The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet, 2014, 350 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (age 10 and up) Teenage Mollie and her little brother Kip are on the road at a very inauspicious time and place—mid-nineteenth-century Ireland. Their parents have sailed for America, intending to send for them when they […]
The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2014, 341 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 5 (ages 11 and up) Sand awoke curled in the ashes of a great fireplace. He doesn’t even remember falling asleep, and his surroundings give him no clue how he got here—wherever “here” may be. As […]
The Finisher by David Baldacci. Scholastic, 2014, 497 pages. Reading level: Young Adults, 15-18 Maturity level: 6 What do you get when you blend a medieval town with a bit of magic and science fiction, then add a small dose of dystopian bleakness? A place like Wormwood. Vega Jane is a teenage inhabitant of […]
Almost Super, by Marion Jensen. Harper, 2014, 251 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Every four years, on February 29, the Baileys of Split Rock gather for the adolescent members (12 and older) to receive their specials powers. It always happens at 4:23 p.m.: a flash of light, and […]
Other Summer Reading Challenge posts: Introduction, Week One: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Two: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Three: off Week Four: 1) Kids. 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Five: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. Week Six: 1) Kids, 2) Teens, 3) Devotional. SUMMER READING CHALLENGE (SRC), Week 1 […]
When you came to my jail cell and dropped this whole princess thing on me . . . how was I supposed to react? All of a sudden I went from being nobody to being long-lost royalty, and you expected me to jump up and accept this destiny that you’d worked out in your head, […]
It’s not often that we are privileged to read literary gems from both father AND son. But that is indeed the case here; to make it more interesting, both are tackling Beowulf. Interest piqued? I hope so because both of these books are truly outstanding. The first is an action-packed adventure novel full of the mysterious […]
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, 2013. 452 pages. Age/interest level: 14-up. As a sequel, Scarlet picks up right where Cinder ended. Linh Cinder, now a fugitive fleeing New Bejiing, is struggling to accept the reality she has only just learned. . . . she wasn’t just a cyborg anymore. She was Lunar now. […]
The Carpet People, written and illustrated by Terry Pratchett. Clarion, 2013, 261 pages. Age/interest level: 11-up Sir Terry Pratchett, grand old man of fantasy/science fiction, began his career at the age of seventeen, with this very book (the original version is included in the appendix of this edition). He revised Carpet People while in his […]
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Square Fish, 2012. 387 pages. Age/interest level: 14-up. Linh Cinder is a teenage mechanic, the best mechanic in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg, part of her limbs robotic due to a childhood accident. Early in the story, Cinder meets Prince Kai, heir apparent of New Beijing. Kai needs […]
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Knopf, 2014. 240 pages. Age/interest level: 9-12. Disney’s popular Frozen is a tale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is also a retelling of “The Snow Queen.” No romance here as in Frozen, and the Snow Queen is back to […]
Subscribe / Connect
- Summer Reading Challenge Finale & Prizes July 28, 2014
- Reviewing School Book Lists, Part One August 6, 2014
- Interview with J. B. Cheaney & Giveaway! September 9, 2014
- Thoughts on The Giver August 2, 2014
- The Giver: Radio Review & Resource Round Up August 14, 2014
- Betsy: Great comparison, Steph! I thought of Andy Griffit...
- Steph M: We read Homer Price last year as a read-aloud. My ...
- An: I never rode a schoolbus, until I became an exchan...
- Betsy: good questions, Janie!! I read this book as an ARC...
- Jessalyn Hutto: This book sounds great! I'm so excited about it a...