Tag Archives | middle readers

Summer Tales

Two middle-grade summertime stories, both by Newberry-winning authors: Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord. Scholastic, 2014, 218 pages. Age/interest level: 10-14 Lucy is used to moving—it’s her third time in 12 years. This time, her photographer dad and computer-programmer mom have moved to a New Hampshire lake mostly populated with summer people, so the friends […]

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Digging in the Dirt

Due to the loooong winter experienced by those of us in the Midwest and eastern United State, we’ve been slow to get our garden in. Also a bit tardy to look around and notice the new gardening books that always start popping up in March. But better late than never: here’s one nice addition to […]

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Faithgirlz in Action: Two New Series

Zondervan’s “Faithgirlz!” books are series novels aimed at middle-grade girls. These two “girlz” series fall prey to some common weaknesses of Christian fiction, but show some bright spots too: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek (Good News Shoes, #1), by Jill Osborne. Zonderkidz, 2014, 238 pages. Age/interest level: 8-12. Riley Mae Hart loves shoes: […]

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Over the Moon and across the Pond

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Candlewick, 2014, 240 pages. Age/interest level: 9-13 The magical car seems to be flying for the last time in this latest installment of her time-traveling adventures (following Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race against Time, which takes her and the Tooting family back […]

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Poetry on the Court and Diamond

Basketball season has peaked and poetry month is almost over, but here are some sports novels in verse (not so strange a genre as you might think), plus a poetic tribute to baseball, that are well worth a look. The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 237 pages. Age/interest level: 10-up. Basketball Rule […]

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Back to the Bibles

Last year we ran an extensive series of posts on the lucrative market of “specialty” Bibles, particularly for teens and children. That market just keeps on pumping, so it seems like a good idea to make this an annual feature. Today we’ll talk about new or new-ish Bibles for various age groups and demographics; tomorrow, […]

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The Shakespeare Stealer–and an Interview with Author Gary Blackwood

The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000), and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003), by Gary Blackwood.  Penguin Group; Puffin Books.  Age/interest level: 12-16. True story: in 1998 I was shopping around a manuscript about a 14-year-old boy in 16th-century London who through a series of happy misfortunes becomes an actor in William Shakespeare’s theater company.  Before starting […]

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Middle Grade Fiction with Fibonacci, Tesla, and More!

When I was a child I read large numbers of mysteries and was always somewhat irritated when I had to go to math class. I did just fine in math class, but all that specificity got in the way of my more verbal and creative side. If you have children that sound like this–or, believe it […]

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Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway!

NOTE: The giveaway contest is closed–congratulations to Nellie, who recommended Ivanhoe as her favorite adventure story.  “High interest” children’s literature (see our explanation here), covers many genres and age levels.  Today we look at some worthy titles in the travel/adventure genre for middle graders–and you, lucky reader, may have a chance to win three of […]

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Retro Reads: The Sword in the Stone

This week we begin a series of occasional posts called Retro Reads: those modern-day classics you may have missed in your teen years or before you were even on the radar screen.  We’ll do this mostly by author: Beverly Cleary, E. L. Konigsburg, Elizabeth Speare, Natalie Babbitt—and any favorites you’d like to suggest?  We launch […]

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Sequelville: in Which We Follow up on Some Old Favorites

Sometimes fans of a popular book DEMAND a sequel (see Origami Yoda, below), and sometimes the entire series is planned out from the beginning.  Whether a series conclusion lives up to its promise is another story, but all of these sequels have their charms.  Click on the highlighted title of the previous book to read […]

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