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, […]
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. Viking, 1943. 149 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up McCloskey has transformed his picture book hero, Lentil, into a slightly more grown-up Homer Price. Homer lives outside the town of Centerberg and experiences small town America in all its glory. Folks know each […]
Lentil by Robert McCloskey. First published by Viking, 1940. Reading Level: Picture Books, 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) Lentil, McCloskey’s first picture book, is now 74 years old. Readers will recognize McCloskey’s familiar style from his more well-known picture books (such as Blueberries for Sal or Make Way for Ducklings). Lentil is a young boy from the […]
Zane and the Hurricane: a Story of Katrina, by Rodman Philbrick. Scholastic, 2014, 181 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 4 Zane does not want to spend a couple of weeks in New Orleans—Smellyville, he dubs it—but his mom has just discovered an almost-relative of his late father there and insists he […]
Curiosity, by Gary Blackwood. Dutton, 2014, 310 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 11-12, Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (Ages 12-14) Philadelphia, 1836: Rufus Goodspeed has led a sheltered life as the only child of his sheltered father, a Methodist minister. Partially crippled from birth (which birth also took his mother), Rufus feels […]
Seven Stories Up, by Laurel Snyder. Random House, 2014, 229 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Annie and her mom arrive in Baltimore on a sad mission: to say farewell to Annie’s grandmother, who is on her deathbed in the former luxury hotel built by her great-grandfather. Grandmother is […]
Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore. Bloomsbury, 2014. Age/interest level: 9-12. I thoroughly enjoyed Blakemore’s The Water Castle which came out in 2013. So, when I had the chance to scoop up Blakemore’s next one as a pre-publication copy at ALA this January (2014), I jumped at it. Spy Catchers is geared to a slightly younger […]
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- Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Four: Reading is Spiritual Warfare October 11, 2014
- Interview with J. B. Cheaney & Giveaway! September 9, 2014
- Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Three: The List September 4, 2014
- House of Hades September 19, 2014
- Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Two: Death of a Son August 23, 2014
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