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 […]
*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 One-line summary: The Crossover, a verse novel for middle grades, is an exuberant, touching, and funny tribute to basketball and family. Basketball Rule #1: In this game of life/ your family […]
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 One-line Summary: This graphic novel’s humor and lively drawing style are made-to-order for middle-grade boys, but it also deals thoughtfully with important themes. Ely’s best friend is a dog, which seems pretty […]
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 […]
Most YA readers in America stop right here. From junior high and high school literature, they gain a few basic sentiments–sentiments which may or not be held or recognized by non-readers in their lives. What are those sentiments? I’ve tried to detail them up til now: 1) race is just color, signifying nothing; 2) class […]
Today’s interview is regarding Douglas Bond’s devotional series for young men and their fathers, Fathers and Sons. I hope to eventually do another interview with Mr. Bond, since we weren’t able to touch on his fiction. However, in this interview Mr. Bond explains why he chose to write to young men and their fathers together, […]
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. 550 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up One-line Summary: The Book Thief, a literary novel for teens and adults, explores Nazi Germany and the Holocaust through the eyes of a child, in prose that is often beautiful […]
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- Jim Weiss Audiobook Giveaway!!! November 19, 2014
- Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Four: Reading is Spiritual Warfare October 11, 2014
- Interns Needed! October 23, 2014
- Space Case by Stuart Gibbs October 1, 2014
- Picture Book Biographies October 6, 2014
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