Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015,  370 pages  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15 – 18 Recommended for: Ages 16 and up Bottom Line:  The events of one day change Sammy from a moody teenage girl to a fugitive striking out into the west, in an engaging work of historical 

Continue Reading…


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo.  Candlewick, 2016, 263 pages Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: Three 10-year-old girls cope with life’s ups and downs by learning to rely on each other, in a story with “magical” elements. Raymie Clarke, age 10, has one goal: by winning the Little Miss 

Continue Reading…


Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace

Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2010 (Reprint, orig. 1950). 336 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 12 and up Bottom Line:  Coming-of-age, romance, and historical fiction is combined in a little-known novel by a classic American author. While all her classmates are going off to college, 

Continue Reading…

C.S. Lewis

Reading Outside Your Preferred Genre

As a teacher, I’ve had various conversations with parents about how to get their children engaged in reading.  The flip side of that conversation comes when a student is interested in reading, but won’t venture outside a specific genre. Now, at first, this might not seem like a concern. If the student is reading, isn’t 

Continue Reading…

Sun and Moon Ice and Snow

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2009. 352 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 16-up Bottom Line: A problematic retelling of a Nordic fairy tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” which explores the story of a nameless young woman and an ice bear 

Continue Reading…