The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions, 2004. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8 and up Maturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up You would think that G.A. Henty, the prolific Victorian writer of vivid historical fiction, was an eyewitness to Hannibal’s campaign to conquer Rome by taking his army […]
The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. Square Fish, 2000 (reprint; original pub. date 1998). 208 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades (ages 10-12) Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 10-12, 12-14) Fifteen-year-old Simon Green has just finished third grade for the fourth time, and his beloved teacher Miss Rogers has convinced him he needs to “spread […]
My Friend the Enemy by J. B. Cheaney. Yearling, 2007 (reprint edition). 272 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades (8-10, 10-12) Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 8-12) If another nation bombs the U.S. on your birthday and catapults your nation into war, abruptly changing your community, you’d be mad, too. When this happens to 12-year-old Hazel Anderson, […]
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011 (reissue of 1989 copy). 156 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Number the Stars is one of those books that carries many awards and accolades: Newbery Award (1990), National Jewish Book Award (1990), Rebecca Caudill Award (1992), and others. It has […]
Dash by Kirby Larson. Scholastic, 2014. 256 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3, 4 (ages 8-12) Eleven-year-old Mitsi’s best friend is her little dog, Dash. She used to have some other best friends, but after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, they’ve been avoiding Mitsi because she is Japanese American. And so the […]
*Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss, Greathall Productions, 2009. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 Maturity Level: Levels 3-5 (ages 8-14) Nathaniel Bowditch is blessed with a remarkably mathematical mind, but his dreams of attending Harvard are dashed when he is indentured at a young age. Instead of […]
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne. Henry Holt, 2014. 245 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Alfie Summerfield is five when the war starts—July 18, 1914, his birthday. Too young to know that his cozy London neighborhood is about to change forever, but […]
Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann. NorthSouth, 2014. 96 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, Chapter Books, ages 4-10 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8), 3 (ages 8-10) An intrepid mouse, determined to escape the peril of mousetraps and predators by emigrating to America, devises a series of flying contraptions based on what he […]
Life Behind the Wall by Robert Elmer. Zondervan, 2014. 515 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity level: 4 (ages 11-12) and up This novel is actually a collection of three shorter novels published between 2008 and 2010: Candy Bombers, Beetle Bunker, and Smugglers’ Treasure. Together they make a family saga set in Berlin […]
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 […]
Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey. Viking, 1979, 191 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up Centerburg Tales is set in the same, small Midwestern town as Homer Price and uses many of the same characters. While Homer Price, though fiction, has a down-home, realistic feel of a boy’s experience, […]
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