughts in poetry. An entertaining introduction to poetry forms. Shakespeare himself doesn’t have much to do with it; it’s all […]
This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from our Winter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! *The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. 237 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grade, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) and up Bottom line: The Crossover, a verse novel for middle grades, […]
This book is a “Best of the Best” pick from our Winter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel. Scholastic (Graphix), 2013. 238 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) and up Bottom line: This graphic novel’s humor and lively drawing style are […]
This seems like an odd time of year to talk about death, but the joy of the Christmas season wouldn’t be joyful at all if that baby did not represent God’s solution to our biggest problem. Isaac Watts recognized that, in one of my most favorite Christmas hymns: No more let sin and sorrow reign, […]
In case you missed them, here are Part One and Part Two of this series on my mother’s death. One to Two Days Prior to Death, Symptoms: May be a surge of energy, followed by recurrence of symptoms. Breathing starts to be a big issue at this point. As the body begins to shut down, […]
Today is Good Friday, so in meditating on the passion and redemption of Christ, I thought it a suitable time to begin a series on my mom’s death last December. No other event in my life has, so far, made me feel my need of Christ’s strength and grace so much. But I would also […]
Subscribe / Connect
- Jesus is Most Special by Sally Michael, illustrated by Fred Apps December 3, 2014
- New Year’s Literary Goals (and Literary Confessions) January 1, 2015
- Winter Storytime: Let It Snow! January 21, 2015
- *The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin December 4, 2014
- The Most of P. G. Wodehouse by P. G. Wodehouse December 12, 2014
- Betsy: great review, Janie!...
- Betsy: Lori, thanks for the reminder of Messner's Over a...
- Lori: Great post and great choice of winter books!! A f...
- Andrea Cavanaugh: I love this feature! I have the book Winter Poems,...
- Megan: Here are some more ideas Diana shared on her post ...