The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis, illustrated by Todd Harris. Little, Brown, 2014. 433 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: The Map to Everywhere offers an action-packed fantasy quest in which protagonists must find and assemble the pieces of a map. Fin, formerly […]
Story Thieves by James Riley. Simon & Shuster (Aladdin), 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: This action-packed fantasy-within-a-fantasy puts characters into their favorite stories, but also raises questions about authorship, fate, magic, and science. The only excitement Owen has in his life is breathlessly following each […]
In 2008, a middle-grade novel called Savvy swept numerous awards lists and was anointed with the silver medallion of Newbery runner-up. The first-time author, Ingrid Law, soon followed up with a well-received sequel (Scumble, 2010), and is certain to make a splash with Switch this September. Savvy has certain elements of a particular genre: a […]
Lucky Strike by Bobby Pyron. Scholastic (Arthur Levine), 2015. 263 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A “lucky” lightning strike changes a lonely boy into a celebrity, with results no one would have predicted. Nate Harlow figures he’s the unluckiest boy on the whole Gulf Coast, starting when […]
A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic, 2014, 311 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: A Snicker of Magic is the folksy tale of a girl who needs a home, but it may rely too much on “magic” as a cure-all. Felicity Juniper Pickle just wants to […]
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. Random House, 2015. 610 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Bottom Line: Seraphina, a half-dragon, half-human ityasaari, is desperately trying to rally her fellow ityasaari to the aid of her country, Goredd, but must first face her own personal nemesis. Three years ago, a debut fantasy novel about a young […]
The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon. Viking, 1956. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Bottom Line: Farjeon’s classic retelling of Cinderella is a fun read and may have inspired Walt Disney himself in the making of the animated Disney version. Every now and then we remind readers of an older, out-of-print title, a niche book […]
*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. Puffin, 2002 (originally published in 1980). 128 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Bottom Line: Princess Amy, cursed with being ordinary, discovers that she quite likes being ordinary in this charming modern fairy tale. Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne of Phantasmorania (“Amy” for short) […]
*Faerie Gold: Treasures from the Lands of Enchantment edited by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker. P&R, 2005. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10, ages 10-12 Recommended For: all Bottom Line: An excellent collection of literary fairy tales by classic writers, tales that are rich with Truth and the best kind of storytelling. […]
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Bottom Line: The Adventures of Beekle, winner of the 2015 Caldecott medal, provides a quirky but loveable look at how children acquire their “imaginary” companions. Where do imaginary friends come from? Beekle “was born […]
The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. 272 pages Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Bottom Line: In this classic YA novel originally published in 1958, four ghosts from Revolutionary War days teach a lonely young woman about romance. Peggy Grahame, latest in an unbroken […]
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- Janie: Thanks, Dean--we'll put that one on our list!...
- Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog: […] Sally Lloyd Jones: A Mini Interview | Re...
- Dean Aguirre: Another great book for grads would be Three Tips f...
- Beth: Great list! My son loves the Scaredy Squirrel boo...
- The Sage: I like a moment to address several commenters... ...