out-of-darkness

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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gone-crazy

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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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, 

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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 

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