sweet home

Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg

Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg.  Penguin, February 2016, 296 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom Line: An 11-year-old discovers the pioneering spirit in the last frontier, in this entertaining historical adventure that echoes Laura Ingalls Wilder. Terpsichore Johnson’s family is down to their last pumpkin.  Mr. Johnson 

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Tru and Nelle by G. Neri

Tru and Nelle by G. Neri.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 336 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 8-12 Bottom Line: Based on the childhood friendship of Harper Lee and Truman Capote, this middle-grade novel highlights the experiences that shaped an American classic. Tru (short for Truman) is a fussy little clothes-horse 

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How Dark is Too Dark?

The Michael J. Prinz medal is awarded every year by the ALA for excellence in YA literature. Excellence, to the ALA, often means edgy, trendy, or outright grim: it’s a sure bet that at least one title in each year’s selection (of one winner and 2 or 3 honor books) will be seriously depressing. This 

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north to freedom

*Retro Reads: North to Freedom by Anne Holm

North to Freedom (I Am David) by Anne Holm.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1963 (first edition), 256 pages. Reading Level: 10-12 Appropriate for: ages 12-up Bottom Line:  After escaping from the soviet prison camp that comprised his whole world, a 12-year-old boy must come to terms with what it means to be free. The Danish journalist, 

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Newbery Buzz: Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Continuing our series of discussions on contenders for the 2016 Newbery Award, Janie and Betsy turn their attention to a previous honor winner . . . Betsy: The Gaither sisters are back in a third installment: Gone Crazy in Alabama. Rita Williams-Garcia took home a 2011 Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award for 

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